So I have mentioned that I am going to be an exchange student this coming school year, and that I will be in Australia. As the day I leave comes up this week, I can’t help but think how this is really going to affect my life in a number of ways.
For one, I’ll be on a completely different time schedule from my family and friends here in the USA. It’s one thing when I visited Greece earlier this summer, but Australia is pretty much an entire day ahead compared to where my family and friends live. When they’re sleeping, I’ll be awake and when they’re awake I’ll be asleep. Am I looking forward to that? Not so much. But at least we’ll be able to communicate through emails and Facebook messaging… so it won’t be all bad.
A good aspect of going to Australia for a year is the culture change. Not that I don’t like my country or anything, but I think it will be a good experience to learn about the society in another country. Learning more about other countries is a good thing because we can better understand why these people have their certain customs and why they live the way they do, and it’s a good way to learn about ourselves. The best way to do that is to experience their culture for a good amount of time, not through a textbook.
One other concern I have is my hearing issues, especially since Australians are known for their accents. While I can hear with my hearing aids, it’s not always easy for me to pick up certain words when a person talking to me as a strong accent. I guess I’m pretty lucky that two of my classmates going with me in this program are fluent in ASL, just in case I miss some important words in a conversation or class.
So while I’ll miss my friends and family here, I’m excited to meet new people and experience a new culture over the next year in Australia.
By the way, I leave tomorrow, so wish me luck!
I’ll be sure to update as soon as I’m settled into a good routine there.