Where Are They Now?
Sarah from Australia went to Sweden for her exchange and returned 2.5 years ago...This is her reflection of her exchange and a little about how it has contributed to her life now...
1. How did exchange contribute to your life?
"My exchange has helped me to become more confident in myself. My exchange also increased my independence as I was travelling to the other side of the world by myself."
2. What advice or tips would you give a student considering an exchange?
"My top tips for a student considering an exchange are:
- Step out of your comfort zone. I know for me I can become anxious at the thought of trying new things. However, if I did not step out of your comfort zone I would not have experienced all the amazing things Sweden had to offer.
- Introduce yourself. I know it can be scary but when you start school makes sure you introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Not only will this help you make friends but it will also help you to feel more comfortable around your new classmates.
- Research where you are going before you get there. It's nice to know about some of the unspoken rules and customs of the area. this will also help your transition to your new home as these things will not be a surprise.
- Pack for the climate. I don't know why but for some reason I was convinced that would need a full summer outfit in the middle of winter in northern Sweden. This was not the case."
3. Are you in touch with your host family or friends you made overseas? (if so how or have you visited each other)
"Yes, I have remained closely in touch with one of my classmates from school, Amanda. Since my time in Sweden we have been in constant contact and in the summer of 2017, Amanda came to Australia for 3 weeks to visit. Furthermore, we have been planning to travel the world together in 2021 and Amanda is hoping that she can complete her university studies here in Australia. I have also kept in contact with my host family and they have come to visit me in Australia as well."
4. What is your favourite memory of the exchange?
"Dog sledging in the Northern Laplands of Sweden. As we were sledging through an open field a spectacular aurora show lit up the whole sky (despiting being told there was a 5% chance of the Northern lights appearing that night). It was the most surreal experience and I would give anything to be back in that moment."
5. What are you up to these days?
"I am currently in my first year of university and am studying software engineering. My exchange has driven my desire to travel and I am planning on partaking in a university exchange in the coming years."
Thanks Sarah for sharing your valuable insights with us.
If you are a student, currently considering exchange, then please visit our destinations page and select the country you are interested in going to. The world is your oyster.