Mara Tudora, a Rotary International Youth Exchange student from Ramnicu-Valcea, Romania, is attending Oxford Area High School, where she is a junior, in the 2011-12 year. Mara, whose exchange is coordinated by the Oxford Rotary Club, is living with host parents Shirley and Ron Hershey during the fall semester of the school year and will live with Gerilynn and Michael Norris during the spring semester.
In Ramnicu-Valcea, which has a population of approximately 110,000, Mara attends the National College Alexandru Lahovari, where she is enrolled in bilingual (Romanian/English) classes in math, chemistry, physics, biology and English. In her spare time Mara enjoys reading, sketching and watching movies.
Mara particularly enjoys being creative and recently participated in a contest organized by the city of Milan, Italy to design a tourism logo. “I have a passion for paper dresses, which initially was just a way to kill time and gradually grew into something more than a hobby,” she added.
Appropriately, art students at Oxford Area High School have also undertaken projects to create clothing from re-purposed materials such as old textbooks. “I also have a thing for art history and the way painting techniques have developed over the centuries,” Mara said.
An only child, Mara is very close with her mother and father, Mihaela and Tiberiu. Both work for Mr. Tudora’s power tools business.
Mara has previously traveled to Thailand, Austria, Egypt, Greece and Turkey, and is very much looking forward to learning more about the United States. “I’m not afraid of changes,” she says. “I actually think the more changes you make the more you get to know the meaning of life. I want to learn by experimenting with the new, by getting involved. This is the reason why I wanted so much to become a Rotary International exchange student.”