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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"]
Hello! My name is Velvet and I'm a returned student from France. I wanted to tell you guys, other exchange students and students interested in taking on their own exciting program in the future, my student exchange story! Here goes! I lived in France for a semester from January to June of 2016. I lived in La Roche Sur Yon, a small but lovely town in western France. My host parents became my new family whilst living abroad, and I also made many lifelong friendships with French teenagers and with other foreign exchange students. I was lucky enough to have a six week holiday in Italy, France and Spain with my Australian family at the completion of the program. My program was full of crazy ups and downs, but it was the greatest experience of my life so far, and I have learnt so much about myself and about the world in which I live. Exchange completely changed my life, in more ways than I could have originally imagined. It was difficult at times, yes, but it taught me so much about resilience and the sense of adventure within me. I had the most amazing opportunities given to me by my host family, friends and school. I consider them as my second family now and still have regular contact with them. I miss my school friends, host family and the other exchange students that were with me more than I will ever be able to express. I was so lucky to have befriended them all on my program. Exchange has opened so many doors for me and my future that I never would have expected before. I have almost reinvented myself! I have overcome so much that I never would have been able to if it weren't for my exchange. I have now came back to regular Australian life and reality and have hopefully brought home everything I've learnt and would like to achieve in the future. I am more confident and I no longer need to set boundaries for myself. I feel like a more well-rounded person and I am so grateful that I, and the people I love around me worked so hard to make my exchange happen. It will continue to show up in everything I do in the future. Thank you so much to my beautiful host family, Australian family and to WEP, for opening up this opportunity of me to have taken on. If you are interested in going on exchange or participating in one of WEP's programs, I say, from an experienced point of view, absolutely go for it and don’t let anyone stop you! Some of my most influential and fondest memories were made by my exchange in France, and they will always be in my heart! -Velvet, returned WEP exchange student. If you would like more information on WEP's programs, request a student exchange info pack and/or RSVP to an info session! You can also request to speak to Velvet, or another returned student!
Learning a new language has its challenges. From simple mispronunciations to being completely lost in translation, speaking German has resulted in some comical situations for exchange student, Lizzie! Key: The word I said, plus its translation. The word I meant to say, plus its translation. anprobieren – to try on probieren/versuchen – to try/to attempt "I can try my Physics test on for size!" geschichte – history gesicht – face "I need to buy the history of the shower.” (I meant to say, “I need to buy face-wash." dreizig – thirty dreizehn – thirteen "My younger brother is thirty years old." hund – dog hand – hand "I eat a dog full of oats with yoghurt for breakfast." Incorrect direct translations "That went over my head!" I assumed people would understand this English saying when I translated it to German. But when I said it I received a bewildered look from my host mum! “What Lizzie? There’s nothing over your head. There’s nothing in your hair. What do you mean it went over you head?” Describing unknown words (with interpretive dance)! About three weeks into my exchange, I had quite a rough bout of homesickness. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I felt like I was physically sick. What better way to ease my sadness than with a steaming bowl of chicken and corn soup? I had it all planned out. I told my host mother not to worry about cooking and I set off to buy the ingredients. I found the corn easily, the onion easily and the vegetable stock easily but I could not find the chicken. Usually, in Australia, pre-packaged chicken breasts are available to purchase in the fridge section. Apparently not in Germany. I looked in the freezer section and grabbed a box of what I thought was potentially chicken. Oh, no! That’s an entire rabbit — skin, bones and all. Next, I had a look at the deli. Luckily, the lady was serving someone else, so I had plenty of time to peruse the cabinet. No luck, I couldn’t see anything resembling chicken breast. I swallowed a gulp and decided to ask the deli-lady whether the shop sold it. Sounds quite simple except I realised halfway through my question that I didn’t know the words for chicken breast fillet. Oh no! My brain had a little panic and that is how I ended up performing a cabaret-inspired chicken dance in the middle of a grocery store. After the deli-lady dabbed away her tears of laughter, she presented me with a packet of what I assumed was chicken breast. When I arrived home, I did a quick Google-Translate of the label and, it turns out, my performance was a Turkey-Tango! Learning the local lingo Slang words, they are challenging, confusing and difficult to translate. In my first weeks, I was introduced to the word gucken, pronounced kooken. This is means to look or to watch. Common phrases are Guck mal hier (look here), wir müssen gucken (we must look), and was guckst du? (what are you looking at/watching?). Prior to coming to Germany, I had not learnt this verb and mistook it for the word meaning ‘to cook’. I was extremely confused! My family was walking along the beach and all I was hearing was, “Lizzie! Cook that over there! Lizzie! Cook that here!” Or when discussing the train timetable, “We must cook on the internet. That will be helpful”. Or at volleyball training, “First, you cook, then you can play.” What? Excuse me? We are in the middle of a sport hall. There are no pots, no ovens. There isn’t even a kitchen. Do I have to cook the team a meal to be initiated? Thankfully, my host sister took pity on me and explained the difference, as well as helping me learn the correct pronunciation. Bless her beautiful soul. Without her help, I’d probably still be saying, "I like to cook the television!” Read more of Lizzie's hilarious German adventures on her blog, One Blond Girl Abroad.