Written by: Aymen Sherwani and Malaika Abid – Grade 10
Humans of Pearson is a series of interviews with students and staff with the goal of showcasing the diverse individuals that make up our school. We all have a story to share about our struggles and successes. We are all humans, so let’s treat each other with dignity and respect.
Meet Eduardo Garcia, Pearson’s one and only student who is part of the Rotary International student exchange program. The Rotary Youth Exchange, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, is an organization which allows secondary school students to live in a different country for one year, living with ‘host families’ and meeting other students part of the Rotary Youth Exchange.
In an interview with the school press, Garcia had many things to say about his experiences in and prior to the rotary club, alongside coming to Calgary. Overall, propagating that it has been the best experience of his life, advising many to join.
“I have a sister, who went on exchange to Denmark a few years ago, so I kind of followed her in the steps of the rotary thing,” Eduardo states. “There are some things that you know are going to happen.”
According to our very accommodative interviewee, the Venezuelan school system is not exactly the mirror reflection of the Canadian schooling. “Back home, we didn’t really have options, or clubs like drama. Everyone had the same schedule.” Then proceeded to explain that students were given “pathways” in school, which would lead to their career of choice, thus, the vigorousness reinforces the tight schedule.
Being the very “Calgarian-centric” (Is that a term? It is now.) individuals we are, we wanted to know which school-system was “better”, however, Eduardo had remained neutral to the question. Don’t worry, we still know the real answer to that question. Hint: Calgary.
So far, the rotary program looks very promising! You are enabled to travel, meet other international students and take a look into the average lifestyle of someone across the globe. Despite this, there still are some down sides to this equation.
“I miss my culture, like what I used to see every day, certain things that I was accustomed to… my family. Before I came here, I was told to have every situation and make it mine, and to try my best…but you can learn about another country, different perspectives about that country. You think that the whole world is watching you. But here, it’s not like that at all. You get to learn about all of them. It really opens your mind.”
Our interview with Eduardo Garcia also opened our eyes to how compact, yet intricate the world is. Pearson is a welcome home to all exchange students.
For more information: https://www.rotary.org/en/get-involved/exchange-ideas/youth-exchanges