© WEP 2020
Oh my gosh, happy new decade! To celebrate the 2020s and WEP’s increased commitment to going green, we’re announcing 5 x $1,000 Going Green Scholarships. These snazzy new scholarships cover semester and year WEP Student Exchange and WEP+ programs departing between July and August 2020 to the below countries. Eligible countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, South Korea, Spain and the USA. To apply, create a three-minute video addressing the scholarship question: What single policy do you think would have the biggest impact on fighting climate change? Submit your video here by midnight 16 February 2020. This year, WEP Australia will continue to champion climate action and take further steps to reduce our impact on the planet. We will reduce printing, postage and courier services, using recycled paper, offering electronic alternatives to program material, improving our office recycling systems, going solar and choosing airlines that have fleets of more fuel efficient aircraft. WEP also supports climate-smart politics and encourages politicians to support progressive climate policy.
Got questions about a WEP student exchange? With (almost) monthly online information sessions now available, we'll have them all answered and you on your way to the adventure of a lifetime!
WEP's new online info sessions are super easy to tune into, all you need to do is click here and register.
At each online information session you'll be able to send through your questions while we cover everything you and your parents need to know about a WEP student exchange, from choosing your destination to getting on the plane!
Click here to register and we'll see you online!
Save $500 on your WEP student exchange program with WEP's Early Bird Special! Apply now for your semester or year WEP student exchange program departing between July-September 2019 and you'll save $500 when you submit your full application by November 30 2018. Here’s the lowdown Who's eligible? Students currently in years 9-12 in QLD and 9-11 in VIC/NSW When's it for? Semester and year programs departing between July-September 2019 Which WEP countries are participating? Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Thailand or the USA. How can I apply? Submit your full application before 30 November 2018! You can start your application here. Got questions about our Early Bird Special? Submit an enquiry here. We can't wait to hear from you!
Ciao! It's primavera or Spring in Italia! And, it's moments like riding bikes with my host sisters through the many fruit trees my host dad grows on his farm that has me continuously amazed by how beautiful Italy is! My name is Erin and I’ve now been here in the north of Italy for two months. I’ve loved my time here so far and it’s all thanks to my host family! I have four host sisters who are just amazing and have helped me settle in very nicely. They’ve been very helpful while I learn the language by giving me tests after dinner, writing some little lessons for me to do at school and talking very slowly so it’s easier for me to understand. I feel very lucky to have made such a special bond with my siblings already! My host mum is an amazing cook and my favourite part of the day is coming home from school at 12:45 in the afternoon and eating the best home cooked lunch! My host dad is a farmer and grows apples, peaches and kiwis so here we are always eating fruit which I love. School was hard at the beginning and it takes awhile to adapt to the differences but once you start to understand the language it’s a lot easier. The best thing for me has been watching movies in Italian during the classes I don’t understand - with permission of course! For Easter we went to my host family's beach house in Bordighera which is such a beautiful town and the sea is a very pretty blue. On the Sunday we travelled from Italy into France, then Monaco, to walk around the city of Monte Carlo. It’s very bizarre for me being able to drive into three different counties in one day and not need my passport! My Easter holidays were fantastic and I’m so excited for future adventures I will get up to with my family before leaving in December!
It's a pretty great time of the year; chocolate is everywhere and, better yet, we've announced the details of WEP's 2019 exchange program scholarships! Scholarships are a fantastic way to save some $ on the adventure of a lifetime. It's money you can put towards gelato (Italy), snow boots (Canada), burgers (USA), night-vision goggles (Norway), a beret (France), etc. etc.! There are four scholarships available! All require you to submit a video, be creative and think outside the box! Here are the basics: 2 x scholarships available each worth $2,000 Available for year programs departing between January-March, 2019 Open to students currently in years 9-12 in QLD and 9-11 in VIC/NSW Deadline is midnight April 29, 2018 More info here.
If Not Now, When? Scholarship2 x scholarships available each worth $1,000 Available for semester and year programs departing between July-September, 2019 Open to students currently in years 9-11 in QLD/VIC/NSW. Deadline is midnight October 14, 2018 More info here. Don't forget to read the description of each scholarship carefully to make sure you qualify. Please note, you can submit your scholarship video before you apply for an exchange. Good luck!
Good news, WEP has published the deets of all our 2017 information sessions and there are stacks! If you're considering a student exchange program, you absolutely must attend an info session. If you don't live near a city we're visiting, don't panic, we can Skype you! At WEP info sessions we answer every question you've got about student exchange, we show you plenty of awesome photos to keep your eyes entertained and we pile #inspo all over you with stories of the many adventurers who have gone before! You'll also get to meet WEP's dazzling staff and returned students! In fact, there's not much that doesn't happen at a WEP info session, except interpretive dance (although if we struggle explaining how awesome WEP is, we might resort to a few shakes and shimmies). To RSVP for an info session near you, click here! Once you've done that, head to Facebook events and invite all your friends too, the more the merrier! See you there!
