Evie Flynn, a 14-year-old student from MLC, spoke at this week's meeting. She's about to begin an amazing journey as a Rotary exchange student in France. Her upcoming adventure will have her living in a small village named Fleurbaix, close to the border with Belgium. This area has historical ties to Australia. Her host club in France is called Le Club de Montière.

Having been born in Brussels, this location near the border with Belgium completes a life circle for Evie. 
Evie is already a global citizen as she and her family have lived in Spain, the US and other parts of the world. Her family's international experiences have fostered her curiosity about different cultures. Evie said her time in Spain fueled her interest in European life and language. However, her main interest is currently in French language and culture.
This exchange program is more than just an exciting trip for Evie; it's a step toward her aspirations of an international career, potentially within the United Nations or its affiliated agencies. With a keen interest in working internationally, she sees mastering French and understanding the diversity within Francophone countries as a vital step toward achieving this goal.
Preparation has been essential for Evie. She's been further honing her language skills by building on her learning within her school's rigorous French immersion program. Tools like Duolingo have been instrumental in supplementing her language development. Additionally, she's been exploring Australia to represent her country well, including visiting places like the Great Ocean Road and Perth.
Moreover, she's taken proactive steps to familiarize herself with her host family and the Rotary structure. Evie has been in touch with her host sisters of various ages, getting to know them through calls and texts. Google Earth and Street View have helped her visualize her new surroundings, enabling her to prepare mentally for her stay.
Evie sees this exchange as a transformative experience, expecting personal growth, increased confidence, and a more global perspective upon her return. The Hawthorn Rotary's generous support has made this life-changing opportunity possible for her.