Ro­tary ex­change stu­dent wrap­ping up time in Drumheller

The Drumheller Mail - - MAIL WORKS! - Terri Hux­ley The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

Drumheller Ro­tary Club pre­pares to say farewell to Pol­ish ex­change stu­dent Iga Rodziewicz (18).

After ar­riv­ing back in Au­gust of last year, Rodziewicz has trav­elled all over the west­ern half of the world with an im­mense amount of knowl­edge to take back with her.

Come July 18, Iga will fi­nally be mak­ing her way home back to the small city of Grudzi­adz, Poland.

“It was an amaz­ing time for sure, I spent a lot of time with my host fam­i­lies, with ex­change stu­dents, and peo­ple from school,” said Rodziewicz.

For the ma­jor­ity of her stay, Rodziewicz was taken un­der Ro­tar­ian Tracy Kakuk and her hus­band‘s wing. They have a fam­ily with young adults roughly the same age as her, mak­ing the stay much more en­joy­able.

“She fit right in,” said Kakuk. “There was no prob­lem right off the bat.”

Rodziewicz trav­elled all over North and South Amer­ica in­clud­ing much of Canada like Que­bec, On­tario, and Bri­tish Columbia. She has also trav­elled down to Cal­i­for­nia, Mex­ico, and Guan­tanamo aside from Al­berta with mul­ti­ple host fam­i­lies.

“There were lots of things to do all year,” said Rodziewicz. “All year was the best year of my life – I’m so ap­pre­cia­tive of my par­ents, they gave me an op­por­tu­nity to be here, to make new friends, to see all their coun­try’s and I just want to thank ev­ery­one who took care of me, who are tak­ing care of me still.”

She was able to save up enough money to travel, none of which was paid for by fam­ily.

“When I de­cided to do it, it was a big process. I did all pa­per­work, Visa’s and stuff – it was so hard but when I came last year in Au­gust, it was un­be­liev­able that I came here,” said Rodziewicz.

Be­fore she has a chance to leave, the fam­ily will take her to the Pas­sion Play and the Cal­gary Stam­pede.

Over the year, Rodziewicz’s English had also no­tice­ably im­proved.

“She spoke good English when she came but it’s a lot bet­ter now,” said Kakuk. “We had a lot of fun cor­rect­ing her.”

At first, Rodziewicz had ap­plied for Cal­gary and was dis­ap­pointed to find out she was placed in Drumheller.

“She was kinda quite up­set when she wasn’t go­ing to be in Cal­gary, she was go­ing to be in Drumheller but after be­ing here, she is glad that she got to come to Drumheller and not Cal­gary,” said Kakuk.

Over­all, Rodziewicz has grown im­mensely since the be­gin­ning and will trea­sure the year for­ever.

“I think I am more ma­ture and more out­go­ing and I haven’t got this bar­rier, it was hard for me, now it’s easy after all year,” said Rodziewicz. “It’s go­ing to be hard to say good­bye to ev­ery­one.” The two fam­i­lies plan to meet with the Kakuk’s trav­el­ling to Poland in Septem­ber.

Iga Rodziewicz (cen­tre) holds up her coun­try’s flag along­side her friends who she has met dur­ing her year long jour­ney across North and South Amer­ica through the Ro­tary Club.

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