WHILE many teenagers around the Bega Valley are planning what to take to the beach these holidays, two local students are filling their suitcases with winter woollies.
Roy Angove of Bega and Axel Smith of Bermagui are both headed to Europe early next year as part of a year-long Rotary Youth Exchange program.
Axel is going to the city of Debrecen in Hungary, while Roy is off to Norway.
On Thursday night the pair, both students at Sapphire Coast Anglican College, gave presentations about themselves and their upcoming exchange to the Rotary Club of Bega.
Roy and Axel had recently returned from a second Rotary Youth Exchange development camp and were wearing their new official jackets.
Roy told Rotarians how he plans to get plenty of vitamin D over Christmas as when he arrives to meet up with his host family the average temperature will be -15C.
Neither student knew which country they would be sent to when they applied, but after finding out Roy knew exactly who to call on for help.
“We have a neighbour who is from Norway, so I’m extremely lucky!
“He’s been teaching me the language so I’ve picked up some basic phases and I hope to learn more before I go,” he said.
Axel said he learned a little Hungarian from an exchange student he met at a Rotary Youth Exchange in Tuross Heads earlier this year “however mostly I’m relying on an iPhone App to teach me”.
“It’s a difficult language and English isn’t widely spoken, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
Axel’s mother Janinka Francki thanked Rotary for all its support.
“The way Rotary has not only prepared Axel but also the rest of our family for what lies ahead is incredible,” she said.
“What you have done for us is pretty amazing, it’s nothing like I imagined.”
Bega Rotarian Karen Harrison gave the boys an official send off.
“As a club it’s very exciting to contribute to the development of local youth and we feel you will do the Bega Valley very proud,” she said.
“We wish you the best of luck.”