Testimonial - Sophie Southerland

My name is Maddie Ziegler and I was one of the lucky students who was chosen to be a part of the Rotary Student Exchange.

On the 1st of April, my journey began, I was both excited and nervous as I was uncertain of what this experience may hold.

What can I say I had the time of my life and couldn’t have asked for a better family to share my experience with. I spent 3 months living in the town of Timaru situated 2hrs from Christchurch on the South Island. My host family took me to some of the most breathtaking places; I was able to see Mount Cook in all its glory and how many 16-year-olds can say that.

As a part of the exchange, I attend a week safari in Queenstown. This week was design for all the Australians on the South Island to come together and get to know one another. This was one of the highlights of my trip; I had a lot of fun and walked away with new friendships. I’m not going to lie it wasn’t all fun and games, I had my ups and downs. There were days when I just pined for things back home, my friends, family and most of all my things back home, my friends, family and most of all my sister.

I am so grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I have come away with thousands of unforgettable memories, photos and stories to share.

I would definitely recommend participating in a Student Exchange, you will walk away with new friendships, memories and will grow as a person. I know I definitely have.

Thank you again to everyone who made this experience possible.