Margaret River Rotary exchange program under threat

Going home to ski: German exchange student Christian Hanus says farewell to Margaret River for now.GERMANY’S Christian Hanus could be the last exchange student hosted by Rotary Margaret River if no more local students volunteer to participate in the program.

Though Rotary has sent many students overseas in the past, including Augusta’s Ingrid Tischner to Thailand last year and Margaret River’s Kaitlyn O’Connor to Brazil this year, no one has stepped forward for the next round.

Rotary Margaret River president Terry Hutchings said this had never been a problem in the 18 years of the program.

“We’ve had no takers outgoing from the local community, which means we can’t host [a student],” Mr Hutchings said.

He said the opportunity was a life-changing experience for young people, allowing them to attend school for 12 months in another country and live with four different host families.

“It helps them focus on what they want to do and determine careers,” he said.

Students also enjoy the opportunity to learn a language and practice public speaking.

Christian, who will fly home to Sinsheim in three days, recommended the Rotary exchange for anyone aged 17 or 18.

“Everybody should do it,” he said.

“It’s a good experience and it doesn’t even matter what country you go to, as long as you learn the language.”

During his time in Australia, Chris went on a safari to Exmouth and Monkey Mia and Coral Bay, visited Esperance and Albany, and climbed Uluru.

“It was a lot bigger than I imagined,” he said of the iconic landmark.

“It was very exhausting.”

Chris admitted it was difficult to find ‘best friends’ in Margaret River, “because you always try to search for someone similar to your friends from home”, but he could easily relate to the other Rotary exchange students he travelled with on the safari trip.

“It’s like brothers and sisters when you meet for the first time,” he said.

Mr Hutchings said Chris, 18, was a worthy youth ambassador for his hometown and will be missed when he returns to Germany.

A total of 85 foreign students were hosted by Rotary clubs across Australia this year.

Students who will be in year 11 in 2015 are invited to apply for the next trip, departing in 2016 (at the end of year 12).

For information contact Terry on 0428 909 198 or email [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校

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