WEPisode #6: Molly In Italy

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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!

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!

Posted in Parents,Students

Did you know you can head off to amazing Latin America with WEP? We offer student exchange programs to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico! Hear how incredible this part of the world is as Jaela tells us what she's been getting up to on her Argentinian exchange!

"Everything is going amazing here in Argentina. I love it! Everybody here has been so friendly and welcoming towardsScreen Shot 2016-08-29 at 3.00.47 pm me. My host family, especially my host sister, have been very helpful in assisting me in transitioning into the Argentinean lifestyle and making it as smooth as possible, which it definitely has been. I haven't faced any major cultural barriers and have found it very easy adapting to their way of life. Although it is different here I have found that going along with it and having friends and my host family have just made it amazing. In fact I hardly think about it anymore as a different place, just my home away from home.

The school is very student orientated and I love my class and the subjects I am taking. It is so fascinating to notice everything going on and the differences between school here and my school in Australia.

My host family have been better then I ever imagined and are always so generous and helpful, it amazes me. the food is also very delicious, especially the sweets, I can't help but have a churro every so often! My host sister's friends have also been really fun and nice to welcome me. It's pretty cool because one of her friends is hosting a girl from Italy so we can help each other out and share our experiences.

Thank you so much for making this happen! I am so glad I decided to come here. It has been amazing here so far, I wish I could stay here for longer then five months!

-Jaela, Cañada de Gómez, Argentina

WEPedia: Argentina

The name Argentina comes from the Latin word for silver, argentum.

Basketball, polo, rugby, golf and hockey are very popular sports in Argentina.

Argentine beef is famous around the world and bbq is super popular.

Go on exchange to Argentina with WEP and you'll get a week-long orientation with 25 hours of Spanish lessons and a heap of excursions!

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Posted in Educators

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.

Posted in Students

I just got back from a trip to Nova Scotia with my host parents. My host mum’s parents were moving up there so we helped out. Nova Scotia is absolutely breathtaking. When we were driving on the highway it felt like we were in the middle of a forest. The scenery was amazing. I also got to see various lakes and they were all just as amazing. The landscape is so different compared to Australia. The trees look like something from a movie and everything is so beautiful it doesn’t look real. I have two exams coming up which I am not ecstatic about! But I do love going to school. Everyday is a new day, whether it’s learning something new or meeting and talking to new people. There is always something to look forward to. I am going to miss my friends that I've made here. It’s going to be weird for a while not hearing Canadian accents! School is different here compared to my Australian school because here I only have four sessions a day and I have the same subjects everyday just in a different order. Whereas in Australia I have six sessions a day and everyday I have different subjects. It was weird at the beginning but I like how school is run here. I love going to school in Canada because I get to catch the yellow school bus and hear awesome accents! I just joined the school soccer team, even though I have never played soccer in my life. I can tell you it is quite interesting! My fitness teacher also encouraged me to attempt pole vaulting, which is fun but so hard. I am not that great but I am just doing it for the fun of it. Surprisingly I’m not missing many things from Australia. I do miss my friends and family a bit, but I am enjoying myself so much that I don’t think about it. I know that when I return to Australia the thing I will miss most will be my host family. I have grown so attached to my family that I can’t even think what it’s going to be like when I leave. My exchange is coming to a close, and it is something that I am dreading. I absolutely adore being here and if I could I would stay. I have been having an amazing time on my exchange in Canada! Hands down is has been the best experience of my life and I recommend it to anyone willing to try new things. My host family has become part of my family and I know it’s going to heartbreaking to leave when I finish my semester. I am coming closer to the end of my exchange everyday and I become more and more thankful for this opportunity. I would like to thank WEP Australia for giving me this opportunity to go on this life-changing trip. I will forever be grateful. -Sherry, Long Sault, Canada Save