So today I was presented with a rather unique opportunity: "Would you like to become a foreign exchange student?" Asked the school. The idea has me intrigued, and I'm seriously considering going despite the fact I might need to repeat my last year of school (honestly it doesn't bother me much, since my grades are already pretty good).
My question to you people is pretty simple: have you ever been a foreign exchange student? And if so, what was your experience like?
It's been my experience with foreign exchange students in my school that you're only allowed to go if you're taller than everyone else in the school you're being sent to. I think it's like a cold-war propaganda thing.
If weren't for my low grades an low income I would have gone to japan for my somphmore year. It didn't help that I took spanish instead of japanese though. Some of my classmates went to Sweden though for a semester and said it was one of the best decisions ever.
My experience with foreign exchange have generally been short trips of around two months in the holidays that don't really interfere with the school year. So I'm guessing that yours might be something more like a gap year?
My thoughts on foreign exchange (if it's for an extended period of time for maybe... 7 months>) is that if it won't help you in the future in some way, don't go. I say this because the things and language you've learnt for another country, you'll probably forget if you don't use it again much in the future so it's not exactly a waste of time, but you won't learn much. The things you will get out of it will be the experiences. But, there's nothing stopping you from going to another country at any other time, with maybe better people that you'd like to take along (perhaps a girlfriend? oho). Those experiences can always happen later, and with things like Airbnb now, you can have the same 'authentic' experience of living in someone else's house as well.
But, if you're really looking forward to it, there's no issues if you go now as well.
Haha! Girlfriend! You're so funny!
Well the plan was to go to a country of significance to me, with those being the US, Canada, Germany or Japan. Maybe Sweden if those are all taken. I didn't want to go someplace where I wouldn't get much out of it :P
I hope you're ready for long blocks of school days only mildly peppered with holidays, as opposed to alternating months...
Wasnt really an exchange student, but I remember moving to Israel without knowing any hebrew and returning without knowing any english. It wasn't really fun. When I moved, I kinda lost all my connections in Israel, and the cultural diff between Is and America is yuge. So it was difficult. Dunno if the culture shock between australia and wherewr youre going is as big as that tho. If you don't like your area, it may be worthwhile to encounter a new culture
Yeah, the places I plan on visiting won't be quite as different as Israel and America, though I can imagine it would be rather different >_>
U.K., U.S., or New Zealand?
New Zealand scares me.
See my reply to Sky's post for the 4 more interesting places on the list :D
I have to ask, though, what significance Canada and Germany hold to you. Japan is awesome, and America has a few remote pockets of awesome scattered across the shitlands. But, Canada just seems like a larger version of one of our lousier states and Germany is filled with a bunch of militant anti-homeschooling treehuggers (then again, they also have beer).
Germany is more so for family ancestry. My father's side of the family comes from Germany/Poland, and I've always had a soft spot for the Nazis Germany itself. As for Canada, I'm really interested in knowing what the Anti-Australia looks like :P Plus I need to know whether they speak maple leaf or moose.
No, but had a couple. One was from Egypt, two from France. The two from France were interesting, the dude from Egypt was a prick, but I felt bad for them their friends got to go to Chicago, or New York, they got stuck in a small town in Iowa.
I was given the offer to become a foreign exchange student from Australia when I was a young'un, but I didn't go.
I wish I was presented with this opportunity. I say go for it! You'll probably never get another chance like this again.
I don't have any experience as a foreign exchange student for a long period of time (although I would like to). I have been on one educational trip that lasted for ten days, and I loved it although I guess that would be more considered a short break. Anyway I would go for it ^^