Grace Braswell, a student at Mt. Juliet High School, will spend her junior year attending high school in France as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.
She and other students participating in the program were asked to submit a list of 10 countries where they would be willing to travel. Braswell listed France as her first choice. She will live and attend school in Blanzy, a town of approximately 6,000 people southeast of Paris, near the Italian border.
Braswell has been in frequent contact with her host family, who happen to have a teenage daughter the same age. Their daughter will come to the United States as an exchange student to study in Vermont. The family also has a younger son who will provide another new experience for Braswell - having a "little brother" for a year.
While in France, Braswell will take many of the same types of classes she would have at Mt. Juliet High School; however, with a few exceptions, most of them will be taught in French. Fortunately, she has studied the French language for two years with a teacher who grew up in France.
The Rotary Youth Exchange is an opportunity for students 15 to 19 years of age who are interested in studying abroad for one year and who have demonstrated leadership in their schools and communities, are flexible and willing to try new things, are open to cultural differences and who can serve as ambassadors for their own countries.
The Mt. Juliet Breakfast Rotary Club contributed $4,000 for Braswell to participate in the student exchange program.