exchangestudent

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My first Korea mini vlog is up! Check it out if you want, please like ~

What being an exchange student means.

Being a high school exchange student means:

  • That you made the best and worst decision to leave home for the year.
  • Giving people a reason to love your home country.
  • That your current life floats in a different bubble, and you become worried that it will pop.
  • Becoming a part of a family despite differences of culture.
  • That you cant walk to the bathroom without any pants on because there’s a risk that a member of your host family will see you.
  • You arrive in a place filled with people that have no prior judgements of you.
  • Learning a new culture is your job.
  • Schooling becomes something different.
  • You’re a teenager in a foreign country.
  • You learn new swear words that you can get away with saying back in your home country.
  • Acting crazy in public because you know that the general population will not ever see you again.
  • Making your own decisions.
  • Eating “weird” foods.
  • Making friends from every corner on the planet.
  • Developing a different sense of pride for your home and host country.
  • Deciding how to live your life.

- http://kyrawestman.tumblr.com/

How to keep your exchange alive forever

I just came up with this tbh..this are some ideas on how to keep your exchange “alive” even after it is over..most ideas are pretty obvious but you can still maybe find one or 2 you haven’t thought about yet

Keep a diary

Take pictures

Make a playlist of songs that remind you of your exchange

keep in touch with friends that you made on exchange

don’t forget the url of your exchange blog so you can still read it years after your exchange

keep a few souvenirs

buy stuff on exchange for example a sweater it doesn’t even have to have to do anything with the country you are on exchange in but it will forever remnid you of your exchange

screenshot fun convos you had during your exchange, whenever you read through them you’ll have a throwback

print out pictures and put them on your wall (when you are back home)

feel free to repost and add to this post..

I AM AN EXCHANGE STUDENT… And this is what exchange is like.

Exchange is change.

Rapid, brutal, beautiful, hurtful, colourful, amazing, unexpected, overwhelming and most of all constant change. Change in lifestyle, country, language, friends, parents, houses, school, simply everything.
Exchange is realizing that everything they told you beforehand is wrong, but also right in a way.
Exchange is going from thinking you know who you are, to having no idea who you are anymore to being someone new. But not entirely new. You are still the person you were before but you jumped into that ice cold lake. You know how it feels like to be on your own. Away from home, with no one you really know. And you find out that you can actually do it.


Exchange is learning to trust.

Trust people, who, at first, are only names on a piece of paper, trust that they want the best for you, that they care. Trust, that you have the strength to endure a year on your own, endure a year of being apart from everything that mattered to you before. Trust that you will have friends. Trust that everything’s going to be alright. And it is seeing this trust being justified.


Exchange is thinking.

All the time. About everything. Thinking about those strange costumes, the strange food, the strange language. About why you’re here and not back home. About how it’s going to be like once you come back home. How that girl/boy is going to react when you see her again. About who’s hanging out where this weekend. At first who’s inviting you at all. And in the end where you’re supposed to go, when you’re invited to ten different things. About how everybody at home is doing. About how stupid this whole time-zone thing is. Not only because of home, but also because the tv ads for shows keep confusing you.
Thinking about what’s right and what’s wrong. About how stupid or rude you just were to someone without meaning to be. About the point of all this. About the sense of life. About who you want to be, what you want to do. And about when that English essay is due, even though you’re marks don’t count. About whether you should go home after school, or hang out at someone’s place until midnight. Someone you didn’t even know a few months ago. And about what the hell that guy just said.


Exchange is people.

Those incredibly strange people, who look at you like you’re an alien. Those people who are too afraid to talk to you. And those people who actually talk to you. Those people who know your name, even though you have never met them. Those people, who tell you who to stay away from. Those people who talk about you behind your back, those people who make fun of your country. All those people, who aren’t worth your giving a damn. Those people you ignore.
And those people who invite you to their homes. Who keep you sane. Who become your friends.


Exchange is music.

New music, weird music, cool music, music you will remember all your life as the soundtrack of your exchange. Music that will make you cry because all those lyrics express exactly how you feel, so far away. Music that will make you feel like you could take on the whole world. And it is music you make. With the most amazing musicians you’ve ever met. And it is site reading a thousand pages just to be part of the school band.

Exchange is uncomfortable.

It’s feeling out of place, like a fifth wheel. It’s talking to people you don’t like. It’s trying to be nice all the time. It’s bugs.. and bears. It’s cold, freezing cold. It’s homesickness, it’s awkward silence and its feeling guilty because you didn’t talk to someone at home. Or feeling guilty because you missed something because you were talking on Skype.

