How were you chosen to represent Rotary?
There was an extensive application and interview process.
The application is 18 pages long not including the required three-page letter to your host family, and I had to be interviewed by Bruce Stebbins, a member of the local Baldwinsville Rotary Club. Once I had been sent to the district level by Mr. Stebbins, I had to go to a four-hour interview where we are sent from room to room by Rotarians being grilled about what we would do in different situations we encounter while on our exchange.
About two months later, I got a letter saying that I scored high enough to go to my first choice, Japan.
How did it feel being selected for this unique opportunity?
I was really excited. I knew the letter was coming, so I sprinted home. Then I found out I got the country I wanted, so I sprinted back up to the school and was jumping up and down running into any classrooms that had anyone I knew in them and telling everyone that I was accepted for Japan.
How did you decide upon Japan as your host country?
Once I decided to do an exchange, I wanted to get the most out of the experience, and I think that the Japanese culture is incredibly different from our own.
Have you met/talked to your host family?
I have exchanged e-mails with my host mother, and from what I could translate, she seems like a very nice lady and I'm very excited to meet her.
What are you most excited about?
I'm trying to keep an open mind about the whole experience. There isn't really anything in particular that I'm looking forward to, but I'm really excited about the experience. I think that it is going to change my perspective on life in ways that I don't even understand yet.