Student’s love affair with Pilbara ends
A German exchange student who has spent the past year in Karratha left town last week, taking with her a new-found love of Pilbara heat and a long-term supply of Tim Tams.
High school student Lara Kasper, 17, last year travelled from her small hometown of Massen to Karratha to spend 10 months as part of the Southern Cross Cultural Exchange program.
She stayed with the Riddell family in Baynton and attended St Luke’s College before leaving on Saturday.
Few foreign students come to regional locations such as the Pilbara through the SCCE exchange program, but Lara said she was glad because it had given her a very different experience to that of her peers.
“Karratha made it really unique because I don’t think there’s a lot of other places like Karratha,” she said. “I thought that the other day when I did a rock art tour. The guy said Karratha is like the outback, just near the beach.
“I thought that was a really good description of what it actually is... And it’s so cool to experience that and I don’t think that’s really anywhere else.” Lara said she chose to come to Australia to improve her English and see native flora and fauna, but had discovered plenty more about Australian culture in her time here.
That included trying classic Aussie food such as as sausage rolls and Tim Tams, making the most of the outdoors lifestyle and mastering local slang.
Lara said she was lucky to have travelled to many parts of Australia, especially around WA, in her time here and to have fitted into her host family and school so well that Karratha now felt like a “second home”.
German exchange student Lara Kasper, 17, centre, pictured with host mother Eleanor Riddell and host sister Brooke Riddell, 15, has travelled all over Australia during her 10-month stay in Karratha.