Exchange is great.

It’s feeling the connection between you and your host parents grow. It’s hearing your little host brother asking where his big brother is. It’s knowing in which cupboard the peanut butter is. It’s meeting people from all over the world. It’s having a place to stay in almost every country of the world. It’s getting 5 new families. One of them being a huge group of the most awesome teenagers in the world.
It’s cooking food from your home country and not messing up. It’s seeing beautiful landscapes that you never knew existed.


Exchange is exchange students.

The most amazing people in the whole wide world. Those people from everywhere who know exactly how you feel and those people who become your absolute best friends even though you only see most of them 3 or 4 times during your year. The people, who take almost an hour to say their final goodbyes to each other. Those people with the jackets full of pins. All over the world.


Exchange is falling in love. With this amazing, wild, beautiful country. And with your home country.
Exchange is frustrating. Things you can’t do, things you don’t understand. Things you say, that mean the exact opposite of what you meant to say. Or even worse…
Exchange is understanding.
Exchange is unbelievable.
Exchange is not a year in your life. It’s a life in one year.
Exchange is nothing like you expected it to be, and everything you wanted it to be.
Exchange is the best year of your life so far. Without a doubt. And it’s also the worst. Without a doubt.
Exchange is something you will never forget, something that will always be a part of you. It is something no one back at home will ever truly understand.
Exchange is growing up, realizing that everybody is the same, no matter where they’re from. That there are great people and douche bags everywhere. And that it only depends on you how good or bad your day is going to be. Or the whole year.
And it is realizing that you can be on your own, that you are an independent person. Finally. And it’s trying to explain that to your parents.
Exchange is dancing in the rain for no reason, crying without a reason, laughing at the same time. It’s a turmoil of every emotion possible.
Exchange is everything. And exchange is something you can’t understand unless you’ve been through it

docs.google.com
Useful Japanese

A few friends and I have been working together on a list of words that people studying Japanese may find useful to know on exchange. Warning:  I have not filled in the romaji pronunciations yet but I will soon. As of yet the list is in hiragana/katakana, kanji, and english. It is a long list (44 pages) so it may take a while to load (I might end up splitting it up into multiple shorter lists so as to make it easier to load), but I figured if anyone finds it helpful then that’s amazing 

What being an exchange student means

Being a high school exchange student means:

  • That you made the best and worst decision to leave home for the year.
  • Giving people a reason to love your home country.
  • That your current life floats in a different bubble, and you become worried that it will pop.
  • Becoming a part of a family despite differences of culture.
  • That you cant walk to the bathroom without any pants on because there’s a risk that a member of your host family will see you.
  • You arrive in a place filled with people that have no prior judgements of you.
  • Learning a new culture is your job.
  • Schooling becomes something different.
  • You’re a teenager in a foreign country.
  • You learn new swear words that you can get away with saying back in your home country.
  • Acting crazy in public because you know that the general population will not ever see you again.
  • Making your own decisions.
  • Eating “weird” foods.
  • Making friends from every corner on the planet.
  • Developing a different sense of pride for your home and host country.
  • Deciding how to live your life.
10

