Why YOU should do an exchange

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I recently returned to Germany from a seven-month adventure as an international exchange student at Kelowna Secondary School and I hope I can inspire some of you to just go for it and go on an exchange.

It’s awesome to make new friends from all over the world. You can learn so many new and cool things from them. It might seem like hard work to make friends and find people you like to spend time with but it’s totally worth it. There are usually meetings or camps that are there to help you get to know people. It’s really fun to see how people from different countries and cultures come together! You not only meet people from other countries who are also doing exchanges, will have friends from the country you visit as well, some of those friendships don’t just end when you leave the country- all the special memories you have together will always connect you. It’s also cool to have places to stay when you want to travel the world. Of course you will miss your friends at home but you can stay in contact with your close friends; Skype makes it so easy to stay in touch.

You can discover school from another perspective, for me it was refreshing to learn in a different school system after 9 years of the same structure. It’s interesting to see how different or similar certain things are. You might discover a new class you are absolutely awesome at. For one year you don’t have to worry too much about marks so it is very relaxed and fun!

Opportunity to travel:
Many organizations offer special trips for the international students. They know which places are the most interesting places to go to and give you the opportunity to see more than just the city you are staying in. Depending on your host family you might even get the chance to travel or go on fun day trips with them. I think we can never see enough of the world so we should take every opportunity we can get to travel.

A second family:
The host family is one of the most important parts of the exchange. If you and your host family are a good match, and you really feel like being part of the family, it will make your time together unforgettable. They can be there for you when you are homesick, support you with getting used to new surroundings and a help immerge you in the new culture. For the first time in your life you will be happy about getting chores and helping out because then you don’t feel like a guest and more like part of the family

There are many more reasons why I would recommend going to a foreign country; eventually learning a new language, learning about yourself, being more independent than ever before… So don’t be shy and ask a teacher or organizations in your area for advice and your options,

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