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New Richmond student sets out on year-long adventure

Emily Lindell is getting ready for school, but it will be far from a normal junior year.

Lindell arrived in Cordoba, Mexico over the weekend to begin a one-year exchange student program sponsored by Rotary International.

"I've been anticipating this since December, so I think I'm ready to go," she said in an interview Friday. "I'm really excited."

The New Richmond High School student, who has taken three years of Spanish in school, said she's only a little nervous about her big adventure.

"I'm kind of nervous to meet everyone there," she admitted. "And I'm nervous about the trip. I've never flown by myself, and I have to switch planes in Mexico City."

Otherwise, Lindell is looking forward to a year of every-day life in Mexico with her host family. She is staying with a couple who has two daughters and one younger son.

She will be attending a private Catholic school, complete with uniforms, for her year in Mexico. Classes begin Aug. 21.

Lindell said she doesn't know what classes she'll actually be taking, but admitted school will initially be a huge challenge due to the language barrier.

She's also aware that her temporary life will require some adjustment to the weather, which is tropical.

Also, her family lives in a larger city of 200,000, Lindell said, which she knows little about.

What little she has learned about Cordoba, Lindell has pulled off the internet.

"I think it could be close to the mountains or in the mountains," she said.

Lindell's journey as an exchange student began last December when she applied for an assignment through Rotary.

After filling out a lengthy application, and participating in an interview process, Lindell was notified that she was given approval for her trip to Mexico.

Last week, Lindell spent much of her final moments at home saying goodbye to family and friends.

"Leaving my friends has been hard," she said. "It's weird that I'm saying goodbye and knowing I'm not going to be seeing them for a year."

The Rotary exchange program coordinates visits from foreign students coming to New Richmond, and also works with area students wishing to participate in a year-long exchange in foreign countries.

For more information, contact Anne Schmiege at 246-2211.