Tag Archives: foreign exchange student

17 Before 17: An Update

Since my birthday is about two months away, I think it’s time I gave you all an update on how I’m doing with my 17 Before 17 list.

17 update

I’ve blogged on a few of them as I finished them, but due to my absence I haven’t been posting as I complete the items on my list.  So what have I done in the past few months?  Well, let’s take a look…

  • I’ve held a koala bear cub.  It was seriously adorable and if it wasn’t a “wild” animal, I would want to take it home and just hug it all day long.
  • I went para-sailing.  It’s so much fun and if you need any item for your own bucket list, I highly suggest this!
  • I’ve sent hand-written letters to a few people.  Well, more like all my siblings.  I figured they mean the most to me so I decided to sent them a letter telling them of how the exchange program is going and all the cool things I’ve been doing here.
  • I explored a cave.  I have to say I felt a bit like Indiana Jones when we were in the cave.  It was definitely fun and I’d love to explore a few more of them.

So that’s only four things, but I thought I’d let you know that they are now done and I can check them off my list of things to do before I’m 17.  I still have a few to go, but I don’t think I’ll be finishing them all since the time has passed for me to do a few of them (like visiting NYC for Christmas).

 

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Homesick

I’ve been feeling a bit homesick lately.

It’s not that I’m not enjoying Australia, I really am.  I love it here.  In fact, this experience makes me want to travel more and see new places.

But I miss my family.

homesick

I guess growing up with 8 siblings and a lot of cousins being around on a consistent basis can really have an impact on one’s life.  You get used to them always being around, then you move away and they’re suddenly not there with you.

Going to boarding school was different because I had at least one of my brothers with me.  He was just across the room so if I needed him I could throw a pillow at him and talk to him.  I know my family is just a phone call or video chat away now, but at the same time they’re not because the time difference is huge.

I have just about two months left of my exchange student program, so I will be going home soon.  I intend on enjoying every moment that I’m here in Australia, but I’m also counting down the days that I’ll be able to hug my siblings and talk to them face-to-face.

Those are my thoughts for today… at 2am.

Have a great day everyone, no matter what part of the world you’re in!

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Destination: Australia

australia globe

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.

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