Dana Filsinger, The Rotary Club of Jamestown's recent foreign exchange student to Peralta, Spain, spoke to the club about her adventures in 2011-12 as an overseas ambassador for the Jamestown group in the Navarra region of that country.
Peralta is a small town of 5,000 to 7,000 people, two hours from the French border, and which hosts a 15th century church. Dana was the first exchange student to that community. She shared photos of the region and its fiestas, local vegetables and seafood, castles and the running of the bulls in Pamplona. While in Spain, she remained with one host family, took a trip to Paris and enjoyed the warmth and friendship of the locals and became fluent in the language.
Dana returned to the United States and attended Jamestown Community College for three months. While there, she had the opportunity to return to Valladolid, Spain, to teach English. This experience was different from the first as she had gained the previous experience with the language and the culture. She credits her year as a Rotary exchange student with giving her the confidence to pursue an opportunity to do something she had never done before - teach.
Dana Filsinger, left, Rotary Club exchange student to Peralta, Spain, is greeted by Bill Tucker, Rotary president, after her presentation about her exchange to the club.
Rotary is an international service club with more than 1.2 million members worldwide, and one of its missions is to promote peace and understanding throughout the planet. The local club sends two students overseas each year. Contact any Rotarian for more information.