By Donna Shurr

Steven Mentzer was a Rotary Youth Exchange to Taipei, Taiwan from August 2013 to June 2014 spending the entire 2013-2014 school year at JingWen High School. 


Besides going to high school, Steven studied Chinese at Damzhiang College for the entire year.  He was also provided a culture class to learn Chinese Culture and helped his teacher teach English to his high school class. During his stay, Steven was able to travel the entire country of Taiwan, seeing cultural sites, museums and natural parks.  His exchange included staying with three host families, all with children.  This gave him the opportunity to see the variety of living situations in the country. Highlights of his visit included the opportunity to live the Chinese culture providing him with the best possible environment to learn Chinese. After only one year Steven considers himself fluent and enjoys having conversations with anyone who will share with him. Through this exchange program he also has met many students from around the world and has developed close friendships with international students not just from Taiwan.  Although Steven would like to return to Taiwan someday, this program has given him the desire to travel to other countries first. With the Rotary Exchange Program, students spend an entire year in preparation for travel by learning cultural awareness and bonding with other outbound and inbound students. Steven made many presentations in Chinese to his school and many Rotary Clubs and continues to give presentations here in Oberlin in English.