International student co-ordinator Scott Barnard, Ray Johnston and German international exchange student Lisa Michaelis, 16.
International student co-ordinator Scott Barnard, Ray Johnston and German international exchange student Lisa Michaelis, 16. Annie Grice Photography

Exchange student experience enriches life all round

FOR the past nine months, Lisa Michaelis has called Australia home.

But the 17-year-old German exchange student has now finished her time in Tannum Sands.

For her first trip to Australia, she said farewell to her parents, jetsetting across the world to a country she had never been to before.

"I come from a big travel family, but it was the first time I had gone overseas without my parents," she said.

"It wasn't scary, but everything was just so new."

Her Australian family was Annie Gelhaar Grice, Luke Grice and their three sons.

"It felt like I was with my normal family, I had such a perfect host family."

Lisa has done her fair share of travelling, experiencing the sights at Agnes Water, the Gold Coast, Noosa, North West Island and Quoin Island.

"Travelling around Australia was my favourite part," she said. "It was really pretty, and it was great to experience all the different places.

"Being on exchange, you appreciate new things. I've definitely grown up so much more, being away from my family."

International student co-ordinator Scott Barnard said more home stay parents were currently needed.

"We could have 15 exchange students, and so far next year we have three, because we don't have enough home stay families."

Mr Barnard said it was about considering what the student and family could offer each other.

Lisa's host family is now taking on another exchange student, Nora Hahn, 17.

She has been in Tannum Sands for the past three months, and has nine months to go.

To become a home stay family, contact Tannum Sands High School on 4979 9777.



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