© WEP 2020
Kia Ora, New Zealand, you're our 28th destination and we're already in 💚. WEP Australia is super excited to announce that we are launching programs to our favourite neighbour this October! Need to knows:
- You'll study full-time at a high school in Auckland!
- You'll live with a local Kiwi family!
- This is a short term program, starting in October 2020 and returning in December 2020.
- The program fee is $6,900. For a list of WEP program inclusions, click here.
- Your full application must be submitted by 4 August, 2020!
- You can start your application here.
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!
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.