WEPisode #6: Molly In Italy

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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!

  Dear students, parents, host parents, school principals, teachers and local coordinators As you may be aware, on the 11th of May 2021 the Coalition Government announced the 2021-2022 Federal Budget, based on the forecast of Australia’s international borders gradually reopening from mid-2022 onwards. Even though such forecast is open to changes with the progress of the vaccine rollout in Australia and overseas, international programs remain at a very high risk of cancellation for the remainder of this year and the first semester of the coming year. The delivery of both our inbound and outbound student exchange programs requires months of preparation and organisation, allowing a very small timeframe to make a decision on upcoming student departures and intakes. Over our 20 years of operations in Australia, WEP’s priority has always been to deliver high quality services to all stakeholders. As we cannot guarantee such level of quality by reducing the timeframe of our production cycles, we at WEP Australia have made the difficult decision to cancel all international student exchange programs up to and including June 2022.

Applications for Australian students to go on exchange from August 2022 onwards are open.

We greatly appreciate the trust and support you have shown to our organisation since the start of the global pandemic and hope that you will understand our decision. We will remain available for any information you may require and will continue to update you with any changes to our position. We look forward to resuming our programs and bringing wonderful opportunities for cultural exchange back to the Australian and international youth and community. Yours sincerely,

Muriel Scheid

CEO

 

The ever changing border updates are sure keeping us all on our toes. Don't we all itch to finally go overseas! To put some facts into ocean of mixed messages regarding the future of student exchange, we invite you to tune into our next Zoom info session!   We will answer questions such as: 🤨 When should you apply for your dream exchange program? 🧐 Is it safe...? What is WEP’s Covid refund policy? 👍 What countries are currently offering exchange programs?   We will also ensure to cover all general exchange related topics, such as, if you can sign up with a friend, choose a host school or family, inclusions, eligibility and so on.

Click here to register for 24 June info session

Click here to look up later dates

We can't wait to see you soon online!  

The past year has not been a walk in the park for people in our industry... But regardless and yet again, our efforts have been recognised! WEP Australia has just been awarded by Corporate Vision with the BEST INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EXCHANGE ORGANISATION - AUSTRALIA award. 👏A big THANK YOU to the whole WEP Australia Team! 🥳 So if you are thinking about going on exchange once borders reopen, don't settle for the second best provider, especially in uncertain times. Reserve a spots now by kicking off your application for exchange in 2022! You can apply with a peace of mind, because at WEP we have a 100% refund policy, should your program not go ahead due to border restrictions. Want o find out more about exchange with WEP? You can call us, email or register here for an online info session. [gravityform id="17" title="true" description="true"]

📯Great news for all high schoolers who live in Melbourne! You've probably heard by now about Voce Viva, WEP's Italian immersion camp. The camp is held in the Melbourne CBD, so if you live near by or have suitable accommodation in the area, you can now sign up for a day version of this program and save big! So what are you waiting for? Book now and spend part of your next school holidays eating pasta and learning Italian with the ability to return home in the afternoon. The Voce Viva day program costs only $990 (that's a saving of $1,360!)

What's Next?

  1. Find out more about Voce Viva and request an info pack as you scroll down the page.
  2. Ask us any questions!
  3. Start your booking here!
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International travel is slowly reopening and you can now travel with WEP to New Zealand as early as in mid 2021 (if you submit you application fast enough!😀).
You will attend the state of the art Avondale College in Auckland and get the benefit of a 'city program’ with some unspoilt nature at your doorstep…
You will have the opportunity to choose adventure focused outdoor school subjects and participate in trips that will enable you to go skiing, mountain biking and white water rafting (activities depend on the season).

HOW MUCH?

$7,450   - for one term beginning in July 21
$11,650 - for a whole semester beginning in July 21

HURRY! Applications close on the 8th of June

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Bestie Discount

Voce Viva's Early Bird Special is closing in just three weeks! Get your booking in on time to save $500 on your Voce Viva program, simply submit your completed booking by the below dates to qualify:

  • July school holidays: 23 April, 2021.
  • September school holidays: 19 July, 2021.
Voce Viva is an immersive Italian language and culture camp in the heart of Melbourne! Come and join us! Eat pizza, make pasta, explore Melbourne, learn Italian and make connections with a bunch of like-minded adventurers. Voce Viva is open to all levels of Italian learners, including beginners. More information about this Early Bird Special is available here. [gravityform id="91" title="true" description="true"]

Another week, another exciting NEW PROGRAM announcement from WEP! Say ‘ciao' to Voce Viva, an immersive Italian language and culture camp in the heart of Melbourne. Voce Viva is developed by extraordinary Italian teachers and facilitated by everyone’s favourite exchange organisation, WEP! Join us during the school holidays for an Italian adventure right here, at home. Voce Viva is open to all levels of Italian learners, from beginners to seniors! 🙋‍♂️ Who can participate? Students must be between 13-17 years of age when they begin Voce Viva. Students must be physically and emotionally healthy and able to participate in Voce Viva activities. 💲 What does it cost? $2,350 There’s a $500 Early Bird Special available! 🕐 When is it happening? Voce Viva will run for seven days during the July and September school holidays. 🇭🇺 The curriculum: The Voce Viva curriculum caters to beginner, intermediate and senior levels of language ability. The curriculum will provide students with 15 hours of intensive language immersion, complemented by cultural excursions. 🍕 How do I book? You can start your booking below! Spots are limited so don’t delay. [gravityform id="91" title="true" description="true"]