Alla inlägg den 20 december 2011

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.     



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