Rotary gives Taiwanese student Albertan education | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Rotary gives Taiwanese student Albertan education

    On December 12, inSide Drumheller sat down with Rosemary Kean, from the Drumheller Rotary Club, and Amber Lin, an exchange student from Taiwan attending DVSS.
How does the Rotary exchange program work?
Rosemary: Amber came from a Rotary Club in Taiwan and we’ve sent Alana Augart to Belgium for the year. We sign up for it and we only do it every two years, because there’s quite a bit of expense involved.
    Amber will live with different Rotarian families while she’s here, usually for three months at a time. That way she gets to experience the culture here, but through different families.
So Amber, why did you want to come to Canada for your exchange?
Amber: Because in Taiwan when I was in Grade 10 my life was not good. I was upset with myself, so one day my mom asked me if I want to be an exchange student. So I said yes. It would be a chance to  treat myself. So I came to Canada.
Were there any other choices of where to go?
Amber: Before Canada, I thought about going to Sweden, but there weren’t any Rotary Clubs doing exchanges there.
Rosemary: Rotary Clubs sign up and depending on the Rotary Club and their location they put the kids wherever. They give the kids a choice somewhat, but they never know until a month or two before they leave.
Compared  to back home, what are things you have found surprising or have enjoyed the most?
Amber: The snow! I’ve never seen snow before I came to Canada, so it’s a new experience for me.
Must be pretty cold though?
Amber: Haha! The weather is so cold.
Rosemary: She was cold in September when it was six or seven degrees in the morning when I was taking her to school. She was frozen!
That’s T-shirt weather!
Rosemary: Well she’s starting to become acclimatized.
So are you going to try your hand at any of the winter sports here?
Amber: I would really like to try, but I haven’t had a chance to go skiing yet.
Rosemary: I’ve taken her to a couple hockey games. She’s never seen it before.
What has school been like here compared to back home?
Amber: The schedule here is easy and simple. In Taiwan you go to school at seven o’clock in the morning and leave at five o’clock in the afternoon. Your life is just full of studying, going to class, and taking tests. It’s not fun.
    School here has many options, like cooking or drama. It’s good for students to do what they like to do. In Taiwan we don’t have many options, we just take the school schedule.
What are some of your favourite classes?
Amber: I think it’s the cooking class.
Did you get many compliments from the Seniors Dinner you helped cook last Thursday at the DVSS?
Amber: Yeah, it was fun.
What are some of the things you like most about Drumheller so far?
Amber: I’ve been to the Tyrrell, it was great.
    There’s not very many houses here. In Taiwan there’s tonnes of houses stuck together, and the street is not beautiful. Here, there’s lots of plants and trees, it looks beautiful.
    The people here are so friendly to me and to everyone. Everyone knows each other and are so kind and friendly.
Have you had a chance to go to Calgary or Edmonton?
Amber: Yup.
Rosemary: She went to Zoolights last weekend. Other Rotary exchange students got together last weekend, stayed in Calgary and got to go. Amber said it was so romantic.
After July you go home, would you want to come back?
Amber: Yeah, for sure. But, I’m not sure I’ll have the chance or time to come back, because the school schedule in Taiwan is hard. But if I can I will.
What have some of the host families learned from Amber?
Rosemary: Well it’s been a lot of fun to show her our area, the snow. For example we took her to the corn maze, and she had never seen that before. It’s fun to see Canada through her eyes. Like, stuff you take for granted all the time.
    I think she’s a pretty brave girl to come all the way here, to stay with people she didn’t even know.

The Drumheller Mail encourages commenting on our stories but due to our harassment policy we must remove any comments that are offensive, or don’t meet the guidelines of our commenting policy.