In our new series, we’re interviewing to tell us about why student exchange was so important – from what it’s like, to what they miss, to what they loved. It gives an inside peek to the student’s mentality and helps families understand how amazing it is to be a part of this journey with the student!
Tell us why you wanted to study abroad:
I wanted to learn another language, experience another culture, and open myself up to new ideas. Growing up in a small town, I was always curious about the world around me, and student exchange seemed like an amazing way to really become a part of the world.
Do you keep in touch with anyone you met studying abroad?
Yes!! I’m actually meeting up with a friend I met from study abroad tomorrow – we are still close years later and keep in touch. I have a few great friends that I made out of studying abroad, and it really helps me stay connected to all of the things I learned and love while living there.
What did you miss most from home?
I’ll never tell them this…but my parents! I cried at first and definitely missed my mom, but the more I got used to being away, the easier it became to be excited to share my new experiences with her rather than spend my time missing home. I also never thought about how easy it is to get around when everyone speaks the same language as you. Trying to navigate my new town the first few weeks was terrifying – but it forced me to use my language skills! I came out so much strong because of this.
What was the coolest thing you did or saw when you studied abroad?
Seeing all of the history of this place I had never been to before was so amazing. You learn the history of your own country, and you know about the history of others, but once you really see it you begin to understand how other cultures and countries came to be the way they are.
If you could give one piece of advice to another exchange student, what would it be?
Be open to anything – it will all seem scary until you try it. Studying abroad is the perfect time to try things you might be too timid or scared to do at home. Make a new friend, say a new word, whatever it is – just do it!
Want to tell us why student exchange was important to you? Send us your stories! Email us at email@example.com to send us a story or if you’re interested in being a part of a student’s life through hosting! Visit our photolisting to meet the students waiting for their life to change with the journey of student exchange.