Alla inlägg under december 2011

Av Frida Lindh - 28 december 2011 11:45

This is officially the last updating for 2011! And therefore we will not write anything significant, just that in a few hours we are going to London to spend New Years Eve there. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!  

ANNONS
Av Frida Lindh - 20 december 2011 11:45

We just got back from the meeting, and we thought it’s better to write now when everything’s fresh in our heads. The meeting went well, however there weren’t as many people there as we had expected! Hopefully more people will be there next year when they have read our fabulous handbook for exchange students!


Anyway, there were 8 girls and 5 boys there, and 2 girls that represented YFU and were in charge of the meeting. The 2 girls were previous exchange students (one from United States and one from Peru). They started out by presenting themselves and gave a briefly presentation about the organization YFU. Then each one of them told stories about their exchange years, what it had been like, what they had experienced and learned etc. After that they started to ask the boys and girls where they wanted to go and why. 10 of them wanted to go to United States, and their major reasons where because they wanted to learn English! They also said that going to United States was a dream because they had seen a lot of series and movies from there on the TV. They also hoped to run in to someone famous. The 3 others that didn’t want to go to United States, they wanted to go to South Africa, France and Argentina. The boy that wanted to go to South Africa also wanted to learn English, but he didn’t want to go to United States because everything is pretty much “the same” as in Sweden. “There’re only many more fat people there”, he said. South Africa felt different, and more like an experience, he said.  The girl that wanted to go to France said that her family was originally from there, but that she had never really learned to talk French because she had lived in Sweden her entire life. So her major goal was to learn French so that she could talk to her grandmother that doesn’t speak Swedish. And the last girl, she that wanted to go to Argentina, said that she wanted to go somewhere completely different to Sweden and learn an entire new language; Spanish. She was also temped by learning about a new culture and by the dance, because she loves to dance.


So we pretty easy found out their reasons to why they wanted to study abroad. But to find out the rest of our questions (what they are expecting from the year, what they hope to experience and their doubts and worries) we just started to talk to them, one by one. Most of them said that they expected that when they got home from the exchange year, they would talk the language fluently. They also said that they hoped that they would make a lot of friends during the year and that they would connect with the host family. The girls that wanted to go to France and Argentina had some worries about the language and the school; they knew it would be hard in the beginning to make friends and keep up in the school work when they didn’t know the language. The ones that wanted to go to United States asked if they could choose themselves in what state they wanted to live in, and if they could choose their hostfamily; all of them wanted to have host brothers-and-sisters. But unfortunately you as an exchange student can’t select either of that; but the organizations always do their best to find a host family that matches your wishes in a safe place to stay.


There was also one girl that was worried about her money situation; she said she didn’t have enough money to pay the whole sum. She asked if there were any scholarship that one could apply for, and yes of course there is! But we will go through that more ferly later on. She also asked if the parents were allowed to go and visit her during the year, and they are but it’s recommended to do it at least when half of the time has already past; this is due to the emotional state the exchange student can be put into.     

ANNONS
Av Frida Lindh - 19 december 2011 11:45

Okay, so what do we want to achieve during the meeting tomorrow? We want to know their major reason to why the have almost decided to study abroad for one year. We want to know what they are expecting from the year, what they hope to experience. We want to know if they have any doubts or worries. Yeah, that’s pretty much what we would like to achieve during the meeting tomorrow!

Av Frida Lindh - 14 december 2011 22:15

We have now decided that we are done with the interviewing of previous exchange students! Actually we had planned to get some more aspects from other students, but we feel like this is enough. So now we are going to move on to the next step – the info meeting for students that are considering being exchange students that is going to be held next week at Meeths, Kungsgatan 37.

The meeting is organized by YFU. They purpose of the meeting is that anyone that has questions, doubts, thoughts or just want to get more information about what it’s like to be an exchange student can come and talk about it there. Anyone is welcomed, as long as he / she is suited to be an exchange student; the age limit is between 15 – 18 years old (some exceptions can be made, for example if you turn 18 in May and the exchange year begins in July).

 

So this is what we are going to be doing next week. But meanwhile we will start to prepare some questions and thoughts of what we exactly want to achieve during the meeting, so that we have some special points that we can focus on.   

Av Frida Lindh - 11 december 2011 22:15

Today we got in contact with a Norwegian girl; Katarina Østberg. She lives in Oslo and was an exchange student in the United States in 2009 / 2010. Once again, due to the distance, we interviewed her through Skype (God bless technology!). Here come some of the most interesting answers she had to our questions: 


- Can you summarize the whole year in just one sentence? “Oh that’s easy – the best year of my life, without any doubts”.

- How did you develop as a person? “Well, I definitely got more independent. You know, before I relied on my parents for a lot of things, but now I learned to take care of my self and to be responsible. I also learned to face my fears; instead of avoiding them you should confront them, because who knows, maybe it isn’t that scary after all”     

- What was the best part of the year? “My friends! They pretty much made my entire year! I have never felt that connection that I felt with them with my friends in Sweden, we became more like sisters. And we did everything together. I even looked forward to going to school, because I knew they would be there, and that’s something I can guarantee you has never happened before.

- How did your host family treat you? “They were lovely! Already from the first day they made me feel like one in the family and not like a guest. That is really important, to feel like to fit in. They always made me feel comfortable and always offered their help if I was struggling with something. I’m always going to be grateful to them for opening up their home to me”

 

Av Frida Lindh - 5 december 2011 22:15

We still haven’t heard back from the Swedish girl that is currently living in Brazil! Honestly we don’t even know her name! But we did write a message to Stella (the girl she is staying with) and asked her to pass it through to the girl. But still nothing … and quite some time has passed since we wrote her the message … So either she has just decided to ignore us, or she’s extremely busy with all the fun things you experience as an exchange student and has just forgot to answer the message from the two strangers in Sweden! Anyway, let’s not waste any more time waiting for her reply, even though it would have been useful to hear her point of view now when she’s actually in the middle of her exchange year instead of after when some time has passed like we have with the other students.   

Av Frida Lindh - 2 december 2011 22:00

Today we got a mail from Stella Lazzuri (the girl from Brazil who spent her exchange year in Sweden):


“My experience in Sweden was unique and very different, because Brazil, has a completely different culture comparing to Sweden or to any other country in Europe. The habits are different, as well as many other things, specially the language and the weather in the winter time. The experience in the foreign country is difficult in the begining, because everything is new! But if you don't give it a try, it will continue to be. So you have to accept the fact that you know nothing about where you are, and let people show you everything without saying no to the oportunities that the new family and friends will give to you. In the end, when you look back and see everything that you've passed through, it's really pleasurable to know that you have strengths enough to cope with all your fears in the different place. And the last thing, you have to enjoy all the moments, because they'll just happen once, and when you're back to your home country you'll miss them”.


We are pretty happy with this answer because we want some kind of overview of the year and not too many details. Then it’s easier to quote what the person had said and put it in our logbook.

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