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Rebound exchange student, Alicia Kensit shared her adventures, challenges and triumphs of her exchange year in Mexico. 

 

Welcome Home Alicia Kensit

There is no greater force in the promotion of peace than the understanding and respect of different cultures.  The world becomes a smaller, friendlier place when we learn that all people – regardless of race or ethnic origin – desire the same basic things.  The Rotary Youth Exchange Program offers this opportunity and BEL Rotary Youth Exchange student Alicia Kensit found this out first hand during her year living in Mexico. 

The Lakefield District Secondary School student spent the past year living with three different families, attending school, immersing herself in the culture and the language, and gaining a deep love and respect for the people she grew to think of as family.  

Alicia returned to the BEL Rotary Club and shared her insight into the value of having the opportunity to get to know another culture, other points of view and ways of life and of sharing her own culture.  She believes that if you get to know others, “my friend Josh from Brazil, Hector from Italy or Monique from Germany, it is hard to hate”.  “Living in another country provides you with so many wonderful experiences and opportunities, challenges and triumphs.  I learned about another culture and that things aren’t necessarily what we see on the surface, but people the world over need and want the same things.  I learned to accept and to be accepted, to respect and to be respected and to understand and be understood.  Most importantly I learned about myself” said Kensit.

Alicia ended by thanking the club for giving her the precious gift of a year in another country; something she really can’t find the words to express her feelings for.