Our Rotary Youth Exchange student for 2020, Ariene Start, is almost ready to depart for a year in Japan. She leaves mid-January.
Ariene is a student at Marist Sion College in Warragul and the daughter of well known Drouin residents Paul and Elise Start, both graduates of Drouin Secondary College.
Arien's host club is GERO in District #2530:  Gero (下呂市, Gero-shi) is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 31 October 2017, the city had an estimated population of 33,283 in 12,253 households. The total area of the city was 851.21 square kilometres (328.65 sq mi). Gero is in the mountains of central Japan. It’s known for its onsen (hot springs) and traditional ryokan inns. The Onsen Museum has exhibits on the science and history of hot springs. Stone steps lead to panoramic views from the hillside Onsenji Temple. Gassho-mura is a recreated mountain village, with thatched-roof houses and a folk museum. Northeast of the city, trails lead to Mount Ontake’s 5 crater lakes.
A busy year is ahead as Ariene will have seven host families but, as a student of the Japanese language for many years, her transition should go well.
Ariene and her family have put in extensive preparation for this exchange and we wish her all the best for a truly fantastic year, full of wonderful experiences.