© WEP 2022
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!