A few months ago I wanted to upload the following report about being an exchange student. But luckily I didn´t. Today I read the text again and wrote a comment, from my actual point of view only some months later. I hope you enjoy reading this and if you´re an exchange student, too, it would really interest me, if you´ve made a similar experience or can add something, so write it in the comments! 🙂
I have holidays. I have nothing to do. I have time to think and to write.
About what am I thinking? Honestly, most of the times about stupid things like the game I play on my mobile… Sorry.
But there are these moments, when I am alone with music, my diary or homework and I start to think about more important things. And about these things I want to write today.
You know I dreamed of this exchange year for so long and I am so glad and thankful to have the chance to live my dream, but before I came here I couldn´t really imagine how it would be. I didn´t know, that it is so hard sometimes.
In the beginning I had nothing. There was only my dream of discovering a foreign culture and starting a big adventure. Now, after three months, I am realizing that it is not that simple, that I need to be strong and do something for my own luck.
I mean, I love to be an exchange student! There are no big problems for me in school and I have such a wonderful host family. Anyway I am feeling sad sometimes. I am far from all my friends, from my family and from my life. It´s not that I miss exactly this one person or something, but I miss to spend time with my good friends, to make jokes with them, to wake up in the morning and know all the plans for the day, to come home and tell my mother about my day, or simply doing something without explaining why I do it in the way I do.
On the other hand there are these moments which let me forget all my worries and doubts. It can be a small thing like the glitter in the bushes, when we drive by car through the cold and snowy night, the taste of pirogue in our friend’s kitchen, the fun we have when they translate me the name of their candies or even a table full of national Russian food in the small house of my grandparents.
Sometimes I could cry, because I am so thankful about all the nice people who make my dream possible and I´m so proud of me. Only now I notice how brave I am, how strong. Maybe for you it sounds arrogant or something, but it is like it is.
I live more intensive here, because I know that every moment is unique and will never come again. At the same time I am sorry for all the things I haven´t done in Germany yet, because I am sure that nothing will be like it was when I come back. I won´t be the same person anymore.
Well, I wrote this about 6 month ago. Time was different then… there are ups and downs in life, not only when you are on exchange, sometimes it´s harder to manage life, sometimes it´s easier.
But it´s true what they say: you become accustomed to everything. It just needs time.
Yes, after 3 months in Russia I it wouldn´t have been hard for me to go back to Germany. Now it is damn hard, because I got used to this life. Things haven´t changed, actually, it´s me who became a different person, it´s me who is accepting how the things are. I still don´t know the plans of my host family, but I accepted, that they don´t even know them their selves. This is not bad, this is not wrong; I was simply used to always having fixed plans.
Sure, some things are still uhm… annoying. For example when I do something and people look at me like I am completely stupid… And where my host mother is concerned: she´s not like my real mother, I don´t tell her what I did the day, how it was in school etc. But that´s okay, too, some persons just aren´t replaceable.
You know, what the strangest thing is? I knew that. I knew that some when it would feel like home, that things would become better and that I would not want to go back to Germany. And it came exactly that way. I am very happy at the moment, even if not everything is perfect. I don´t want to leave this experience, this people… I can say now: everything becomes easier some when! But don´t get me wrong: getting used to things you don´t like but which you could change won´t make you happy. But especially as an exchange student you have to understand, that some things are just the way they are and the only thing you can change is your attitude towards them.
This insight will probably make my life much easier 😀
At the end I can only recommend all future exchange students: Go on exchange for one year or minimum a half. From my own experience I can say that the second half of my exchange is much more exciting. It is the time when I started to understand the language, the culture – life (!), when I really learned something.
So just do it! Dare you!
To tell the truth, I even think that it is as hard to go abroad for 10 months as for 3 or 5. The worst homesickness I had anyway during the first 4 months and when I miss my home now it is no sad, painful feeling, it only shows me how much I love my family ❤
My last words today are: exchange is great!