Okay so my blog hasn't been much help about the process of applying for RYE and only has really been about my thoughts and feelings about LIFE in general.
ANY OF YOU WHO HAVE A SLIGHT INTEREST IN DOING THIS DO IT!
ANYBODY READING THIS APPLY EARLY AND IT'S A MUCH EASIER PROCESS FOR YOU AND YOUR ROTARY SPONSER CLUB!
So the application is about 15 pages long...WAIT don’t run off! ...yes it's long but you can get it knocked out in a weekend if you really tried hard enough. BE PREPARED...
THINK about where you want to go BUT don't have a set idea about a place or country you really want to go to. Odds are you probably will not get the country and if you do you'll probably be disappointed because of the set expections you had for your imaginary "vacation" country.
THINK about why you want to go on the exchange. Is it because you would like to be more culturally aware or decided to go a different educational path that not many people are doing?
I felt so lost during my application process because I thought I had to majorly impress people to get into the exchange program. YES, being impressive will most likely get you into the exchange program but I let that rule my perspective of how I should be at all times. What Rotarains really like is you being yourself most of all and showing that you have confidence in yourself means you will have confidence in going abroad.
You should familarize yourself with the FOUR D's because that's what you will be expected to follow on the exchange.
1. No Drinking
2. No Drugs
3. No Dating
4. No Driving (...why would you do this anyway?)
OH and if you are in the ohio-erie district you should know that there is a fifth one..... 5. NO DUMB STUFF
So after you have done your application, you will arrange to give it your Rotary club's district chair for youth exchange. They should email you about times and dates for the interview and that's the fun part!
THE INTERVIEW was nerve racking.
Be prepared to answer:
questions about your family and how you will feel about leaving them for ten months
curveball questions that might be a little personal
questions with "how will you deal with this is if happens"
BASICALLY be confident and be yourself.
OKAY so here's a concern that many people might have: MONEY
So I come from a divorce family of four years and yeah, money is not the best subject to bring up at the dinner table. Just imagine bringing up me leaving for ten months to a foreign country that nobody has heard about! and somebody needs to fund my little adventure. But if you REALLY want to do this you will find a way to do it.
Well if that is an issue for you, Rotary is very supportive and giving so get to know your Rotary club and address the fact that you might not have all the cash to dish out on your exchange. You don't know if you don't ask.
1. Exploring a new place and becoming more culturally aware
2. Setting yourself apart from people appyling to college
3. Having a new perspective and a new maturity that many of your classmates will not have because of what you experienced.
You must be thinking "what does this girl know? she hasn't even jumped on the plane yet!"
FYI: once you sign up for this program you sign up for immediate learning!
I have already met people from Germany, Thailand, France, Italy, Brazil, Chile and India! Just being with them for a weekend opened my prespective of how big the world is and how you bond with people who are going through what you are going through also!
Once you meet people at orientation and the big "oreintation" you find yourself making all these friends because EVERYBODY is going through the same thing you are and are about to make the biggest life changing move in your life...so far!
Rotary Youth Exchange can open up your whole entire life and even though I am not there yet, I can already tell you that my whole "future" has changed. I don't know what I want to do with my life right now except the exchange but this gives me hope that I'll have some purpose on this earth.
Enough with the basics....let's hear about my predepature life
As I might have mentioned, it is pretty overwhelming right now! My mom has been an angel to me with getting my forms organized and sending them to translators...GO MOM! And maybe I'll actually get to leave on time...anyway. In the beginning everything was so magical and dreamlike, very upbeat and inspirational. It seems that the past month has been very chaotic because of late forms and rushing to get things done.
I am reading "The New Global Student" and I absolutley love it! It make me what to go and do things I've always wanted to do. This is what I've been waiting for. I have been waiting for someone or something to totally agree with going against the current and not succumming to the traditional high school educational experience! I've always been about following your heart about your life and before this book I was being brainwashed by my evil school that I should be doing what everybody else is doing. (AP, IB and SATS!)
As I have said before I have no idea what I want to do with my life I know as of this year I am going to Croatia to start my new "global" education and find my undiscovered capabilities. This book is making me more excited about my future instead of depressing myself with the idea I'd be stuck as a "would you like fries with that" kinda of gal.
I know this year is going to be very difficult. My croatian dictionary is going to become my new best friend for all I know because I don't have a dang clue about Croatian.
So I kinda sorta finished my photo album for my host family and I ordered my backpack finally and I got a luggage set!! Now I just have to see how much luggage I can bring for the Swiss air lines.
So the iternary is pretty interesting! I get to fly to Chicago at 11:13 and have a six hour lay over!! WOOWho. But I atleast know one other Croat that is going to be there with me. Then We fly out of Chicago to Zurich Swis and have 45 minutes to get on the plane to Zagreb! Then at 1:10 I should arrive at the Zagreb airport to meet my lovely host family and possibly Rotary club members?
I still can't believe this is happening...hopefully once I get on the plane I'll realize that it's not a dream and hopefully not have a meltdown.
OKAY well this has been an entirely long post and don't expect this much when I get over there because I am sure that I will have a lot to do but I promise to at least update once a month!