Students trade places with mates down under | VailDaily.com

Students trade places with mates down under

Carolyn Pope

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The Australian teens, Andrew Riley and Jill Clarke, arrive shortly from Australia and will be bunking down with their American families for six weeks.

Since the seasons are opposite and it’s currently their summer holidays, they’ll be working in the local environment of the ski industry here, experiencing Vail’s hospitality and Colorado snow.

Patrick and McClees will head to Victoria, Australia, the middle of June, for the six-week stint. Scanlan will settle in Mansfield, where he will be helping out with the Riley’s 17 cows and sheep. Stephens will visit Benalla, a town of about 18,000 – reminiscent of Eagle in the 1970s.

Scanlan, who will be hosting Riley, is the lucky one; his three older sisters have graduated and moved on from the valley, so rooms are plentiful in his home.

Stephens will be learning what it’s like to share a room with a new “sister”, Clarke, since she is in the reverse situation of Scanlan – three younger brothers, age 12, 8 and 6.

“I’m really excited,” Stephens said. “I realize there’s a lot to show Jill when she comes.”

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Stephens, a 16-year-old junior who attends Battle Mountain High School, hopes to utilize her love of music and children during her time in Australia. She matches up well with Clarke, who plays classical clarinet and saxophone.

Scanlan’s good friend, Duncan Robinson, another Vail Mountain School student, was selected last year for the program. After Robinson spoke highly of the program, Scanlan said he felt the need to apply for the same opportunity.

Scanlan attends Vail Mountain School and said he hopes to integrate his love of teaching and potentially something in the ski industry. Both towns are relatively close to Mt. Buller, one of the more well know ski hills in Australia.

He has spent time during the summer working with Summerquest, where he had the opportunity to tutor disadvantaged students in math and languages.

“I’m not sure what it will be like,” said Scanlan. “But I know it will be an experience Iill remember my whole life.”