Karolina - My Exchange Year


Karrinyup Rotary's 2023-2024 Inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student from Poland Karolna gave a final presentation on her exchange year in Australia. She said it had been filled with many new experiences, life surprises, adventures, growing up and so much more.

Karolina described life with her three host families, all very different experiences, all of whom were amazing and to all of whom she will be forever grateful for opening their homes and treating her as one of their own.

Karolina related some highlights, her observations and experiences:

  • She found Australian people are chilled and make a lot of jokes. Most people are helpful, friendly and kind.
  • She was given many opportunities for travel including to Melbourne, Adelaide, Northwest Safari, Singapore, Esperance, Margaret River, Mandurah and Busselton.
  • The school ball - she loved dressing up, the hair and make up and photos with family and friends.
  • Learning to sew at school - something she never envisaged and even earned a certificate for best Year 11 student in sewing. Who knows maybe even a career pathway!
  • Northwest Safari - how to survive in a tent in the middle of nowhere, swimming with whale sharks and the dolphins at Monkey Mia.
  • Rotary International Convention Singapore - an amazing experience meeting people from all over the world.

Next Karolina described what she had learned and how this might shape her future.

  • Communicating with people. She had to move out of her comfort zone, which was hard. A great life lesson.
  • Dreams come true - because nothing is unachievable, if you believe you deserve it and you work hard.
  • Exchange has taught her how important it is to have people around, especially family and friends.
  • Overcoming fears - before surfing lessons, she was afraid of the ocean and waves in particular. Now she has snorkelled with whale sharks.
  • Learning a new language - especially the funny colourful words and sayings and the appropriate times to use them. Knowing English will help her enormously, when she returns for Poland.

Finally Karolina spoke about achieving her goals.

  • Her main goal on exchange was to learn to speak English fluently. She feels she has made great progress with this.
  • She also wanted to meet new people and experience another culture. She feels she has done this with her wonderful host families, the wider Rotary family, her school friends and other Rotary exchange students from all over the world. 

Karolina expressed her sincere gratitude to all her host families and to the Rotary Club of Karrinyup for making her whole exchange experience possible and so wonderful.

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