Wimmera's Rotary exchange students return home

LASTING LEGACY: Horsham exchange students Julien Guerre Berthelot, from France, and Gui Menezes, from Brazil, plant trees at Rotary's plantation in Kalkee Road, Hosham. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

LASTING LEGACY: Horsham exchange students Julien Guerre Berthelot, from France, and Gui Menezes, from Brazil, plant trees at Rotary's plantation in Kalkee Road, Hosham. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

AFTER a year in the Wimmera, the region's international exchange students are returning to their home countries.

Throughout Rotary District 9780, which encompasses much of western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, host families have farewelled their exchange students.

Meanwhile, families are preparing for the next wave of arrivals.

Rotary District 9780 assistant governor for youth services Sue Williams said international exchange students typically arrived and left in July, while Wimmera students generally exchanged in January.

The long-stay program allows secondary students to live and study overseas for 12 months.

Mrs Williams said Horsham Rotary Club's exchange student, Gui Menezes, would return to Brazil on Friday.

"He will be home in time for the World Cup final," she said.

"He has a great sense of humour, he loves his sport and right now he's not getting too much sleep, I think, because of the soccer."

Horsham East Rotary Club president Barry Sherwell said the group's exchange student, Julien Guerre Berthelot, returned to France at the end of last week.

"He was a fantastic ambassador for France and for our club," he said.

"Julien was a very confident and outgoing young man, and he just grew and matured so much in the 12 months he was here.

"Our next student is from Denmark, and we have an exchange student, Harry Stemp, over there at the moment.

"The Danish student arrives very soon."

As a Horsham Rotary Club member, Mrs Williams said the group was expecting a student from Chile in coming weeks.

The club also sponsors Horsham's Jamila Johns, who is mid-way through her exchange in Germany.

"Rotary District 9780 averages 15 exchange students in and 15 exchange students out each year," Mrs Williams said.

"The reason behind having exchanges is that young people get to live in and understand another culture.

"We hope, with a better understanding of another culture, there is more peace in the world."

She said the first 12-month exchange was between a student from Myrtleford, Victoria, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, USA, more than 50 years ago.

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