Warwick teen set for a year in the US

Emma Gardner is off to the USA next year on exchange.
Emma Gardner is off to the USA next year on exchange. Georja Ryan

THE thought of repeating Year 12 would make most teenagers squirm, but not when you get to do it in another country.

Come January, Emma Gardner will pack up her belongings and climb on board a Boeing 757 bound for the United States.

She will spend a year abroad doing as the Americans do, thanks to the Rotary Sunrise Club of Warwick which has sponsored Emma's trip.

While the prospect of being away from family and friends has its daunting features, Emma said she was looking forward to her new adventure.

"I'm pretty open-minded so I am willing to experience everything so nothing has stood out as too scary just yet," Emma said.

During her stay, she will live with three separate families, all of whom she is yet to meet.

Emma said it was a friend of hers who had initially inspired her to enrol in the exchange program.

"My friend came here from Brazil last year and she loved it, so I decided I would do it too," she said.

After two intense interviews and a nervous wait, Emma was selected to be part of the program.

She may not know where in the USA she is heading, but the optimistic 17-year-old said she would be thrilled with anywhere.

"I can't wait," she said.