R Ricardo introduced Rochelle. Rochelle went to a very different culture and language. She struggled early with home sickness and changes at home as well such as death of her grandmother.
Rochelle showed us couple videos of her year in Taiwan, including trip to capital city for new years, also trip to north of the country during time off in February.
She had some challenges:
Home sickness first couple months - bad
Language barrier, not a lot of people speak english
Living in a Big City - 445,600 people
Food - lots of rice, noodles and spicy meats
Host families and issues at home
Coming home
However, she persevered, made friends and became just below fluent in Mandurin. She also learned to write Chinese.
Her home city was Hsinchu, known as the Wind City. She said it was windy. Also hot and humid, even in rain. Their winter only went as low as 20 degrees C.
Her school had 3,000 students, 7 program streams. She was in English stream. There were 45 kids in her class. They went to school 7:30 am to 5pm and then local kids went to Cram classes 5:30 to 10pm. At school they had about 50 clubs students participated in. She did archery and photography.
She was with her first host family for 9 months. They didn't speak much English and worked a lot. She stayed with second host family only a month (February).
They don't celebrate Christmas in Taiwan, but Rotary had a party. However, she had to give a 4 minute speech in Chinese. They danced and had dinner.
Before coming home, she took Rotary 7 day tour around the Country, visiting all the Cities. They stayed in 5 star hotels to hostels.
On the positive side:
She grew a lot.
She has a more worldly view and doesn't want to stay in Brighton.
She learned a lot.
She has International friends.
Experiences that will be remembered for a life time.
She has future connections.
She matured.
She stretched out of her comfort zone.
Learned she is a stronger person than she knew.
She is very grateful for opportunity.