Magda from Austria Testimony

My Exchange Year- Article
I arrived in Minneapolis St. Paul on August 15th, to a warm welcome from the Olson’s, Kevin and Tessa Makepeace. As smoothly as my arrival went, the next couple of weeks did too. In the summer holidays we did fun things like visiting Minneapolis, experiencing the one and only Renaissance Fair and trying our way through the State Fair, where I had my first Corn Dog ; )
The High School experience was as exciting and scary as I hoped it would be. Now, after almost 8 months, I can definitely say I know my way around the school building! But the first few moths I was lost. Luckily,  I made friends soon enough, who knew the way to our next class. I think one of the coolest things in school were the Pep Fests, I always loved those.
In shorts my host sister and I ran into the school building, since it was freezing outside (sometimes up to -22°F); but performing and singing with our choir “Una Voce” warmed my heart and brought joy to my soul. The choir concerts, meetings and retreats always were a lot of fun and made me grow musically and vocally a lot. At the end of the year, Rotary payed for me to take violin lessons and improve my skills. Liz Decker helped me a lot erasing the mistakes I did and taught me techniques I didn’t learn as a beginner.
If we weren’t too busy with school and work, Ruth Olson, Ann Maslansky-Takahashi, and me went for Sunday drives and just explored Minnesota. On those drives we stumbled across a Maple Syrup Workshop, Franconia and its open art gallery, Stillwater and the St. Croix River, many Dairy Queens, Osceola and a few more places.
I was lucky enough to even go snowboarding with the Fitzpatrick’s in Duluth and I was sitting in a Chevy Camaro (one of the most beautiful muscle cars)!!!


Hozuki from Japan Testimony

I’m Hozuki Sato,from 2520 district of Japan.  I studied abroad in Minnesota from 2019-2020.

Actually, I have never been to the United States before.  But I still remember what I was excited about.  At first, I couldn't understand English well, so I annoyed my host family, school teachers and friends by my English. However, thanks to everyone who listened and understood me kindly and seriously, I was able to improve my English in one year.

Also,I was also able to touch American culture.  I thought there are bigger events in the United States than in Japan.  Local events such as Halloween, Christmas, and Easter are very fun and impressive.  Everything was fresh and new to me when I went to famous places in Minnesota and heard about the history of Minnesota.  Above all, my host family, my friends and Rotary have made me happy and safe for a year.  Thank you very much.  I want to visit Minnesota someday.  See you again!