International Youth Exchange visit flags experience of a lifetime

Nine youngsters from Europe and North America descended on Kerikeri this week as part of a visit arranged by the Rotary Club of Kerikeri’s ‘inbound’ International Youth Exchange (IYE) student Max Lehner from Austria. Like Max, the visitors are all being hosted by Rotary clubs north of Auckland and he wanted to show off his host town.

The Kerikeri club is using the visit to remind local teens that they, too, can take advantage of the programme.

“These ‘inbound’ students are just one side of the IYE coin,” said Rotary Club of Kerikeri president Bruce Mathieson.

“The other side is the group of youngsters from across the Mid North who, over the years, have had their own experiences of a lifetime in countries and cultures they might otherwise never have had the chance to experience.”

Mid North youngsters can learn more about IYE and apply to be considered for the programme at www.kerikerirotaryclub.org/rotary-youth-exchange.

Monita Skipworth from Okaihau is the Rotary Club of Kerikeri’s current ‘outbound’ student. She has spent nearly a year in France and will be returning home shortly.

“She’s told us consistently that she has enjoyed and benefitted hugely from the exchange programme,” Mathieson said. “So when we welcome the foreign exchange students to our town what we are really doing is welcoming the opportunity for youngsters across the Mid North to enjoy similar opportunities.”

Flagging an opportunity. From left, Kerikeri Rotarian Keith Day, Laura Mullenders (Belgium), Audrey Pirard (Belgium), Victor Viera da Silva (France), Max Lehner (Austria), Gustav Anderson (Denmark), Mathias Thyrre (Denmark), Holly Jacobson (USA), Julia Christen (Switzerland), Heidi Virtanen (Finland) and Kerikeri Rotarian Chris Burrows explored the town’s Stone Store Basin.

Flagging an opportunity. From left, Kerikeri Rotarian Keith Day, Laura Mullenders (Belgium), Audrey Pirard (Belgium), Victor Viera da Silva (France), Max Lehner (Austria), Gustav Anderson (Denmark), Mathias Thyrre (Denmark), Holly Jacobson (USA), Julia Christen (Switzerland), Heidi Virtanen (Finland) and Kerikeri Rotarian Chris Burrows explored the town’s Stone Store Basin.

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