Osmar was an INbound exchange student from Switzerland in school year 2009 2010.  Here is Osmar’s story:

My name is Osmar Rojas, I was born and raised in Switzerland, my mum is from Bolivia (South America) and my dad from Guatemala (Central America). At the age of 15 I first thought about getting out of Switzerland and live for a year abroad. The reasons for that decision were Basketball ( I love Basketball and I wanted to experience High School Basketball) and just the wish of see more of the world and learn more about another culture.

I applied for it at the Rotary Organization and I got send to Canada. My first choice was the States but I knew I could go somewhere else… So I thought I am going to do the best out of it, wherever I go! But I have to say I was a little bit shocked when I first saw Grande Prairie’s little airport! Even though the city has a little airport, I spent a GREAT year in Grande Prairie.

My Rotary Club was very helpful, people took me to a lot of trips and they were very supportable. I tried to give something back to Rotary and the Community by doing volunteer work in School as a Basketball Coach and in my Rotary Club.

Right now, I can not think of any lows during my year, of course I was homesick at some times, but it never was a big issue, I found friends very fast and I was busy all the time.

One of the highs was of course Basketball season, I even got selected MVP of the team, that season meant a lot to me because my closest friends where from that Basketball team and it always had been my dream to play high school Basketball. Another high was going to the Canoe trip, or going to Vancouver to the Olympics, or going to Yellowknife, or going to the Shuswap…or, or, or… you see there were a lot of highs in my year, and that thanks to the lovely Canadian people of Rotary!

When I look back now, I realize I learned a lot of things. I got to know myself better, I realized what a great life I have and all the things I can do with it. I think an exchange year, is an experience you will never forget, I have friends I am still in contact with, I meet so many people, who taught me things about life, no teacher or school can show you.

A big thank you to Rotary, and especially my club of GP (the ‘Friday’ Club) but also the other two clubs of GP. Thank you for an unforgettable life experience!