St. A’s stu­dent se­lected for Ro­tary Ex­change to Poland

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Kyle Smylie The Drumheller Mail

One of St. An­thony’s top stu­dents will be off to Poland next Septem­ber af­ter be­ing rec­og­nized for her hard work and open­ness by the Drumheller Ro­tary Club.

Veron­ica Felisilda, Grade 11, was se­lected for the Ro­tary Ex­change pro­gram to study in Poland for her Grade 12 year next year, but Felisilda said the choice of the east­ern Euro­pean coun­try was a bit of a sur­prise.

“I was ask­ing ‘why Poland?’ My top choices were France, Italy, and Spain. I didn’t know any­thing about Poland ex­cept per­o­gies and sausage, so it’s time for me to ex­plore and learn more about the cul­ture and lan­guage,” says Felisilda, who’s al­ready hit­ting the Pol- ish lan­guage books and online cour­ses and re­search­ing so­cial norms and faux pas.

“She in­ter­viewed very well and was well- spo­ken and open minded,” said the Ro­tary Club’s Michelle Ken­dell.

Along with her grades and her in­volv­ment in the Drumheller Fil­lipino So­ci­ety, and open minded qual­ity of hers that Ro­tary saw is ac­tu­ally the ex­act rea­son Felisilda is look­ing for­ward to the ex­change, which will have her com­plet­ing a year of Grade 12 in Po- land be­fore com­ing back to Drumheller for an­other year of Grade 12 school­ing to re­ceive her di­ploma.

“My older brother was my in­spi­ra­tion – he stud­ied in Ja­pan and I saw his growth. He be­came very open minded and it in­spired me, that I wanted to be like that and ex­plore and learn. There’s a lot hap­pen­ing in the world,” said Felisilda.

Although she doesn’t know yet if univer­sity is in her fu­ture, Felisilda said she is in a good spot to fig­ure out what path she wants to fol­low.

“I think meet­ing peo­ple (in Poland) will help me find out what I want to do, through talk­ing with dif­fer­ent peo­ple and see­ing a new cul­ture and how they do things.”

Felisilda, who is orig­i­nally from the Phillip­ines, says her ad­just­ment to Canada will help her get used to Poland, too.

The Ro­tary Youth Ex­change is a study-abroad op­por­tu­nity which sees more than 8,000 stu­dents aged 15-19 learn abroad. Ro­tary ar­ranges host fam­i­lies and room and board for the stu­dents, and lo­cal Ro­tary clubs pro­vide air­fare, in­surance, travel doc­u­ments, and spend­ing money.

Veron­ica Felisilda.... Ro­tary Ex­change stu­dent

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