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Taking flight: Skaneateles students spend time abroad

This school year, six Skaneateles graduates are embarking on personal journeys that have taken them to various corners of the world.

Taking advantage of the Skaneateles Rotary Youth Exchange program this year are 2009 graduates Amy Greenfield, who is spending the year in India, Tyler Lorey, who left for Chile on Aug. 6, Allison Schafer is eagerly adjusting to life in Thailand, Milli Petters headed to Brazil in August, Bea Walton has gone off to Poland and Ian Van Der Ven is spending his time abroad in Venezuela.

The Skaneateles Press was able to catch up with one of the six travelers before he became a jet-setting teen.

Lorey said he started looking into the Rotary Youth Exchange program during the beginning of his junior year at Skaneateles High School. Having had experience with exchange students -- Lorey's family hosted students from Switzerland and Brazil -- he wanted to give the program a go and experience another culture himself before settling into the college scene.

"It's starting to sink in. I'm a little nervous," he said less than 24 hour prior to heading south.

With butterflies in his stomach, Lorey said he's met people who have been understanding of his situation as a non-native of Chile. In fact, his host brother, who is one year older than Lorey, was also an exchange student and came to the United States for his year abroad.

As a Rotary exchange student, Lorey, like his classmates who are also traveling to foreign lands, went through a grueling process to be chosen for the program. Lorey said the process includes filling out an application and going through several interviews before finding out if he had been picked as an exchange student to represent local District 7150.

"They test you to make sure you're the right person for the program," he said.

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