So this is going to be a really quick post. There is a website (cultures-shocked.org) that is basically set up for exchange students. It's a forum where you can meet other exchange students or get advice/whine about things. One of the topics on the forum is about blogs. You can post your blog on there for other exchange students to read. I was reading one girl's blog and part of it really stuck out so i figured I would re-post it here.She is from Canada and spending her year in Denmark. I am not going to re-post her entire post because a lot of it is about her host family.
"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard
Three months and five days.
I feel like I just passed a huge checkpoint in my exchange. Like you know in video games there are all the checkpoints on the way to the finish line? Well exchange is like that too. The first month. The first holiday away from home. And then the 1/4 mark.
I think it’s safe to say that I had no clue what I was getting my self into when I got on that plane. Yeah, I went to all of the orientations and talked to other students, both inbound and rebound. Yeah, I read the handouts and did my research, but looking back, I didn’t really know anything. I didn’t know what it was like to be away from your family. I didn’t know what it was like to see your friends going on with their lives without you. I didn’t know what it was like to feel alone. I didn’t know what it was like to sit there and not understand a single thing.
But I also didn’t know that you could become apart of another family in only three months. I didn’t know how amazing something as simple as understanding a simple sentence can feel. I didn’t know know how you could become best friends with someone in a mere few hours. I didn’t know how independent I could be.
I feel like in three months I’ve grown up so much. I feel like I’m a lot more mature, and when problems arise I don’t freak out like I would have at home. I know how to work things out. I know that things will not always go my way, but sometimes you just need to go with the flow. I know how to make responsible decisions, and I know what’s best for me. And even things like getting around on my own. I know how to read maps, and I know how to ask for help and directions, and I know that if I make a mistake and get on the wrong bus or whatever, that’s it’s not the end of the world.
I remember last spring I would literally refresh my email every like five minutes, until finally, finally I got an email from my counselor. I remember freaking out and telling my friends like, ‘I got my host family! I’m gonna have two sisters!’ And then they asked about the family and what their names were, and I was just like, I don’t know! And they didn’t really get how I was so excited over people I didn’t even know. And then I got the first email from my host dad and I was sooo excited, and kept thinking, only three months till I’m in Denmark.
So even though she is in Denmark instead of Germany and she has been there for 3 months instead of 2 months, it basically fits for every exchange student.
So I have to write more about Herbst Ferien/Fall break but I can't right now. Also, this post and the one about Herbst Ferien are better off in separate posts so if I don't update again today then I definitely will tomorrow.
Whoa, 3 posts in about a week. I think that might be a record. Also just like I promised, this post was way less controversial then the last one.