A Nice Thank You from an Outbound Student

September 29, 2009

Dear members of the Northfield Rotary Club:

Ahoj! I am writing to you from Český Krumlov , Czech Republic with greetings of gratitude. Thus far my experience has been perfectly eclectic, which happens to be my word of the trip. I am not writing to you to summarize my trip so far, or to list off the countless things I’ve done, people I’ve seen, or even places I have been. That is what my blog is for :) so if you are interested, it is <> it is the best way for me to keep in touch with everyone. But needless to say, it has already exceeded my expectations in every way.

To continue my previous thought, I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has contributed their time and efforts to making the Youth Exchange Program a success. Prior to my departure, Rotary just seemed like the big brother hanging around to sort of give me a little push off the diving board and into the world. I was not prepared for the endless support I have received here and from back home. It truly does encompass the exchange student with the feeling of an international community, and a commitment to the youth of the world. I have been truly amazed at the care and effort my Rotary Club (both here and back home) have taken to make my experience the best it could possibly be. Everyone has gone above and beyond my basic comfort needs to surround me with love and support as I continue to explore the possibilities of Europe and feed my passion for…the world.

Yes, that was very simply put, but you must understand the sheer passion that has overtaken me ever since I have arrived here. I suddenly find myself diving into the study of not one new language, but three. Finding myself constantly flipping on CNN, asking questions about the developing politics of the Czech Republic , and sharing my experiences with people from all over the world. I believe it is experiences like these, the ones that provoke the mind and infuse a passion into the hearts of youth is what makes establishments like Rotary International all the more worthwhile.

Furthermore, this experience (and how young the trip still is! today is only my one month marker :) is already strengthening my desire to pursue the field of International Relations in my collegiate career. I believe that my time spent here will serve as the foundation for many more years of study and passionate curiosity for the world around me.

So I am writing to say “děkuj” and I hope all of you will continue to follow my blog…it has been extremely helpful for me to collect my thoughts and process my experiences every once in a while, and I love sharing them with you! I feel as though I am personally connected to every single one of you in some way now; we are linked by a common desire to connect the world, to fuse cultures, and to create everlasting relationships all over the globe.

Thank you again. In fact, I thank you on behalf of all of the other Outbound Students from Northfield…we have all been able to stay in touch with one another and it is truly amazing to see how unique each experience is to each person. We are all grateful for the incredible opportunities you have already provided us with this year, and the knowledge and passion that will enable us to affect change on the world in the years to come. We could not be more blessed.

Rachael Stets

NHS ’09 Graduate

Czech Republic