Exchange gives students cultural connection

Letitia BusniakGeraldton Guardian
Rett Millman and Yazlyn Way.
Camera IconRett Millman and Yazlyn Way. Credit: Letitia Busniak, The Geraldton Guardian

Having recently returned from a year-long overseas exchange, Geraldton teen Rett Millman was able to pass on some knowledge to Year 12 school leaver Yazlyn Way before she set off on her own adventure.

As part of the American Field Service exchange program, Mr Millman, 18, returned from a year-long adventure in Denmark, just in time to send off fellow 18-year-old Ms Way before she left for Hungary last week.

Ms Way said she had learnt of the little-known AFS program through her mum.

“My mum and Rett’s mum actually work together and she told us about how awesome it was,” she said. “I decided to give it a go after that and began researching places I wanted to visit.”

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Ms Way said she chose Hungary, over locations like Italy and France, because it was a less- known destination.

“I wanted to go somewhere that I didn’t know very much about the area, rather than the really popular locations,” she said.

“From my research, Hungary sounds amazing and I can’t wait.”

Ms Way will stay with a host family during her travels and will also attend a local school in the area.

She said she was most excited to explore and meet her host family.

“I’ve been talking to the family I’m staying with every day and they seem lovely. They’re a young couple with two kids,” she said.

“In our street, there’s also thermal baths that I’m really looking forward to seeing, since it’s going to be minus-15C over there.”

Mr Millman, who recently returned from his exchange, spent a year in Denmark where he joined the family’s youngest daughter in her Year 11-equivalent studies at school.

Now able to speak fluent Danish, Mr Milliman said judging by his own experiences, Ms Way had plenty to look forward to.

“Heading over, I didn’t have many expectations because I wanted to try and just go with whatever happened. It ended up being the best year of my life,” he said.

“When I arrived, the host family were all smiles and hugs, which made me feel really welcome. I still keep in contact with them now.

“One of the best parts of being there was the friends I made. On my birthday, the class threw me a birthday party in school, which made me feel like they really appreciated me being there. “Some of my mates are even coming over to visit Australia in 2018, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Though he enjoyed his time overseas, Mr Milliman also said nothing compared to being back home.

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