My name is Jessie Hsuan, I’m a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Taiwan. There are 4 Sioux Falls Rotary clubs; South, Downtown, West, and North. They created a consortium to help support the 5610 Youth Exchange program.
I had 2 host families while staying in Sioux Falls. My first host family was Sarah and Mark Sinnott from Sioux Falls South. I spent most of the time with them because they don’t have kids. They were able to take me out for road trips or out of the state. I’ve been to a lot of states and cities other then South Dakota because of them, I was the luckiest exchange student to have them as my host family!
My second host family was totally different from the first one. Tony and Brenda Nour, they’re members from Sioux Falls Downtown. They have 4 kids, the oldest is a boy - 11 years old, the second oldest is also a boy who’s 8 years old. The third and fourth are both girls, they’re 6 and 3 years old. It was a brand new experience to me because I’ve never lived with any younger kids before I came here. I thought it would be tough for me to live with kids but turned out they’re smart kids and I enjoyed spending time with them. The two boys and I sometimes played basketball together in the driveway. The boys and my host dad love basketball, so we often went to local universities’ basketball games. I love the kids and they made me into a better sister as well.
I enjoyed making new friends at Lincoln High School, I’m so grateful that I joined the cheerleading squad and got to learn something that I didn’t have a chance to do before. My teammates and coaches were so nice to me after knowing I was a foreign exchange student. They’ve taught me a lot, and I appreciate it. Cheerleading will be a part of my most important memory that I’ll never forget here.
I’m really grateful and glad that I have had this opportunity to be an exchange student through Rotary Youth Exchange. There was only me and the other exchange student from Indonesia in all of District 5610, it would have been great for other students interested in Rotary Youth Exchange to have more options and opportunities throughout the U.S. I hope to continue to grow and learn with Rotary pride and knowledge. Thanks to every single person who I’ve met in the US. My exchange year wouldn’t have been so absolutely amazing if it wasn’t for you all! I love America!