Three years later! It is absolutely mind-blowing to me that three years could have passed since my exchange. And yet, stepping off the plane in Milan and going home to my Italian dog, mum, dad, sister, brother, neighbours, grandparents and my very own bedroom, it always feels like I've never left. When WEP used whatever wonderful and whacky equation they use to place some girl from Australia with some family from Italy, I won the lottery, that’s for sure. In Italy I found my true second family. The fact that I can speak fluent Italian to the cute old Italian couple at my work here in Australia, and the fact that I have a second mum, a second dad, and extra siblings (one of which is my only sister and my actual favourite human on the planet), are all things so much a part of who I am now, it seems impossible that it all started just three years ago. The year after I left Italy my Italian family came over to Australia for a month and stayed with us and met some spiders and drank some really terrible coffee and had a ball. Then, the following year, I went back for a month over Christmas, just ‘cause we missed each other and needed to hang out a while. Now, eight months later, I just got back home after a whirlwind 10 day visit to Italy for my host brother’s wedding in Venice - which, despite the fact that I am a very, very poor university student, I just wouldn’t have missed for the world. I write this post more jet-lagged than ever (cheap flights are never kind on the stop overs), craving gelato, but with the fullest, most grateful heart because even though goodbyes are sad and plane tickets are expensive, I wouldn’t trade any of it in for the world. After every badly connected FaceTime call and care package received in the mail and two-hour-long hug in an airport arrivals gate I thank seventeen-year-old me for taking the leap and applying last-minute for a year abroad! So if you’re still deciding whether exchange will be worth it, what are you waiting for? -Maddie, Returnee, Italy What are you waiting for? Find out more about programs to Italy! You can also request to speak to a returned WEP student or check out our Italy WEPisode!
Research by Volunteering Australia has shown that volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than non-volunteers. To find out, we chatted to the Bacic family, one of WEP Australia's wonderful volunteer host families. According to host mum, Di, the experience has brought the Bacics closer as a family, “We tend to go out and do things that we love together. It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday, each doing our own thing, but when we’re hosting a student who is on ‘borrowed time’, we plan outings and get out and about together more often.” The effect the experience has had on the Bacic’s children, Morgan and Riley, has also been positive, “They love having siblings all around the world. It has made them more patient and understanding in their personal relationships. Hosting has opened up and inspired them both to travel and experience other cultures.” Says Di. And, as for the family’s shut eye, “We’re a happy bunch, rarely sick and don’t have any problems sleeping…except the night before our students arrive because we’re too excited!” The rewards are not just for the volunteers. Hear from Italian exchange student, Camilla, living in Warialda, NSW. "I'd really like to share a little bit of my amazing experience that I'm having here in Australia. I'm Camilla from Italy and I'm doing an exchange program in Warialda, NSW. This town is the smallest town that I have ever lived in and I think that it is one of the biggest changes that I have done. This was very scary at the beginning, but now I think that it is one of my fortunes. Living in Warialda has so many positives! I know everyone and this is very useful for my adaptation. When I walk in the street or I enter in a shop every single person asks me how I am and smiles at me. The school is small and cheerful and if I have a problem it is very simple to find a person that can help me. In small towns we celebrate more national days and memorials, even the little things are celebrated and your presence is very important, so I always feel welcomed. My host family is awesome, I can’t imagine a better family! They help me so much and I have become a member of this family. They are sharing everything of their life with me and I'm doing the same. The most beautiful thing is to cook for them (I'm becoming a chef here) and to share our different style of life and culture. For most of my successes here I have to thank them and I can not thank them enough. I can feel that they love me and I love them too, I am sure that our relationship will remain throughout life even if we will be on opposite sides of the world. This life is so different to Italian life and I really like it! Australia has a goergeous landscape! I'm trying new types of food including Thai food, which I have fallen in love with. I met a lot of new nice people and I'm living a very country Australian life! I'm doing old dancing twice at week and also I did bush dancing, it was one of my favourite things! I represented my high school during the march on Anzac Day and it was a great experience. Also, I'm trying a lot of new sports that I have never played before, like netball, rugby, cricket, touch football and I am also playing sports that I know very well too, like volleyball. I couldn’t believe I was selected for the North West Volleyball Team! I decided to become an exchange student to discover a country and culture that I don't know anything about. Grow and mature, stay far away from your family and your normal life could be very difficult but it is a very important thing to test yourself. You will be alone, without people that you know, but you will meet other amazing people that are here for you, to support you and to try to make the best experience for both of you. I find out a lot of fantastic things that only living here you can understand. Australia is a beautiful country and the best thing that I love about it is the relaxed lifestyle of the people and the mixture of cultures from around the world." Click here for more information on hosting a WEP exchange student in 2017.
It’s been a big couple of weeks here at WEP Australia! With over 50 entries to our Dear Host Family Scholarship, we have been busy picking our top three! Congratulations to everyone who sent us a video, your efforts impressed and inspired us and many of you made us laugh uproariously! A huge congratulations to our three scholarship recipients: Luca, Tallulah and Alexandra!