WEPisode #6: Molly In Italy

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Posted in Students

Is a short term student exchange right for me? a. you are in year nine, 10 or 11 b. you can’t miss much Australian schooling! On a short term WEP exchange you'll depart in November or December and return in January for the new school year! Short term programs are awesome because:

  • they're less than 90 days, so they provide a fantastic taste of student exchange
  • you'll get to experience Christmas overseas
  • your Christmas might involve snow
  • you'll make memories and skills for life!
Most WEP destinations offer short term exchange programs. Some of our favourites are:
  • Italy (because there's no language requirement, the food is incredible and Italian Christmas traditions extend until early January!)
  • France (because you can choose between a traditional exchange or an area option)
  • Norway (because this European gem has got to be one of the most beautiful countries on earth!)
Application deadlines for programs commencing this November/December are already beginning to close! Given that it takes three weeks to complete an application you better get a wriggle on! Start your application by clicking here.

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? Scholarship

2 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!

Posted in Students

Ok, so you’re: Adventurous (we know because you’re reading about a WEP student exchange) Looking for the experience of a lifetime Ready to make 2018 a year to remember! So, what's next? Application deadlines for programs departing in August this year are closing VERY SOON, so start your application now by clicking here.   August student exchange programs are fantastic because you get to participate in some wonderful included orientation programs! In Italy, there's a four-night orientation in gorgeous Rome, in France there's a three-night orientation in Paris (oui oui) and in the USA there's a three-night mini tour of #NYC (with a speedboat ride on the harbour, shopping on Fifth Avenue and so much more)! Don't miss out, start your application ASAP!  

Posted in Students

Happy New Year, WEPPERS! What are your goals for #2018? What's on your inspiration board? Here, at WEP, we're 100% sure that this year is going to be a big one! We'll be sending students from Australia all over the world, including to our new destination, Estonia! (We can't have favourites, but if we could, Estonia would be up there!) Did you know that most of Estonia is covered by forest, public transport in Tallinn is free and literacy is second highest in the world? Go Estonia! WEP'll also be welcoming some brilliant students to Australia from all sorts of countries like Italy, Chile, Norway, France, Belgium and stacks more. Hosting one of these students is a fantastic way to discover a new culture and share yours. Start by checking out the profiles of students on our website and remember, there are many more students available! Anyway, to celebrate #2018 we're kicking off with a School Holiday Discount! Apply before February 14 and save $250 on your short term program departing in November to either Italy, France, Belgium or Canada! Nägemist! (That’s 'bye' in Estonian.)

Posted in Students

Oh hey 2018 - you're just around the corner!!! Have you got big plans for the new year? Make them bigger and better still with a WEP student exchange program! "But how do I get started?" You ask. The first step on your student exchange journey is to RSVP to a free school holiday info session. At a WEP info session you'll meet WEP staff, our wonderful returned students and have all your questions answered! Don't live in Melbourne? That's OK! In 2018 we'll be announcing info sessions all over the country! We'll be visiting Brisbane, Sydney, Cairns, T'Ville, Newcastle, Sale, Albury and SO MANY MORE! Stay tuned on FB for details! Also, you can Skype us whenever you want - request a Skype session here! With 26 countries on offer (Estonia is our new addition), WEP has the experience for you, whether you dream of eating croissants in France, walking the iconic halls of an American high school, discovering beautiful Italy or Australia's cooler cousin, Canada! See you there!

Posted in Students

So, you've requested your free information pack, you've read it from cover to cover and you're itching to find out more about your student exchange options! The next step is to RSVP to an info session! WEP holds info sessions around Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, so wherever you live, it's likely we'll be at a venue near you! And, if we're not, that's OK, let's Skype instead! You can RSVP to a Skype session here! Info sessions are a fantastic opportunity to meet WEP staff, chat with returned students from your area and ask all the questions you've got! They're also fun! So, RSVP ASAP and don't forget to invite your travel-obsesses besties along too, we've got a Bestie Discount! See you there!

Posted in Students

Application deadlines for 2018 student exchange programs to the USA are closing soon! Start your application now and experience life as an American teen! I'm two and a half months into my five-month exchange program in the USA, which means I'm half way! The whole experience has gone incredibly fast and I never want to leave (sorry mum and dad). I'm located in the heartland of America in the state of Oklahama, the land of buffalo, sports-crazed fans and soul food. I've experienced some amazing things that I'll never forget! I frequently get the question, "Is American high school like the movies?" and the answer is "YES!" in all the best ways possible! I ride a yellow bus to school everyday, eat in a cafeteria filled with pizza and burgers and sit through US history. It's incredibly different from my school in Australia where I wear uniforms to school and am surrounded by only girls! My favourite part would definitely have to be the spirit or pep assemblies and the football games. Spirit assemblies are pretty much where the school gathers together and does various activities and chants to build school spirit, they are the funnest school assemblies ever! Also, high schools in the United States have Friday Night Football, where schools play each other. The entire school come out to stand up and cheer along the team with chants and songs. The game will also include dance offs at half time, extravagant performances by the school band and cheerleaders on the sidelines. A huge highlight of my trip so far was last weekend, when me and three friends went on a small weekend trip to Lawton, a small National Park in the South of Oklahoma City where I am staying. We camped, hiked, swam in a gorge and ran through a field of flowers. It was a lot of fun and I got to see another side beautiful side of America. A massive difference between Australia and the United States is food! It is pretty well known that America is the world's leading provider of fast food and junk food. My first time going to a grocery store I was amazed at all the different chips, chocolates and candy and not just that, but the numerous fast food stores that I passed on my way to the store. As delicious and tempting as it is I'm trying not to get too tempted by the American diet but I do enjoy a good burger and fries. I’ve had an amazing experience and can’t wait for the rest of my program! -Meka Got questions about a WEP exchange program to the USA? Chat to us now!  