Day 241: Vendredi 8 avril 2016

Jour de départ por New York!!! Bon autant vous dire que ce matin quand je me suis réveillé à 3h j’avais pas tant d’énergie que ça. Enfin bref. J’ai déjeuné vite fais puis Benjamin m’a conduis jusqu’à chez Wharn puis à l’aéroport. Là-bas on a rejoint Jim, Laura, Katarina et Max. Au fur et à mesure le reste du groupe est arrivé puis c’est partie pour la routine aéroport: ticket, passeport, sécurité etc… Notre vol à eu une heure de retard à cause de problème mécanique mais on final on est bien partie. On était tellement tous fatigué que personne ne parlait. Le vol c’est bien passé. Il a duré 1h ou 1h30. Une fois arrivé à l’aéroport Laguardia on a pris le bus en direction de notre auberge de jeunesse. Le trajet à duré 45 minute vu que l’aéroport n’est pas à Manhattan. Mais au moins on a pu profité de la vu et de New York pour la première fois. Et devinez quoi! On pose un pied à New York est il commencé à neiger (classique!). On a tous marché jusqu’à l’auberge et une fois arrivé comment vous dire. Déjà 1) on est à 2 blocks de Central Park, de 2) l’auberge est trop méga génial, tous est refait à neuf, il y a des tables de billard, un patio, un café, et même un cinéma dedans et 3) l’auberge était remplie de français. Enfin bref. On a posé nos valise puis on est direct partie mangé à la pizzeria qu’il y avait pas loin. Après ça on est allé au siège des Nations Unis. Tout est super sécurisé à l’intérieur. Tu dois passé la sécurité et tout. Et tu a même pas le droit de prendre le drapeaux de ton pays pour faire une photo à l’intérieur, Enfin bon. On a eu une visité guidé est c’était vraiment super intéressant. On a même pu entré dans les supers grandes salles de conférences. A la fin de la visité on était libre jusqu’a la fin de la journée et notré couvre feu était à minuit donc on a decidé avec quelques copines d’allée au musée d’art moderne parce qu’on savait qu’en 17h et 20h les tickets étaient gratuits donc on en a profité. Bon je suis pas une super fan des musée mais franchement celui là il vaut le coup. Ils ont des tableaux de Van Gogh (dont “La nuit étoilée”), Andy Warhol etc… J’ai vraiment adoré. Au bout de 2h ou 3h on en a eu marre et on avait faim donc on est rentré à l’auberge (mauvaise idée de prendre le métro aux heures de pointes à New York!). Bon évidemment on était un peu en retard mais bon… On a mangé tous ensemble puis on avait encore un peu de temps avant notre couvre feu donc on a décidé de prendre le métro jusqu’à Time Square. Une fois arrivé là bas c’était juste incroyable. Voir Time Square en vrai c’est juste inimaginable. C’est vraiment immense est super lumineux. C’est magique .On est resté une bonne demi heure à prendre des photos puis on est allé jusqu’au magasin M&Ms. Là aussi c’est vraiment immense. Puis on est allé en face au magasin Hersheys. On était pas mal fatigué parce qu’on s’est réveillé à 3h ce matin est qu’il était 21h30 donc on a pris le métro jusqu’à l’auberge. Une douche et au lit.
Voilà pour la journée. Je sais c’est assez long mais j’ai essayé de résumer le plus possible. Demain au programme Statue de la Liberté.

Five awesome things about being an exchange student!

1. You get to know a different country with a different culture! How awesome is that? Also, you will find out how high school works someplace else.

Exciting!

2. You will find friends all over the world! Most likely, there will be exchange students from other countries on your new school. You’ll not only experience your host countries life, but also the traditions from other countries,too. Meeting other exchange students is always super exciting!

3. When you come back, you will speak a second language fluently .. definitely usefull and good-looking on your resume!

4. You become independent! Living far away from your family will make you a stronger person. You have to take care of yourself, handle difficult situation - your personality will grow with you.

5. Become an american, brazilian, french, spanish, japanese, etc. ! While living in your hostcountry, you will find yourself starting doing common things, like playing in the baseball team, eating sushi, having a thanksgiving, supporting your high school. You will experience all those awesome things!

Those are only a few things that came to my mind as I think about being an exchange student. When you come back to your homecountry, you will be a different person that has not only a big knowledge about a different country, but also about yourself. You will learn so much about yourself and you will begin to think deeper about, well, everything. At least, thats what I experienced and I feel like I learned in this time here more than I did ever in my life. - Not trying to be cheesy or anything.

xxx 

“(Man) My girlfriend is an international exchange student. In two weeks she has to go back to her home country. This was the biggest problem we had when we first started dating. However, now that we like each other this much, don’t you think it doesn’t really make any sense to say we shouldn’t be together because of this one problem?“

“(남자) 여자친구는 교환학생이라 2주 뒤에 다시 자기 나라로 돌아가야 해요. 사귀기 시작할 때 그게 제일 문제였어요. 하지만 지금 서로 이렇게 좋은데 헤어질 걸 걱정해서 안 사귄다는 건 말이 안 되잖아요.”

