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We are lucky enough to bring to you our Returned Student Q&A! Have the opportunity to ask retuned WEP Students what their exchange was like and any tips for yours! When: Wednesday 16th November at 6pm AEDT Where: Online via Zoom How: Click here to register!
Hey, my name is Klaudia and I am on the semester program in Aachen, Germany!
Before arriving in Germany I had imagined what my life would be like on exchange and let me tell you it is great!
My first challenge was my journey to Germany, I had to travel by myself for 24+ making my way to Dubai and from their to Germany, meaning over 23 hours in planes, when I arrived I already felt more independent. I had a 4 day seminar in Frankfurt were I met so many amazing new friends and got a introduction to German life.
Meeting my host family was super exciting, I have 3 host sisters who made me feel welcome from the get go. I am so lucky to have my host family by me who guide me through my journey, our bond is already so strong and its only been around a month.
My first day of school was challenging, luckily I am already mostly fluent in the language so speaking came naturally but learning the different social dynamics was a change. The school work is hard and it does take time to really understand the work in class but the teachers always understand and are their to help when you need. The kids at my school are so nice as well as the teachers who always try their best to support me.
Something that has definitely made a huge positive impact for me is joining a sports club, I joined a soccer team here and I love it, I have already gone to some events with my soccer team such as a huge town charity running race where we volunteered together giving out waters and drinks to the runners, its such a great way to make friends out side of school and grow your support network.
I have already done so any amazing things in my town, such as go to festivals, I went on a trip with my host family to the Netherlands, I live on the boarder so we hiked through Belgium and Netherlands which was stunning! I have been going out with friends more and more, in Germany we also ride our bikes every where which I find very practical, or even just walking through my town alone or with friends have all made me feel more at home here.
My exchange journey so far has been amazing, there has been many ups but it is also important to acknowledge the downs, such as homesickness which I have experienced as well, my tips for dealing with homesickness is to number one know that it is completely normal and okay, exchange isn’t always going to be rainbows, but try to not let it stop you from participating in things, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity so make the most out of it!
Hey, my name is Lucy and I'm on a semester program in Wisconsin, USA! When I was imagining what my exchange experience was going to be like prior to leaving, the reality turned out to be more amazing than I could have ever thought! I still pinch myself every time I see a yellow school bus! My flights and arrival went smoothly. I was with two other exchange students on my long haul flight and was solo for my domestic flights. Personally, I love flying and that airport feeling so I really enjoyed this part of my journey. I don't think the moment I met my host family will ever leave me! They had a sign for me and we talked the whole car ride home. Although I've only been here a month, I can tell the bond I am building with them is one that is going to go far. My first day at school was kinda rough. Going into a massive school as the new kid from rural Australia would be a challenge for anyone. But I persisted, adjusted and was rewarded. I am making friends, learning so many new things and living my teenage dream. I would say that the best way to make friends is to do a sport or join a club. I am on the dance team and have made so many friends and memories from it. Friday nights in the USA as a highschool student are something unmatched. Football games are amazing. There are themes to dress up to and the students do chants and other fun things. School spirit is a huge thing in America, which I really like, it brings everyone together. Despite the USA speaking the same language as us there are actually a lot more differences than would first come to mind. For example, I am becoming very good as converting Fahrenheit to Celsius! They drive and walk on the right, measure miles/feet/inches, the pledge of allegiance every morning, getting used to writing the date at mm/dd at school are just a few things! My best advice for battling homesickness is to stay busy and to have a good night's sleep - everything seems different when you aren't tired!
Hey, my name is Tahlia, and I am on a semester exchange in the Netherlands.
My first few weeks on the other side of the world have been nothing short of an adventure. I’m currently writing this sat in my Dutch high school, which I have been at for almost two weeks now. I was lucky to be flying with two other girls who helped the very long haul over here to be much more tolerable, although the 30-hour travel time made it feel like we were on the plane forever.
Upon arrival, anticipation was high. We (along with 30 others) got picked up and taken to the hostel. I really loved getting to meet so many people from all over the world. I can now say I have friends from places such as Spain, South Africa and Brazil! We had so many activities to do such as visits to the beach and Amsterdam. During orientation, I made connections with people who have been a massive help to have contact with while being here for these first few weeks, as they are going through the same experience.
I struggled the first few days after my initial arrival at my new home, as I was given some more time to myself which left me feeling homesick. Whilst there is no cure for homesickness, I reckon the biggest help has been keeping busy. Something as small as walking the dog can take your mind off homesickness (even if just for half an hour). Another massive help has been maintaining contact with other exchange students, which helps make me feel less like I'm alone in this experience and that my feelings are normal and justified!
Ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime? Learn all about WEP's programs and if they are right fit for you at our free Online Information Session! We have made a few changes to our programs for 2023. Come along to this Information Session to make sure you have the most up to date and relevant information! This is one of our last Information Sessions for the year!
When ⏰: Wednesday 14th September at 6pm AEST.If you haven’t already, you can register below for the Zoom link here! See you there!
Are you keen to go on exchange but would love to hear some firsthand experiences? We have a returned student Q&A on the 6th September at 6pm AEST! You will be able to talk to returned WEP students, ask questions and hear about their experiences on exchange! Make sure to register for the event here!
Our next Information Session is next week, Tuesday the 30th August at 6pm AEST! Perfect if you are keen to learn more about our programs and ask any questions! Remember to register here! Can't wait to see you all there!
Final reminder that the application deadlines for some of our most popular student exchange locations are coming up in the next few weeks!
- Spain and Denmark November departure: 19th July
- France and Italy November departure: 2nd August!
Dream no longer! With over 20 countries to choose from, there will be one perfect for you! Each student exchange experience is unique in its own way! Contact WEP here to discuss your student exchange options!
Surprise! We have a BONUS online Information Session on Thursday 30th June at 4pm AEST! If you haven't been able to attend in the past, now is the perfect opportunity! Register for the event here! Hope to see you there!