Posted in Parents,Students

Hello! My name is Lauren and almost three years ago I embarked on the most amazing journey of my life! When I jumped (out of excitement) off the plane in Ottawa, Canada, surrounded by snow and the crisp air, I knew it would be a life-changing experience. I lived in a little town known as Moose Creek (perfectly Canadian, eh?) for three months, with the most amazing host family ever. My host family, consisting of a Mum and Dad and three younger children has since become my second family whom I share a special bond with. It honestly couldn’t have been a better match! Looking back, it seems impossible to me to comprehend that three years ago I was meeting the people I now consider lifelong friends for the very first time. One of my favourite parts of exchange was attending school! I know it sounds crazy, but school is where I made some of my fondest memories. I attended a small country school, approximately a third of the size of my school here in Australia, so already a crazy new environment. It’s impossible for me to pinpoint my favourite experience from school, but I would have to say the time my friends and I ran like emus through the corridors would have been one of the best! Exchange isn’t an easy thing to do; it requires you to be open-minded and willing to adapt to new situations. However, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I can vouch for it being worthwhile. Not only did I experience the most memorable experiences in Canada, like seeing Niagara Falls (still speechless), I also learned an incredible amount about myself and the world in which we live. I gained a lot of confidence and independence from my exchange which allowed me to return to Australia seeing the world as my oyster. I am forever thankful to my families in Australia and Canada, my friends and WEP, this experience would have never occurred had it not been for them. As for where I am now, I recently graduated high school and began attending university! I am studying a double degree in Law and Global Studies. I have since caught up with my host parents in New York, where they met my family from Australia and I recently returned from a trip back to Canada where I visited my host family once again and surprised all my friends from school. Whatever it was which encouraged me to take the leap and live overseas for three months, I will be forever grateful for. I wouldn’t trade my exchange experience for anything in the entire world and I hope if you are considering exchange, you take the leap and apply, I can guarantee you will have only the most amazing experience! If I had any piece of advice for future students, it would be go for as long as possible! My one and only regret is that I didn't go for longer!

Posted in Students

Have you chosen your exchange bestie yet? WEP exchange students from Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy are arriving in Australia this July and we're looking for families, just like yours, to host them! Choose your student ASAP! Here are Sara and Georgia to tell you why it's the best thing you'll ever do! In 2015, Mt Beauty high school student, Georgia, set off to Italy on the student exchange journey of a lifetime! Within days of arriving, she was raving about her new home! "I'm having the most amazing experience! Rome was spectacular and I’m living in Malnate, the cutest little town, with beautiful views and houses! And, just to top it off, they have the best gelato shop only a walk away!" During her exchange Georgia made connections and memories for life and when she returned to Mt Beauty, there was only thing she wanted to do...HOST! She jumped onto this website and chose her student, Sara! Sara is from Italy and super into baking sweets (talk about the perfect host sister)! Sara wanted to go on exchange to challenge herself, to open her mind and to discover everything the world has to offer! "I started talking to Georgia before leaving Italy because I was so extremely excited to have a host sister, I always wanted to have an actual one! The fun thing is that me and Georgia actually knew each other before they decided to host me because we were already following each other on Instagram! When she told me she would be my host sister, I couldn’t believe it!" Said Sara. When Sara and Georgia met for real, their adventures together began!

"My host family have made my exchange and they have surely been one of the most important parts of it! We started getting on well from the very first moment and now I see them as my second family!"

For Georgia having a sister was amazing! In fact, she reckons Sara was the best part of the family!

"We would run down the hall to each other's rooms each night telling gossip we'd just heard, or talking about Pretty Little Liars because she got me hooked on the show! We were always in each other's rooms, stealing each other's clothes, using each other's perfumes and just hanging out. I saw her as like my twin, having a sister was the best experience I could ask for, I wish she lived here permanently!"

Although Sara has gone back to Italy and these exchange besties are now separated by oceans they have grand plans to visit each other again!

"We hope to travel to all sorts of different countries, in fact when we were together we made plans to go to Greece together and many other places on top of that! We still talk every single day, sending each other our homework/study, or pictures of what we're doing, or even the food we're eating because we always talk about food. But yes, we will 100% see each other again soon!"

Happy travels girls!