A few days ago I posted a long text on my Instagram about being an exchange student and I feel like I want to explain some things to alll of you. I just want to explain how I feel and how it is being an exchange student.
I have the text right here for those of you that didn’t read it:
What it’s really like to be an exchange student:
You go on the plane, on your own, you say goodbye to your friends and family, maybe even boyfriend or girlfriend. You might start to cry or you might be too excited for the new adventure. But you’ll feel weird because you start to realize that you won’t see all those people in 10 months. People you love, you live with and people you want to have around you. And then you go, you leave them behind, you just go in the plane and fly away to the land of your dreams. You sit there on your own, thinking about everything that’s on your mind, and you’ve never felt so weird. You start to realize that nothing will be the same when you get off the plane. You’ll be in a new country on a new continent with a new language and people you’ve probably never seen before.
And it’s hard, it really is. Living here in another country without my biological family and friends is hard and I cry a lot because I miss them. And if you’d ask other exchange students they’d probably all say that it was the best and the worst year in their life at the same time. And they’re right, it is. You live with another family and you make new friends, you get fluent in another language and you make a new house your home. But you also miss your family in your home country, you miss your friends and your boyfriend or girlfriend. And it’s hard, but you know what? I love it and coming here is the best decision I’ve ever made. I love being here, I love having a second family, a second home and new friends here. And if you’re not an exchange student then please don’t say that you know what I’m talking about because nobody but exchange students will ever understand what it’s like spending a year abroad.
That is what I wrote and I got a lot of approval by other exchange students which makes me feel like it’s right what I wrote and that it’s good and right that I feel that way.
Being here is way harder than I thought it would be. I never thought that it’s easy coming to a completely new country on a completely different continent with a completely different language without my family, friends and boyfriend. I never thought it was easy but I never would’ve thought that it could be that hard. And I don’t want anybody to pity ir feel sorry for me, that’s nothing that I ever wanted. I just want to explain that being an exchange student is not always fun or as we would say in German: Es ist kein Zuckerschlecken. I never thought it would be. But a lot of people think that you can go shopping all day, meet ne people and don’t care about anything because you’ll be back in only 10 months. But it’s not that easy. The probably hardest part is being at the airport and saying goodbye to your family and friends. But that’s not it, you sit on the plane for a whole day and you have a lot of time. Time to think, time to cry, time to doubt and to question, time to scrutinize. You leave your life behind you and you start a new life without anybody of your old life. You have a lot of pictures in your suitcase to remind you of where you’re from but that’s it, you are on your own.
And now, please don’t gete me wrong: I love being here. In the end, all the bad days and all the tears, all the doubts and scrutinizations, all the questions are worth all the smiles, good days, happy moments and all the life-changing memories you’ll make. This year wil chang you and your life and whatever you experience you can never forget that. It’ll always be a part of your life and you will always be happy about this year. You’ll never regret coming to another country if you think about all the moments of happiness, all the happy memories and all the moments where your stomach hurts because you laughed so hard. I’ve only been here for 4 months but this 4 months have by far been the best moments in my life. Of course I miss everybody in Germany but that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to enjoy the US, my friends, my host family, the new culture, the country, the school and the ‚American Way of Life‘. And that’s what I do. I enjoy. I know what it means to be thankful. I know what it means to be happy about everything that you have. You start realizing all that when you don’t have that anymore. When you have to get used to a different culture and to different people you are thankful for what you have and what you will always have. And you start realizing what you really need or what you really want in your life and what you don’t really need. You just have so much time to think about everything and you get so much more mature because you get more independent.
But yes, I love being here. I love my new family, my new friends, my new house which became my new home. I love my new school with all the school spirit and the people at that school and I love experiencing everything of the American culture. I could cry everytime I think about going back to Germany because I’ll miss everything. I’ll miss my new life that’ll become my old life then. I’ll miss everything that belongs to this life: my friends, my family, my home, my school, just everything. I enjoy being here so much and I’m so thankful for everybody that made it possible for me to come here. Coming here was the best decision that I’ve ever made and I cannot say it often enough but I love being here.
So if you wanted to be an exchange student and now you are afraid, please don’t be. It’s the best thing you can ever do and if you really want to do it and you have the chance: do it or otherwise you’ll regret it. I promise!!
I’m not sure if I want to write this blogpost in German because I think the English language is so much prettier when it comes to writing about emotions and feelings. But if any of you want to read this in German, just let me know! And if you have any ideas or anything you want to know about just let me know. Text me or contact me on my social media.
I hope you all enjoy the time before Christmas, it’s my favorite time of the year! Have a nice day!!