Welcome everyone! My name is Max Kellenberger, I was an exchange student (2018/2019) in the Rotary District 7090 and I am here to tell you a short story about my year.
First of all, let me make it clear to you, that I did not want to go to the United States for my exchange year. I even crossed it out of my choices, mostly because I had already visited this country twice in my life and I thought, that it could not offer me anything new or exciting. (Boy was I wrong!) Once I got to know where I would be spending my year, I was disappointed and even emailed my local Rotary club, to see if it was possible for me to go to another country. Luckily my pleas were not answered and I was definitely going to be spending the next few months in a suburb of Buffalo called Hamburg.
District 7090 is a multinational district, because it covers both parts of the United States and Canada. On the American side it goes from the Niagara Falls to Jamestown near the borders of New York State and Pennsylvania, whereas in Canada it goes from Hamilton to the Niagara Falls. Even though its size, there are not hundreds of exchange students in it, which may sound like a bad thing, but in my opinion it’s the opposite of that. Thanks to its smaller size, you are able to connect with every student and remember them, making them in my case, friends for life with whom I shared tons of memories.
Another great thing about this District is, that there is a ton of places where nature is still pristine. While driving on roads through almost endless forests, you enjoy the scenery, which can change any minute, because it can go from lake to mountain in matters of minutes. That’s the beauty of it. As a person, who has lived in a city environment for most of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the winter because there was almost never a shortage of snow and with a ski resort just 40 minutes away, I was living the dream. Even if you are not a “winter” kind of person, there’s more that the area has to offer you, because in the summer once the ice melts, the Lake Erie becomes an awesome swimming pool. It has all the positives the sea has, without the sticky feeling of salt after you get out of it.  But since I enjoyed I have to praise this District for both.
Now let me go back to what I said in the beginning. I did not want to go to the U.S. and also I wanted to be placed in a large tourist city, where I could be a tourist the whole year, but after my year has ended and I had time to reflect on it, I am very happy, that I was placed into a small American town, that did not attract thousands of tourists every year. My reason for this is, that instead of experiencing the life I live in my home country with a year-long vacation somewhere in a big city of the world, I got a whole different life fitted into my life, making it much more interesting for me. It truly was a great year!
There’s so many more things that I could name, and you would be amazed at their plentifulness, making you want to come here straight away, but you should discover those for yourself and make your own private happy memories.
What District 7090 has given me in my life can be described by two words: happiness and understanding. Happiness includes everything from dozens of great friends, second families, memories, good food, awesome trips and regular school attendance. Understanding includes everything from compassion, trying to learn new ways and change the old ones, realizing people everywhere on the Earth are the same or at least quite similar, which makes it just stupid to hate someone just based on their nationality.
I hope this short summary of my year and feelings about it has helped you understand why  District 7090 is a great place to be in.
Good luck to y’all,