Three Rotary Exchange Students came to speak to Harbourside about their experiences. 
Tom Zsolnay introduced the Rotary Exchange Student Program to Harbourside.  The Youth Exchange started back in the 20s in Europe but caught on internationally.  Coordination of Youth Exchange is done at through the District.   Our district restricts individuals of 16-17 years old, which is more restrictive than the overall program , which is typically 16-19, this due to some US laws as our District crosses into the US from Canada.   The program needs more host families willing to take students for up to 3 months each.  The goal is to involve the student in your family life, including chores, not just be a tour guide.  Currently our club is hosting one student between the Victoria Club and other local clubs. 
Sasha was an exchange student to Japan in 2011-2012 and Rotary changed her life. Living in a different country, with different cultures & different languages, changed Sasha's approach to life.  Her confidence increased an amazing amount. Speaking in front of a group like this, for example, wouldn't have been something Sasha could have done and during her year away she had to do it repeatedly in a different language, no less.  Showing a student everything you can about your country is really what a student wants.  They want to be included and to learn from you and your family. Insist on welcoming kids into your family and give them an opportunity to contribute.   Thanks to Rotary, Sasha is now a Linguistics Major at UVic with a minor in Japanese. 
Sara is on exchange from Denmark to Parklands Secondary School and is sponsored by the Sidney By the Sea Club.   It has been a wonderful 2 months so far for Sara in Victoria.  Although she experienced some homesickness in the beginning, the club has been wonderful and meeting friends at school and other exchange students have made a big difference. At school, Sara is playing volleyball and taking physics.  She is essentially off of school for the year so she's here in Canada to learn and grow as much as she can.   She is excited for the experience here in Canada and can't wait to see who she will be at the end of this experience. 
Gionvana is on exchange from Brazil attending Esquimalt Secondary and is sponsored by the Victoria Club.  She came to Canada 2 months ago and was scared at first because everything is so new - the culture, people, language and school.  This is a great opportunity to see more and learn from new friends and new families.  At Esquimalt, Giovana is participating in both Volleyball and Rowing. She wants to enjoy every moment.