In 2018 we decided to mark 20 years since our exchange with a ‘big trip’ to our town Porrentruy, in the French speaking part of Switzerland.
We renewed friendships with former colleagues and neighbours and saw the changes brought by the intervening decades. One child and her fiancé joined us for this trip down memory lane.
Staying in a tiny medieval village at the end of summer was so perfect!
One friend has since come to Australia twice and, bringing family members and exploring the places she had visited when she was in her early 20’s, when the outback was truly the outback.
So, the cultural exchange worked both ways!
Recent bushfires have motivated contacts there to keep in closer touch than they may otherwise may have done and the better technology available now makes communication so much simpler.
So, this is a belated thank you to the union for enriching so many lives... I was the only exchange teacher who went to Europe that year and of course as a French teacher I was in heaven in such a fabulous, historically rich place.
If this year’s teachers have a fraction of the joy and fun I experienced, they will find themselves enriched beyond measure.
Denise Thomson On exchange to Switzerland in 1999.