An international perspective

TOGETHER AGAIN: Emma Jalonen catches up with her Rotary Youth Exchange hosts from the Encounter Bay branch.ENCOUNTER BAY – The town might look a little different, but the feel of Victor Harbor is the same as it was five years ago, according to a Rotary exchange student.

Emma Jalonen of Rauma, Finland was a Rotary Youth Exchange student in 2007/2008 and through the Encounter Bay branch, stayed with five host families for a year in the seaside town.

This month, she has come back to visit the people that looked after her.

“Most things haven’t changed… everything looks the same, but all the hosts have moved house,” she said.

“The vibe and feel of the town is the same.”

Victor Harbor High School, where she schooled during her tenure here, has changed a lot though.

“I was lost (when I was there), someone had to take me round everywhere. Now it’s all different (again),” Emma said.

But don’t think this seeming slow-moving pace isn’t welcomed.”I enjoyed a lot of things, for example the Australian barbecues,” Emma said.

“I’ve been trying to get back for years… it’s like coming back home after a long time.

“When I was here, I did feel very much at home, I liked the Aussie way of life a lot.”

The exchange project sees young people spend up to a year living with host families and attending school in a different country.

The students are shown a new way of living by their host families, learn a great deal about themselves, and sometimes a new language. Hosts enjoy the youth teaching them about their countries, cultures and ideas.

For more information about the Rotary Youth Exchange, visit or call the Encounter Bay club on 8552 2765.

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