Rotary opening doors to CF grads: Junior prepares to study in France next year

In the following academic year, junior Katia Haugstad will be studying abroad in in France through the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

Inspired through others who have gone abroad through this program and the opportunity to explore another culture, Haugstad’s decision to partake in the program came easy.

Haugstad said, “I’ve always wanted to travel and see the world, and studying abroad is something that I was sure I would do, whether in college or high school. I know a lot of exchange students who claim that their exchange years were the best years of their lives. Seeing someone I know, Allie Taiber, go abroad made me realize that I, too, could go on a foreign exchange. I think right after high school is a great time to do so.”

Despite Haugstad’s high school career ending a year early, she has been able to use this opportunity to take part in additional activities and academic opportunities.

“Choosing to study abroad next year has not affected my junior year in regard to classes and credits. I was fortunate enough to have already accumulated enough credits to graduate by the end of this year. If anything, I have started to appreciate and take advantage of more school opportunities knowing that this year is my last at Cedar Falls.”

With the decision to study abroad, Haugstad has been experiencing a mixture of excitement and concerns for the following year.

“Because I am by no means fluent in French, I am worried about the language barrier. However, I have begun to prioritize learning French, and I am prepared to work hard to polish my language skills before I leave. Overall, I’m excited about meeting new people and being immersed in French.”

In addition to Haugstad’s personal excitement for the upcoming year, family and friends have consistently shown enthusiasm and support.

“My friends and family have been nothing but positive. My family is thrilled for me, and I’m thankful that they are so supportive. My friends are equally as accepting of my decision, and they think that the opportunity I have to live in France is quite unique.”

As Haugstad prepares for a new journey approaching, she carries excitement and hope for what the country of France has to offer.

“My hope is that being abroad will teach me a lot about myself and how I want to impact the world. I’m excited to learn about an entirely new culture and language and form connections with people from all walks of life.”

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