After spending her sophomore year in Spain, Lindsay Steffes returned to Steinbrenner with both a fresh sense of maturity and newfound appreciation for English.
Steffes left for Spain the summer prior to her sophomore year after dealing with an extensive application process to the
Rotary Program. Going to her first choice country was a lucky opportunity, given that the Rotary Program chooses the destination for the student after reviewing their application.
“They decide what country you go to; sometimes you don’t even get your top five choices,” said Steffes.
On her application, she described how she continuously mentioned her desire to go to Spain, and the Spanish classes she took in school. She thinks this increased her chances of the program choosing Spain.
Steffes discovered the Rotary Program after being informed by a family member who previously participated.
“I heard about the Rotary Program from my cousin who did it about four years ago and ever since then it was just something I really wanted to do,” said Steffes.
After departing for Spain, Steffes found some difficulties during her trip.
“I think the hardest part of Spain was changing host families three times. The Rotary Program does it automatically. It’s in case any students get a bad family that they don’t want to stay with anymore,” said Steffes.
In the end, the benefits far outweighed the drawbacks. She explained how going to Spain gave her a chance to mature and expand her knowledge of Spanish.
“Going to Spain by myself really let me grow up. I couldn’t rely on anyone but myself,” said Steffes.
The biggest tip she wanted to give to others thinking about taking part of the Rotary Program is always speaking in the country’s language.
“Don’t speak English to other people that speak English. That’s how you delay yourself in learning a language,” said Steffes.
Steffes is currently completing her classes for junior year at Steinbrenner, splitting the workload between three classes at school and the rest on virtual school.
“I had to do the same curriculum as they did in Spain. In Spain, the 8th graders will choose their major and finish that all throughout college. I studied humanities the whole year I lived in Spain,” said Steffes. She took great interest in the subject and wants to pursue it in the future.
Steffes will finish high school at Steinbrenner and has no immediate plans to return to Spain, but is thankful for the opportunity she had.
Sam Bequer / News Editor