Eden is our Youth Exchange Student studying in Brazil.

Hi Randy,


My time in Brasil so far has truly been the experience of a lifetime. I am currently 7 months and a few days into my 10 month exchange here and I have already learned so much. Apart from the language skills I have acquired, I have also learned so much about myself as a person and the world on a larger scale. Living apart from my family and friends has certainly been a learning experience. I have learned to be more independent but also how to ask for help when I need it. Leaving my oldest friends behind, I have learned to make new friendships while maintaining those back home.


As we learned in our district training the first months of my exchange were certainly the hardest. Each day trying to communicate through the language barrier is exhausting and I had days where I thought about giving up. However, I knew that if I kept working at it, eventually my Portuguese would improve- and it did! By the time Christmas came around I was speaking well with my family and friends and was able to fully enjoy the holiday season in Brasil! On New Year's eve I participated in the famous Sao Silvestre 15km road race in Sao Paulo city. After lots of hard work I ended up coming in 2nd place for my age division! A few weeks later I departed from Sao Paulo to take part in a 23 day trip to the Northeast of Brasil. Spending 23 days with 50 other exchange students from all around the world was one of the greatest experiences of my life. (Thank you Rotary!!). In February I celebrated my 18th birthday with my friends and family. My mom made me a beautiful cake and my friends from school had a surprise party for me during class! It was a truly unforgettable day for me. In the beginning of March all of Brasil stopped for 5 days to celebrate Carnaval. I spent one day in a city called Sao Luiz de Paraitinga where the traditional street parties are famous. The rest of Carnaval I spent with 3 other exchange students in a city close to where I live. I switched host families for the first time just a week later. Saying goodbye to my first family was very hard, I have grown to love them so much! I just got settled in to my second family when I left for my second trip, this time to the South of Brasil! Again I made so many new friends and by the end of the 12 days it truly felt like I was part of a big, crazy, exchange student family! 


I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone at home for giving me this amazing opportunity here in Brasil. I am truly grateful for all the hard work you guys have done and continue to do at home so I can take part in this program. District 6330 and the Rotary Club of London are the best!

Eden is second from left directly behind the YE student in blue.