Portales High School student Isaac Brown will be traveling to Germany courtesy of the Portales Rotary Club's revived youth exchange program.
The program, administered through Rotary International, sends students abroad for one year. While Brown, 16, is sponsored to go to Jessen, a town about 20 miles outside of Berlin. Portales will be host to an incoming female student from Brazil.
According to Rotary officials, the program's purpose is to raise cultural awareness in the community and help establish world peace by building human bridges between countries.
Brown is a tennis player and a member of Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA). He plans on receiving an engineering degree from New Mexico State University.
He will leave Sept. 1 for Jessen and says he's extremely excited for this opportunity.
What is your involvement with the rotary and how were you selected?
My mom knew about the youth exchange and she suggested it to me. I was selected from several students. During the selection process, we had a weekend where we went to the Carlsbad Caverns. We were tested to see if we'd do well overseas. We were also tested on how well we socialize in a group setting.
What do you know about Germany so far and what do you plan to learn before you leave?
I speak some German but it's not a requirement. I'm hoping to learn more about the country before I leave, but I already know a fair amount about Germany. I know that the public transportation is wonderful and it will easily be able to transport me about the town. I also know that waving the German flag is frowned upon except inside of a city building or at events such as sports competitions.
What are three things you're looking forward to about this trip?
z Meeting my new host parents.
- Going to Germany of course and experiencing all of what Germany has to offer including the culture and food.
- Oktoberfest. I'll get to eat bratwurst.
Other than basic necessities, what are three things you plan to take with you to Germany?
- I'm going to be taking gifts for my host family.
- I'm going to take my Nintendo DS for the trip there.
- I'll take my New Mexican horny toad figurine because it's from New Mexico and it's pretty cool.
What do you hope to get out of this experience?
I hope to know more about Germany and I hope to come back here being fluent in German. I hope to probably bring back some neat German memorabilia.
How does this trip benefit your future career goals?
After this trip I'll be most likely be bilingual. I'll probably be able to be a bit more independent because I'll get to move between three host families during that year. This experience will also look great on my resume.