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News from Falcon Student Media

The Perch

News from Falcon Student Media

The Perch

Australian exchange host reflects on experience

Nicole+Oeltjen+and+other+sophomores+sign+Australian+exchange+student+Nicola+Barnes+shirt+on+Oct.+28+for+her+last+day+at+Palmer+Trinity.+I+loved+Miami+so+much+and+have+so+many+fun+memories+from+this+experience%2C+Barnes+said.+I+am+going+to+miss+Miami+and+everyone+here+so+much.
Alexa Sueiras
Nicole Oeltjen and other sophomores sign Australian exchange student Nicola Barne’s shirt on Oct. 28 for her last day at Palmer Trinity. “I loved Miami so much and have so many fun memories from this experience,” Barnes said. “I am going to miss Miami and everyone here so much.”

For six weeks between September and October, 14-year-old Georga Micallef from Sydney, Australia, lived with my family and I in Coral Gables. Micallef was an exchange student through her school, Abbotsleigh, and studied alongside me at PTS.

I found out about the exchange program through my dad, who has always been very fond of Australia. My parents lived in Sydney, Australia, in 2006 before I was born. When my dad was working for Bain Consulting, he was pulled to Australia for a project with the largest phone company in Australia, Telstra.

“I lived in Sydney, Australia for eight months and I [want] Peyton to have a similar experience,” my dad, Hudson Smith, said. “Sydney is a beautiful city and the Australian people have a positive culture and a unique way of life.”

I’ll get the opportunity to live with Georga and her family between May and June. After spending so much time with her, Georga, really became a built-in best friend to me, and I loved having her with me for six weeks. Now, despite the 16-hour time difference, we still talk over Snapchat almost every day.

While Georga was here, our weekends were filled with days at Miami Beach and the Keys, along with trips to Halloween Horror Nights and Walt Disney World. We also got to hang out at Merrick Park, and I took her to one of my friend’s birthday parties. Georga is one of the sweetest and funniest people I have ever met, and I hope that we stay friends after I leave Australia.

“I absolutely loved Miami, and my favorite memories were most definitely Homecoming week and riding the bus to school every day,” Georga said.

We had to say our final goodbyes on Oct. 28, and a lot of tears were shed. For her final days, we made sure to check off her list of things to do in Miami including getting Raising Canes, going to Target, getting Starbucks and more.

“Georga was so sweet and she felt like a sister. I’m so glad she was living with us,” said 8th grader Charlotte Smith, my sister. “I wouldn’t have chosen another girl.”

I am so excited to go to Australia for six weeks. I can’t wait for beach days, shopping, and seeing all the cool animals. I’m so glad I did this exchange and I definitely would recommend everyone reading to do it because it creates such an amazing bond between two students that cannot be found anywhere else.

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About the Contributor
Peyton Smith, PTTV reporter
Peyton Smith is a a freshman at Palmer Trinity School. She is a part of the Speech and Debate Club and Read to Lead. She also plays varsity lacrosse through school and is in multiple honors classes. Her future goals are to get into AP and to get into Stanford in the future.

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