Rotary hosts Australian student, hears about life

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Caroline Warr, of Perth, Australia, greeted Rotarians with a warm “G’day Mates,” Tuesday as she spoke of her life in Australia, and her experiences as the GRSP student for this academic year.

She arrived in the United States 10 weeks ago and is currently enrolled at Valdosta State University. She is continuing her college education in the states before returning to Australia, where she will continue to pursue an education in physiotherapy.

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She was raised on a 5,000 acre farm in the Australian outback, where her family raises row crops and livestock, primarily cattle and sheep.

The closest town is called YUNA, which she laughingly described as having a population of three. She professes to have loved growing up on a farm and feels right at home in this agricultural district of Georgia.

Because of the remoteness of her home and the vast distances between cities, she attended boarding school for five years, before enrolling in college in Perth. She describes this as a common practice for Australian children ages 12-18.

In addition to being a student, Miss Warr works as a sports trainer in Perth for the Umpires, in the national and state football league. She professes a great appreciation for professional sports and loves football, professing Australian football is very different from the U.S. Aussies also love cricket and tennis, soccer and rugby.

She good-naturedly put forth what she says she has learned about American football since coming to the U.S.

• In America, Football is the number one sport.

• The offence sells the tickets, but the defense wins the games.

  FSU fans do not associate with those of Miami, Florida or Georgia.

• The quarterback is the most important position on the team

• If you don’t spend all day Saturday and Sunday watching football, what kind of American are you?

Other comparisons made are that Aussies do not celebrate a lot of holidays and she is looking forward to Halloween and Thanksgiving in the states. January 26 is Australian Day when families go to the beach to celebrate. In fact, the beach plays a big part in Australian life, as they enjoy a warm climate similar to ours, but not as humid.

Warr said it is not common for students to live on campus in Australia, and she is loving being on the campus here, where she has signed up for a flag football team.

One of her favorite activities is traveling, and she featured some of the countries she has visited in a video she showed at the beginning of her presentation. “It can help me to be more rounded and see where I fit in well. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone, and I hope to continue it the rest of my life.”

A question from a Rotarian was: “Do they really have Outback Steakhouses in Australia?” Her laughing response was, “No, not really. That is an American company, but we do love our steaks.”

GRSP has been an active program of Georgia Rotary since 1946. The aim is to promote world peace through understanding by offering scholarships to international students for one year of college in the U.S. The GRSP student lives on campus, but becomes a member of the Georgia “host” family or families. The Bainbridge Rotary shares that responsibility with other area clubs.