McKayla Sturtz in France

Gary Welch received the following note from McKayla Sturtz, our Rotary exchange student in France:
I arrived at the Luxembourg airport with three other girls who are in my district on August 25th and we were instantly surrounded once we claimed our bags. I had my first two host families greet me along with the youth exchange committee of District 1790 and I have to admit it was very overwhelming. Pictures were taken and greetings exchanged and then I was off for Nancy. The first few days were challenging-- I was super tired from traveling and my French was not as good as I had hoped it would be. Everyone here speaks much faster than I was used to. But my family is super nice and understood since they have hosted before. As August ended, I went to Lac Madine for an integration camp where I met all the other exchange students in my district. There are 32 of us overall and only 8 of those are boys. During my three day stay there I used a lot of English but was also taught some French. We visited an American World War I monument, ate mirabelles, and biked through the country side. We also got to paddle boat on the lake and received sweatshirts. On the final day of the camp, us 32 students presented a talent show to the youth exchange committee and all of our host families. It was a really fun weekend and leaving was bittersweet. I was excited to start my day to day life in France but nervous for the challenges I knew were coming (like school). However school isn't too terrible yet. I've made some friends and understand the very basics of my philosophy class. (I didn't get to choose my classes). I've found that the majority of people in France that I've met are very nice and willing to help me. My host mom, Magali, is very helpful and offered to help me with my French when I don't have class. For which I'm very grateful. At the moment I believe my biggest challenge is registering with the OFII here in France, but only because I've never been a fan of paperwork. However I have a plan to get it done and I've gotten much better at asking for help when I don't understand. It's a very crucial part of being an exchange student I've found. (I'm sorry this is so late. I tried sending it multiple times and it would not work.)