Let’s start with this, no matter where you are at the moment I could not be more proud of you. Exchange is a million last times. Exchange is a million goodbyes. Exchange are millions of emotions.
Everyone says that exchange is a whole life in one year, but I think differently. The time you spend abroad will always be there. It will never leave you. You grow, personally and emotionally. And that is what stays. You could describe it as life-changing.
No matter at what point you are in your life you could be a former exchange student, you could be a happy or sad exchange student, you could an exchange student who broke up after some time because it was not what you expected it to be. No matter what you are, you are one of the people with the most courage. You should be proud of you!
You left everything you know behind. Family, friends, your environment, food, school and all the things that come to your mind.
The day I left, broke my heart. It broke my parents’ heart and it broke my brother’s heart. I met a lot of people crying that day. It was not just me, I’m pretty sure you witnessed it too.
We jumped in a plane full of people we never met before to go to a place we have never been. We moved into a house with people that were called our family even though there was nothing that connects us. The next day waking up in a bed or even we room that did not look like Our room. Sitting together with your new family in the living room and you do not understand a word because they talk to fast, they have an accent or you notice that your English is not as good as you thought. Going to school the very first day and being overwhelmed by all those people and new impressions. Standing in the cafeteria looking around not knowing who to sit with. Getting used to the everyday life and trying so hard to find friends or at least people that can understand what you are going through. Lying in bed missing home so much that is breaks your heart all over again.
We all went to situations that some would describe as their personal hell, but we survived it and it made us even stronger. It changes our view of the world, our opinions, and it influenced our personality, our characters. All those situations made us appreciate what we had. It improved my relationship with my family.
But remember there were so many times you could not have been happier. The first time you met your new family, and we all were so excited. The first day of school. The first football game you went to. All the pep rallies. The first time Taco Bell. The first time you felt you were on the right place at the right time. The first time you felt loved by your new family and the moment when you noticed they see you and treat you like their own child. The day you made friends with that cute boy or girl. The day you got friends with the person you would call your best friend here. The day got involved in a team or club at school. The day you learned to appreciate Netflix.
Exchange is like a roller coaster. It goes up and down, sometimes more and sometimes less. Each of you out there has an individual one. For some people, exchange is the life of their dreams, for some is it worse than their life in their home country, and for some people, it is kind of the same. It does not matter where you are, you are in control of it.
Having courage is all it takes, time flies by so fast. Don’t get stuck in memories or dreams. You have to do something to make it the best time you can have. Don’t wait too long.
Lots of Love.