Now I wasn't totally certain about this decision until October of 2009, but I'm glad I'm doing it. My older sister was an exchange student in Mexico, so I knew about Rotary since junior high. I was definitely interested in it. I think that is what really opened my eyes to foreign exchange. I applied in November with the hopes of being placed in Russia. Though it didn't work out with Russia (they aren't accepting RYE students this year), I was placed in an equaly -or more- fascinating country, Estonia.
I am very fortunate to be doing this, especially with Rotary. I'm not trying to sound cheesy, but seriously. Rotary is awesome. They really do help you as much as they can. They supply you with all of the knowledge you need to be a foreign exchange student and they let us meet with the inbounds, other outbounds, and rebounds. So much insight with this process and it's so helpful.
Whenever I mention my exchange to people, I always get the same reaction. Wide-eyed, head nods, and "uh-huh.. wow!" I know they have no idea where this country is, most people don't. So instead of typing up a whole geography lesson, I have posted a map. I just hope you all know where Latvia, Finland, Baltic Sea, and Russia are. :)
*Skype was invented there.
*They have the best preserved Old Town in the Baltic Area.
*The capital, Tallinn, will be awarded the Cultural Capital of Europe.
*Estonian language is not related to Russian at all. It's close to Finnish and Hungarian. So it is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. Wish me luck ;)
*The Singing Revolution. It's incredible. You all should read about it; watch some youtube videos about it.. very interesting.