Merhaba! Hello! My name is Oscar Knece and i’ll be spending what would be the next year of my life studying abroad in Turkey. I’m currently 15 years old in a small town called Circleville and a freshman at Circleville high school. I have a passion for science, math, and anything in the STEM field.I try to challenge myself and learn in anyway possible whether if it’s in knowledge or emotionally. In high school i’m involved in the marching band, jazz band, swim team and many clubs such as AFS, robotics, math, and key club. I’ve traveled out of the country once before and i’m extremely excited to leave and experience everything Turkey has to offer. I thank my family, my local rotary, and rotary youth exchange for all the support and sacrifices they’ve made for me to have this great experience none of this would be possible without their love and support. I can’t wait to leave to have this life changing experience and to share my experiences with my friends and family. Thank you all!
October 1, 2018
It’s hard to believe that it has already been a month of this awesome experience. I’ve had so many amazing experiences so far and I’ve made even more friends for life. There are a total of nine rotary exchange students here counting me and in just three weeks we’ve grown so close together we’re like family if not more than that. In my first week my family took me to Izmer to see the city and explore and it was so much fun! We also went to a place near Izmir called Pamukkale and it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The rocks are so white there that it looks like snow. It is almost like a hill of rocks and once you get to the top there are ancient Roman and Ottoman ruins that are also so beautiful. My opinion about my school is the same if not better. I’ve made so many friends so quickly and everyone is so kind here. My friends and I have already gone out together multiple times to hangout. I decided to join the Model United Nations club at my school and I did so well on the entrance exam I was invited to go to Sweden for a conference, but I sadly did have to turn it down since my visa is one way and I don’t yet have a residence permit. I do miss my friends and family but I’ve made new friends and I have a new family here that I love. I can’t thank the Rotarians and rotary in general enough for giving me this amazing opportunity.
November 1, 2018
This month I’ve had some of the most fun in my life. This month I feel like me and the other exchange students really connected with each other as both friends and family. We never leave each others side anything and it’s awesome! We go out to new places together to experience everything new together. We went to the Grand bazaar together and we created many good memories there including some funny ones. Such as when one of the Brazilians was haggling with a seller for a T-shirt and managed to get the price down to 20 liras (Liras are the Turkish currency) by saying that he only had 20 liras and when he went to give the seller the money the only bill that he had was a 100 so he had to quickly go around asking for change without the seller seeing. Later on there was a holiday for Republic day which is a celebration of the Turkish republic being established and rotary invited us to be a part of the parade which was very fun. That entire night we just had fun at the parade and being together. Thank you for everything!
December 1, 2018
This month I’ve made some great progress. The other exchange students and I have made a lot of progress together with the language. We’ve all dedicated a lot more time to the language together and it’s really paying off. Nearly everytime we’re together we’ve started to try to speak in Turkish to help improve it. I also went to Izmir again to see my host sister and it was just as, if not more, fun than the first time. While there we went to the KEY car museum and it was awesome to see all the old and expensive cars. On the way back to Istanbul we stopped at a small mountain town and looked around and while there I met two Americans. Also Said (One of the Mexican exchange students) turned 18 this month so we went to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate it. This month has been the slowest so far but I look forward to the future ones to see what they hold!