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During her year on Rotary Youth Exchange Bérénice Perrin was faced with numerous challenges, had new experiences that she will miss, and leaned that there are things about North American life she won’t miss. She also learned more about herself in personal ways and realized that there are aspects of her life life in France that she can’t wait to do again.
On life in North America:
      I will miss winter in Kingston

During the Winter in Kingston I experienced curling, hockey, snow boarding, skating, snowshoeing, and the snow itself. Even though my city of Chaumont is in the N.E. part of France and we do get snow; the snow “is not magical” like Kingston. “I’ve seen the nature in the pretty winter, and enjoyed the snow as much as I could;”she said.

     I will miss the school spirit and my phys-ed class at Holy Cross High School

As you can tell sport is a big part of my life but “in France there is no school sport and school spirit like this and it was just so amazing to see the whole school cheering on the athletes.”

     The challenge of being away from home

The areas she spoke to were dealing with homesickness and even the transfer from one host to another, inducing another source of home-sickness. She learned you can miss the families you had grown used to.

     The challenge I had making friends

“Cross country,” she said,  “is an important sport for my exchange because I got to meet so many great people with whom I knew I was going to share values and an interest.”

     I won’t miss teenagers working so much after school and on weekends

The short days of winter inhibited socializing - nobody goes out. Also an inhibitor was because so many of her friends had jobs.

Some personal reflections on herself:

     I learned I need balance between staying busy and doing things with others and my ‘me’ time and sport time;

     I learned I need to lower my crazy high expectations for myself and others

Perrin also said “It is so important to do something and keep yourself busy throughout your whole exchange to really get the most of it and it is also a great way to get over the hard times.”

And on Getting back to France:

     I can’t wait to start Triathlon practice

     I can’t wait to have L’apero as well as long family meals

To gain a better appreciation of the life of a student on a Rotary Exchange watch Perrin's review of her 2022-23 year plus her reflections on the experience.