Catherine Giles is our Youth Exchange student, currently enjoying a year living in Tenerife, Spain.

Hello Members of the Rotary Club of Brantford,


Catherine Giles coming to you from Tenerife, Spain.  If you’re not sure where Tenerife is, it’s in the Canary Islands which are located off the coast of Africa, but is completely Spanish!


Thank you for giving me this opportunity to learn another language, live in another country, Canary Islands, Spain as a representative of the Rotary Club of Brantford here in Tenerife, Spain.


I have been living here for about 6 months now, and have loved every second!

It seems as if my exchange is only getting better with time. My Spanish has come along nicely. I have learned so much as I arrived knowing very, very basic Spanish. I have also made so many friends, friends that I know will last me a life time. When I think about ever having to come home, it makes me so sad because I would so live here in the Canary Islands or in Spain. I LOVE SPAIN!


Thank you Rotarians for giving me this amazing experience to not only learn a language, but live in a different culture, make life-long friends, and have the experience of a life time! I have made a life here, and know it is going to be extremely difficult for me to leave.


I also have a blog where I write about my experiences and things that I find strange or interesting in the Spanish life-style. My blog address is,

So please, check it out to hear more about my crazy adventures here in the Canary Islands.


March is a fun-filled month for me. Right now we have Carnival which runs for two more days. So far, I have gone out for three days of Carnival and arrived home at 8:30am, which is apparently normal for the local Spanish people here. I however, have a very difficult time staying up and having energy so late into the evening. However, carnival is so much fun! It is the second best carnival in the world; a huge party through the streets, close to the ocean. I honestly don’t know how they allow it every year for more than a week because the city gets trashed every night!


After carnival I go to visit Linus, the Swiss exchange student from last year! I will stay at his family home and get to know his family as he got to know my family as he lived in our home in Branford and went to St. John’s College with me. I am looking forward to my visit to Switzerland. I will probably come back 11 pounds heavier due to all the Swiss chocolate. Yum! Oh well, I am on exchange so I will enjoy the chocolate and enjoy my time there.


Thank you once again for giving me this wonderful opportunity to spend a year on exchange in the Canary Islands. When I return to Brantford I will come to a Rotary meeting to share pictures and stories with the members of the Rotary Club.


Catherine Giles