From a GRSP Scholar
Top Learnings from My GRSP Year

by Smilla Luuk, 2017-18, Columbus State University, hosted by Muscogee and Harris County

Smilla Luuk from Stockholm, Sweden was hosted by the Muscogee R/C and Harris County R/C last year at Columbus State University and listed some things that she learned from her year in the United States. She writes:

Trying to summarize the year in Georgia in one page was really hard, so instead I wrote a list of things that the GRSP experience has taught me:

  • You can fit your entire life in two suitcases (or in a backpack if you are traveling with Spirit).
  • Leaving everything that is familiar and safe, and being exposed to a completely different lifestyle makes you think in new ways and reconsider things that you thought were obvious before.
  • Southern food is not for gluten intolerant people.
  • There are three things Americans associate with Sweden: ABBA, snow and Swedish Fish (although Swedish Fish are not Swedish).
  • Always talk to Rotarians as you know them, even if you do not recognize them. You have probably met them before at the conclave or at a meeting or on a social.
  • Professors who say you cannot wing a multiple choice test are lying.
  • It is okay to be alone. It can even be nice sometimes.
  • When a Rotarian says that their house is "pretty nice" you can assume it has an indoor elevator, a swimming pool and a movie theatre.
  • Choosing classes when the credits do not count makes you realize what you really are interested in.
  • The generosity and hospitality of Rotarians is truly amazing.
  • Marshmallow and cinnamon on top of roasted sweet potato is apparently a thing? As a main course?
  • The quote "You do not realize what you have until it is gone" is really true. Especially when it comes to public transportation.
  • Someone who was a total stranger to you just a few months ago can become the most important person in your life.
  • Never book a Greyhound from Chicago to Atlanta and expect it to work out fine.
  • No one knows all of the rules in American football. So you do not have to feel stupid when you do not understand, just eat some popcorn and join the applause.
  • Even though people might be very different from you, there is always something to bond over that can make you laugh together.
Posted by Lynn Clarke
December 6, 2018