Sadly, Harrison's exchange was not working out for many reasons, and he - together with his parents - made the difficult decision that he return to Australia.
In a letter to his Austrian counsellor he writes:
......"I am truly grateful for this amazing opportunity, and I am so incredibly sorry I could not complete my exchange, and the way I handled it all. Exchange is not about where you are, it's about adapting, living, breathing a different family, culture, language and country. Austria is an extremely beautiful place, I love it a lot. Europe will never cease to amaze me with the culture and experiences it holds."
..... "The Rotary Youth Exchange is an amazing program, and I do not regret coming here one bit. In saying that, I
also do not regret my decision to return home. I have met some of the greatest friends I could ever ask for in these short 2 months, and done some things I could have only dreamed of. For instance, how many Australians can say they have skied in the Austrian Alps?
Once again, I am truly thankful for this exchange, it has changed and matured me more than I could of even
imagined. These 2 months have played a major part in the story of my life, and for that; I thank you.
Hello. Things are alright on this side of the world. I have been to a language camp and met all the new inbounds, we are all very close. I also went skiing for a week with my host brother and his Swiss father, it was amazing. At home things are okay.. I get very homesick most days because there is nothing to do (no tv or Internet) and it is to cold to be outside for long. Another thing that made me very homesick is knowing I will be with the same family for the entire year.. It will be very hard but I am sure I will get through it. School is good, it is very big and very rich. My classmates are very nice and I get along with them just fine. In 2 weeks I will go on a Ski Camp with all of the 100 inbounds, I am sure it will be amazing :) Regards, Harry
2013-01-10 Harry Overend
A message from our outbound exchange student
Hello everyone, this is Harry.
On Friday I will be departing from Melbourne at 4:40pm to begin my year abroad. After I struggle through the 36 hours of travel, I will arrive home at my first host family, in the small, northern Austrian town of Wallern an der Trattnach. I am being hosted by the Rotary Club of Grieskirchen for the duration of my exchange.
In the first couple of months of my exchange I will be attending a fortnight long language camp, and a fortnight long ski camp. My district counsellor in Austria recently emailed us and asked if we would rather ski or snowboard, so as I ride a skateboard, I thought snowboarding would be a little easier. I cannot wait to go to the ski camp, as I have only ever been to the snow a few times. The first 4 days are jam-packed with ski lessons, followed by 10 days of non-stop skiing. I am sure there will be many falls along the way. Lucky for me, the day I get back from the two week ski camp, I will be travelling to Fulpmes with my host brother to go skiing with him and his father.
I can’t wait for my exchange to begin, as much as Mum is dreading the build up. I will message Dad after all the skiing and keep everyone up to date.
I can’t thank you all enough for this opportunity. I’m sure it will be one of the best years of my life.
2012-11-29 Harry Overend – Exchange Austria
Our outbound exchange student Harrison Overend spoke to the Corowa Rotarian about his impending exchange to Austria.
Harry was able to give some insight into the region of Austria he will be visiting, his host Rotary club and the first host family who have already asked him on a skiing Holiday.....