Olivia Jogever and Cate Lindeman are counting down the days until they jet off on the trip of a lifetime thanks to Rotary International.
The duo are two of 12 students from Rotary District 9650 who are taking part in a year long youth exchange travelling to the other side of the world in order to experience another way of life.
The group will depart Australia on January 19 and are expected to come home mid January 2020.
Olivia is off to Finland and Cate will be living in the Czech Republic both with local families to get a true sense of how other cultures and countries operate.
“I actually applied to do the exchange after hearing how another student at my school did it,” Cate said.
“During the presentation I just kept thinking that it would be an amazing thing to do and since then I have wanted to do it.
“I found out last July that I was going to the Czech Republic and the town I will be living in is about one hour from Prague which is really exciting.
“I have never been to Europe before so I am excited to meet lots of different people and experience a whole new way of life.”
Cate said while she is away she will have the opportunity to do some travelling with other Rotary exchange students.
“As part of the year long trip I will also be going on a Euro Trip with other exchange students and will get to visit Spain, Germany and France during the year,” she said.
“To prepare for the trip I have been trying to learn the language and I think going over technology will be our friend but I am just looking forward to doing as much as I can.”
If the girls had stayed in Australia they would both be going into year 10 in 2019, but heading to Europe will complete six months of year 10 and six months of year 11 before coming home to start their HSC next year.
Olivia said some of the main differences she expects to notice heading to Finland is the weather and the language.
“I will be heading to Finland and I think it will be -20 degrees when I arrive which will be a bit of a shock,” Olivia said.
“The language barrier will also be something that I will need to deal with but overall I am very excited about going over.
“My grandma is from Estonia so I am excited about going to a country near there and hopefully when I come back I will be able to share that with her.”
She said applying and then learning she was going on exchange was a long process.
“First had to apply online and then we had interviews and meetings in Walcha, Uralla and Armidale before we were finally accepted but now we are all just counting down the days until we leave."
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