9

Day 243: Dimanche 10 avril 2016

Réveil 8h. Aujourd’hui c’est dimanche donc on a la nournée libre pour faire ce qu’on veut. On on était pas mal crevée mais bon. On est descendu déjeuné puis avec Jim et un petit groupe on est allé à l’Eglise Saint Patrick. C’est une immense église et Jim connait le prêtre principal (je sais pas comment ça s’appelle). Du coup il nous avait réservé le rang de devant. La messe était vraiment intéressante et le bâtiment en lui même est incroyable. Bon comme personne ne connaissait les prières en anglais tous le monde les récité dans leur langue maternel donc on avait un lélange de Français, Italien, Allemands, Tchèque et Espagnol. C’était marrant. Après la messe on a décidé d’aller au musée d’histoire naturel. Je crois que c’est le quatrième musée d’histoire naturel que je visite et c’était pas le meilleur. Enfin bref. Après ça on es allé pic niquer à Central Park. On a rejoind une autre partie du groupe. C’était vraiment génial. Il faisait suer beau et chaud. Et étant donné qu’on étaient tous crevée on s’est allongé sur l’herbe et en 5 minutes tout le monde dormait. Ca faisait vraiment du bien. Tout le monde était vraiment crevé. Puis avec une partie du groupe on a décidé de bougé et d’aller voir les High Line. C’est magniffique. C’est comme un coin de paradis tranquille et calme en plein New York. En gros c’est une ancienne ligne de métro qu’ils ont transformé en jardin/promenade. C’est vraiment super réussi. C’est très long et en gros il y a plein de fleurs, de plantes, de sculptures, peintures murales etc… J’ai vraiment adoré. Après ça on c’est arrêté au Chelsea Market. Pour ceux qui connaisent le Camdem lock market à Londres c’est exactement la même chose. Et pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas en gros c’est un marché couvert avec des artisans et plein de nourriture. On a trouvé un stand tenue par des jeunes Italiens et vu que dans notre groupe il y avait des Italiennes elles ont commencé à parlé avec eux et au final ils nous ont donné du pain (du vrai pain!) avec de l’huile. Vous pouvez pas savoir comment ça fais du bien de manger de la vrai nourriture. Après ça on a décidé de retourné à Brooklyn pour voir le pont et la ville de jour cette fois çi. Cétait incroyable. J’ai toujours vu le pont de Brooklyn sur les vidéos de Casey Neistat sur Youtube et je me suis toujours dit “Un jour j’irai là bas”. Et voilà j’y étais. C’est super jolie et immense. On a décidé de traversé donc on a marché de Brooklyn à Manhattan. Bon évidemment on s'arrêtait toutes les trente seconds pour prendre des photos. En tous la traversée à durée 1 heure! Vers la fin on en avait vraiment marre et on était extrêmement fatigué donc on est allé mangé vite fais à Panera Bread. Après Panera on a un peu fais les boutiques à côté de Macy’s puis on a pris le métro pour rentrer à l’auberge de jeunesse. Étrangement en revenant il nous resté un petit peu d’énergie donc avec quelques amie on est sortit pour s'acheter des glaces (oui à 23h30 du soir). En rentrant on a fait nos valise et au lit. Repos bien mérité. On a marché entre 18 et 20 kilomètres tous les jours.
Voilà pour la journée. Demain retour à la maison mais avant ça visite de l’Empire State building.

The Little Things

So I know that most people that read my blog like to read what I am up to, but this post is going to be about the little things that I have learned in this short five months.

1.) Always say yes to an opportunity, big or small. 

I am not saying to become yes man, or promising that everything you say yes to will be a lot of fun, but most often things will surprise you. A few weeks ago I was exhausted and it was freezing, but my host mom asked if I wanted to go on a walk. It took some convincing but I am really glad I said yes because we got to see the full moon reflect off the water, and it was gorgeous. Also my host mom always knew what to say when I was feeling homesick this Christmas season, and even though she has to be patient with my Danish, I am so grateful for our small conversations, and that I have got to meet yet another wonderful family in Denmark.  

2.) Patience is a virtue. 

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard my grandma say this I would be set for life. However with learning a new language I have learned that this is a very true thing. Learning Danish has been my biggest challenge, and I am so beyond grateful for everyone who is so patient with me and puts up with my odd accent, and totally incorrect grammar everyday.

3.) Appreciate the little things. (I think I stole this from Zombieland)

Although I get to experience pretty significant things all of the time because I am an exchange student, sometimes the little things get me through the day. The other day I went and saw Frozen (Frost) and it was in complete Danish, but I understood pretty much the whole thing. I am nowhere near where I want to be with the language, but I know that I have come such a long way and this small thing made me realize it. 

4.) Always try everything.

This rule has been good and bad to me. I have discovered that I am not a big fan of black licorice with salt on it (who would of thought) but I do in fact love marzipan. Don’t knock something if you haven’t tried it. 

5.) Family is really cool and you should spend a lot of time with them (I didn’t have a better title for this one)

Being so far from my family has made me 100000000% more grateful for everything they do for me. I look forward to going back home and spending more quality time with them, and maybe I will even be a little easier on them (just maybe). I have also spent a lot of time with my host family and this past month has gone by so fast because of it. I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I am to have had two extremely fantastic host families so far.