By Michael Christianson
Every year one lucky student gets to experience the world from a new perspective as they travel to a new country to be a part of the Rotary Student Exchange.This school year Jackie Grandmont studied in France and she came to the Rotary meeting last week to talk all about her experiences.
Although her exchange was to France, Grandmont got to experience many more countries such as Prague and Italy while she was on the other side of the Ocean.Grandmont visited Vimy Ridge during the 100th anniversary of the battle but was not on hand for the ceremonies that featured Prime Minister Trudeau, she was off on her many trips while he was there.
When asked to recall her favourite memories three dates came to mind: her birthday where her parents visited, a day at the beach with a friend from Australia and a friend from New Zealand, and a trip to Mont Blanc with her friend from Australia where they touched snow for the first time. Grandmont says she learned a lot about the world during her time away from Canada.
“One of the main points for Rotary exchange is that it brings world peace and I really believe in that because I think when you meet someone from a different country than yours you realize that you are not at all that different. My best friend is from Peru. So you learn that even though you’re from different countries you are still 18-year-old high school students who do kind of the same thing, like to hang out with their friends, that kind of thing,” said Grandmont. Next up for the young Rotarian is returning to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly) in Riding Mountain Nation Park. Grandmont attended the retreat for three years in high school and now she returns as a counsellor.