Traveling to another country as an exchange student is one of the things in life that everybody should do. I know it’s difficult to do it though.
First, because of the money. This kind of travel is extremely expensive, so only a few people have the opportunity to do it. If you can, do it. Second, because it’s really difficult to leave family, friends, pets and maybe your love for months or even a year. Third, you are going to a different country, you don’t know anything about the culture, the city and sometimes you just learned the basics of the language of the country you’re going to live in, like Hi, Bye and Excuse me.
These things can scare anyone and many will just give up and come up with silly excuses because of their fears, but when you start to think logically, you realize that you don’t need to be afraid. Well, not so much.
Mistakes will always happen. So, if you are shy or afraid of making mistakes, don’t think about it because it’s not only you who will experience this. Everybody makes mistakes, big or small ones. How you deal with them is the most important thing.
I am a perfectionist. Maybe not as much as I used to be. When I came here I was full of habits that I considered important for my life. Do you know what I think about them now? Actually I don’t care about any of those little things that I used to put in the centre of my universe.
Here is an example: I have hair on my washroom’s sink and food on the kitchen’s sink left by my roommates. If that happened before, I would have got really angry and disgusted, but now I just don’t need to care about it so much. It’s not a big deal anymore. I feel I’m being forced to reorganize my priorities and choice that are important for me.
Not let’s talk about money. Unless you are a very rich person, you need to save money for the trips and other things you’ll want to do. Even if you can work in that strange country, if your visa doesn’t allow you to do so, you need to be extremely careful about whether you want to break the rules or not.
In a different country, you need to make friends. You do this because you are alone and this is the best thing ever. Even if you are a shy person, you’re forced to do so many and different things that will boost your confidence. As I said, many people are afraid of such experience.
I won’t lie to you: it’s not easy. You miss your family, home and friends. Sometimes you want to go back to your comfort zone, but you must be strong, be brave. Think like this: you already came all the way here, you took the first step, and this is the most difficult one. Everything from this point on is going to be easier. You realize that that your monsters are not real or you realize that you can at least fight against the real ones. Life becomes more interesting and a little less hard after all that.
An exchange program is always a good experience. You meet people from every country. You learn about their cultures, you teach about your own culture, and you also learn silly things. You make friends that will be in your heart for the rest of your life.
Saying goodbye is always the worst part of this experience because some friends you’ll probably never see again. It’s such a short time that you spend together, but the experiences and emotions you’ve shared will keep you connected forever.[custom_author=Belisa]