Rotary Clubs host Australian visitors

Five Australians have been taking in the sights of the Upper Peninsula as part of a Rotary group study exchange program.

Three Marquette Rotary Clubs held a special pot luck dinner for the Australians to welcome them to Marquette.

The purpose of the study exchange program is to give peace and understanding between countries, but also serve as a mentoring program for young professionals in different career fields.

“They do one-on-one talks with people in their career, and it’s a way to have them take back ideas and things to their country that they may learn here,” Marquette Area Rotary assistant governor Tina Hall said.

“I teach at-risk students,” Sydney visitor Ben Cook said. “I’ve been going to mainly schools and colleges, and I’ve been pretty amazed with the similarities, but there’s also a lot of differences as well, and I’ve taken a lot of things out of what I’ve seen, and it’s been good to exchange ideas.”

They’ve visited museums and other attractions to learn about the U.P.’s history.

Cook said he’s enjoyed meeting the people of the U.P.

“I think my favorite part has just been getting to know the locals, and experiencing their generosity and friendliness, and I’ve also enjoyed how much pride everyone up here has in their own area,” Cook said. “No one says anything bad about any other area, but they all say that their area is the best, and the way they tell it, it’s hard to disagree.”

The group travels for five to six weeks and stays with Rotary families whenever possible.

It will also be making stops in Wisconsin.