Winter a different experience for Brazilian exchange student
by Sandy Lindsay

March 1, 2017

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At 16, Nata Reichow has traveled halfway around the world as an exchange student from Brazil and is now in Saugeen Shores.

Reichow is part of the Rotary Club's international student exchange program and is attending Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) for one year.

Natan Reichow was interviewed by Adam Olivero of Bruce Telecom at the recent Rotary Winterama

Reichow is of German ancestry from a city of 300,000, Blumenau in subtropical Brazil and where there is a very high standard of living.

The Rotary program is a world-wide initiative where any young person from 16 to 18 can apply to travel abroad. There is a selection and interview process to determine if the student is mature enough to travel on his or her own and also to see if they are really interested in learning about another part of the world.

 Although grades do not have a bearing,  the program does require that young people have good values and communication skills. There are also conferences to attend that prepare both parents and students for what is known as the 'home-sick' period."

Reichow arrived in August and will stay with three Rotarian families in the area over the course of the year.  He is currently at the home of Rotarian Melinda Myette and her husband, Councilor Dave Myette.  The program is a learning experience designed to learn a new language and about a new culture while living with families where they are treated a family member.   

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The students also have the choice of three trips that they can make in North America during their stay.  Each family also tries to provide as many experiences as possible for the student, that they normally would not have.

Reichow said one of his favourites since he has been in Canada is downhill skiing which he experienced on a trip to Collingwood.  "I loved the downhill skiing and the snow is one thing that surprised me."

Reichow has been excelling in his grades at SDSS and, even in English a new language for him, has achieved an excellent mark.  He also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and French.

He returns home to Brazil at the end of July and, while here, has only had one episode of being 'homesick' and that was at Christmas.  "Christmas is family time," said Reichow, "and I missed my family."

Next year, he expects to be off to university in São Paulo in Brazil at the young age of 17. 

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017