by Lucie Roy
Victoria Kentfield just returned from her one year stay in Oulu Finland. Kentfield was living in Finland as part of the Youth Rotary Exchange (RYE) program.
Kentfield learned about Finland’s culture by being immersed for the year experiencing culture, cuisine, and traditions.
During the exchange, Kentfield lived with three different host families.
The families she was paired with were exceptional, making her exchange a wonderful experience and the third family had lived in Toronto for a year.
Kentfield said she saw lots of places and countries, went to Russia, saw Russian Ballet, Sweden, Lapland and went on a two and half week Euro tour.
She spoke of the hot saunas that locals enjoyed and taking a dip in cold water.
Kentfield recommends to those that have the opportunity to go on an exchange to do so and not worry so much about which country to go to. “At the end of the day it is about the experience,” Kentfield said.
She said to go into everything with an open mind and be willing to try everything. On a trip she tried snowboarding while another exchange student tried skiing.
After a summary of her trip to Rotary members on Wednesday morning, Kentfield was presented with cans of Alpha-Getti that she missed while in Finland.
On hand for the welcome and presentation was Rotary Youth Exchange Chair Noreen Radford, her Mom Kerry Kentfield and Rotary President Milissa Kilian.
The RYE program aims to broaden outlooks by giving students sufficient time to learn about another country and its’ culture, as well as share the culture of their home country. Students act as ambassadors for their own country.