Welcome Home Report
Get a birds eye view into the feedback that our returning students supply. Here is a snippet from a comprehensive report supplied by Sasha, who has spent 10 months in France.
How would you rate your overall experience?
Excellent. My 10 month student exchange in France was the most amazing experience of my life! I learnt so much, I made so many life long friends, I tried things that I would never had tried in my home country and most of all I had fun! I would definitely recommend any other student to go on an exchange to a foreign country like I did!
How do you rate your school experience?
Excellent. I was lucky enough to experience two different types of French schools! I began my exchange in a college and half way through the year I graduated and moved to a Lycee. Both of my school experiences were amazing! The teachers were extremely understanding and helpful which was really important especially at the beginning of my exchange when my French wasn't very fluent. I made so many new friends that I became very close to during my stay. It was quiet hard to say goodbye to all of them but I know that we will keep in touch and one day in the future we will see each other again! Being apart of a French school really helped me to progress in learning the language and also the culture. There were definitiely differences between what I am used to in my Australian school and the French schools, however I seemed to get used to the French way of schooling.
How would you describe your relationship with your host family/families?
Excellent. During my exchange I had two different host families! for the first six months I stayed with a family of five with three kids all younger than me! in the beginning it was a little scary staying with a family that I had never met before however we quickly got to know each other and I settled in very well! They did so much for me which I am so grateful for such as family trips to the beach, other French towns, a skiing trip etc. I had an amazing time with them and they taught me so much! After six months I changed host families and moved in with on of my best friends from school. This time around it was a lot easier to settle in because I already knew the family and I already had a good relationship with my host sister. This family was also so kind and generous! I also did so much family activities with them such as a wedding, spending the summer holidays in the French Alpes, a trip to Spain, beach trips and much much more! It was definitely a sad day when I had to say goodbye and thank you for everything that both of my family's had done for me! I will definitely keep in touch with both of my families and I hope that either they come and visit me in Australia one day or I can go visit them again one day in the future.
What was your greatest challenge that you faced on exchange?
The greatest challenge that I faced on my exchange was probably learning the language. when I arrived in France I had only done 1 year of learning French once a week. I only knew the very basics! As soon as I arrived I knew that I needed to work very hard to be able to leave France speaking the language fluently! The first few months I started getting angry at myself because I wasn't picking it up as quickly as I wanted to. However now I realise how tired I must have been considering the long school days hearing a different language all day on top of being sick. I am a determined person so I pushed through the tiredness and forced myself to improve! It started getting a whole lot easier when I moved in with my friend because we are the same age and we lived together which meant we talked everyday! It was the most amazing feeling to finally have a dream in French because that was my goal for my exchange! Now I am so happy that I pushed through and learnt the language because now I am a lot more confidant in speaking French!
What is your best piece of advice for future exchange students?
My advice for future exchange students would be to have fun! Make the most of your exchange because it wont last forever and it will be one of the best things you will do in your life!
Would you recommend Student Exchange Australia New Zealand to other students? *