Welcome to the great adventure

By: Tevis

Kansas City, Kansas, USA

This is the first post! Sometimes I forget how I started this all, but I'll try my best.

I would say this started back in my Sophomore year of high school (2020-2021) when my Spanish teacher began to talk about this program and service organization: Rotary Youth Exchange, and Rotary respectfully. He spoke about what this program had to offer: the ability to take a second senior year of high school abroad, at a low cost, and an experience that will be with you for the rest of your life!

As I progressed through high school I started to really think about my future. What to do? Which is a really hard question to answer.

So I just went for it, I applied to be a Foreign exchange student at the club level, wrote essays, filled out applications that made me go a bit crazy, and went through the whole process.

After this application consumed a month of my life, I went to the club-level interview, and a week later I got a call (they said they would call every applicant, even if they didn't get in) so I was understandably anxious, and in this call, my coordinator told me that I got into the next level of interviews. The next level of interviews was for the district level, with five different panels that I had to talk in front of.

But I survived, held my own, and tried to be myself. In reality, it was a pretty stress-free time, and I talked to foreign exchange students from other countries, that exchanged to the U.S.!

The interviews were from 8am-3pm, and I got a call from the state coordinator around 4:30pm. I GOT IN! Then my friend Kendal got a call at 5:30, THEY GOT IN! Around that time Maddy (also a great friend) got a call, SHE ALSO GOT IN! All three of us!

Now as of late January, we have been waiting. Maddy and I got our passports in, (what a pain) and we all got confirmation on our countries of choice: Maddy-Belgium, Kendal-Spain, Austin-Spain.

We are all excitedly waiting for our next steps, with us going to orientation in late February, an embassy trip over the summer, and then finally leaving for 10-12 months around July-September.

Stick around to see our journey unfold, and not just the process of getting there, but the exchanges themselves!

-Written by Austin Tevis.


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