Hannah Davitt and Emmie Dalton, Rotary youth exchange students, return from their year-long journey abroad. Photo by Celine Wallace

Hannah Davitt, Emmie Dalton share experience of their life-changing trip 

The Humble Rotary Club is a proud sponsor of six Rotary youth exchange students this year. Two returning students, Hannah Davitt and Emmie Dalton, spoke at the July 19 meeting to share their year-long experiences in a new country, including having to learn a new language and culture and becoming a global citizen.
Both of the young women graduated from high school in May 2016 and delayed attending college for a year in order to take on this unique opportunity.
Dalton, 19, who will be attending Pepperdine University in the fall, was able to spend a year in Liege, Belgium. She lived with three host families. Her first host family was where she started learning French, along with attending school and an extra French class two days a week.
Dalton enjoyed her extra class because her classmates were also exchange students that were learning French as a second language. “It was really cool to hear their stories and experiences in learning the language, as well as sharing the same struggles of moving to a new country,” Dalton said.
Although living in Belgium, Dalton was still able to travel with her host family to Rome for Christmas and went to Berlin with other exchange students.
Dalton joked, “After exchange, I now feel more independent and now know how to use public transportation by myself.” She concluded her talk by thanking the Rotary members for their support in her times of need and said she could not have done it without them.
Davitt, who will be attending the University of Texas-Austin in the fall, spent a year in France. She spoke about how she first arrived in the country with the language level of a toddler. With her host families, she was able to expand her vocabulary of the French language.
Davitt said, “Host families are the backbone of exchange. They are your first point of view into the culture, your support and your comfort in the new country.”
Davitt said that upon leaving her French class, she received a card written in different languages from fellow students that translated to “After the verb to love, the verb to help is the most beautiful verb in the world.”
Davitt then thanked everyone at Rotary who funded her classes abroad.
Both students will be majoring in international business in college. They are thankful for the opportunity this trip abroad has given them – to learn a new culture and language – giving them a readiness for their future career studies.
Davitt and Dalton highly encourage students interested to apply for Rotary exchange because of the life-changing experience.
Susan Brodbeck, head of the Humble Rotary youth exchange, said, "In September and October, we bring presentations to high schools and interested students will meet us for another meeting with their parents. We recruit students by their applications, essay submission and club interviews that lead to district interviews. We search for students with good behavior and a readiness to immerse in a new culture," she said.
The year abroad costs around $6,000 and the summer program $400, not including airfare.
If interested in applying or becoming a host family to an exchange student, contact Brodbeck at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

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