Testimonial - Devika Ratanpal

Devika Ratanpal (Wellington NZ) 2013

3 months in Australia flew by so quickly it seems like a dream. It was one of the best 3 months of my life ever.

I arrived at Adelaide Airport on the 6th of April. I was tired after an early morning and very very nervous to meet my new family and my mentors. It was good to know that the other girls on the exchange were feeling the same as me! We are all in it together. When I first saw my family I was obviously a bit shy but they were all lovely and welcoming. We went out for lunch and that’s when I knew that this  3 month bond would last a long time.

The exchange was like a rollercoaster with its ups and its downs. It was completely different to my old life at home. I am from a big town and go to a school of around 1200 kids year 9-13, in Australia, I was in a little town and the school only had 100 students year 1-12. It took time getting used to and feeling part of the family.

I was kept busy with school, friends, touring around Adelaide that I didn’t have time to miss my family! I am very lucky that I got to do many things in Australia like visit many zoos, feed kangaroos, hold a koala, visit huge shopping malls, play netball for a club, learn Aussie Rules and much much more.

The safari was also a big highlight going around Sydney and Canberra with other New Zealanders! It was nice to hear familiar accents and see more of Australia. Nildottie society and the Weibrecht family and Swan Reach Area School accepted me, my accent and my strange ways and made me feel very much at home, I even managed to come home with a bit of an Aussie twang!

I want to thank everyone who contributed to making my exchange the best and would advise everyone and anyone to try it out!!

Thank you so much, Rotary for making this possible!