An open letter to the World
Written By SCCE Exchange Student, Paulina from Germany.
Today is the saddest day of my whole exchange year, I have to leave to go back “home”. But really I’m not going home, I’m leaving home. Home isn’t just one place anymore and Australia definitely is one of my homes now.
It hurts so much leaving the place I have lived in and the people I love so much. It really hurts knowing nothing will ever be the same. Of course, I can come back and visit but nothing will be the way it is now and that’s okay, but it just really hurts to think about it.
I had the best experience over here, I couldn’t imagine it being any better and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I tried so many new things, learned so many new things, learned more about myself, I grew up a little more, got more independent and self-confident and most importantly, I have a second family and the best friends in the whole world. If I could, I’d take all the people I love back home, but I know that’s not possible. Thanks to social media these days, I can stay in touch with my friends on the other side of the world and I really hope I will stay in touch with all of them.
I had the wonderful opportunity of living in both a big city and the country side of Australia, Melbourne and Mildura. Some might think, wow that must be hard moving cities and having to “start all over again”, but I honestly think it was the best thing I could have done. It gave me another challenge and let me grow a little bit more and I made friends with even more people.
I would describe my time in Australia as the best time of my life, and it wouldn’t have been that way without all the wonderful individuals I met on my journey. I created new, hopefully, long lasting, friendships and met so many different and wonderful people, some of which I’d describe as my soulmates.
Not only have I met awesome people, I also did so many cool things such as snorkelling, surfing, canoeing, swimming in the ocean and in the river, jet skiing, water-skiing, went on a couple of road trips, and on a safari in the outback. Besides doing all these awesome activities, I had my normal everyday routine. I went to school, went to the mall with friends, went down the river with friends, went bowling and mini golfing with friends, had sleepovers and did all the things you do as a young student. I felt a part of the community and was a part of it like every other Australian. I also joined a scout group which I can only recommend to anyone! You’ll make so many friends and do really cool things like camping, water-skiing, hiking and all that cool stuff!
My host family also played a huge role in my exchange year and I’ve got to say, I had an awesome host family. These people were so kind and loving and did so many things for me.
I could go on forever about how wonderful my experience as an exchange student in Australia was, but I think I’m just going to end this here.
Summing up, I can only say how lucky I am that I have had this experience and how glad I am about the way things turned out.
A little recommendation for future exchange students: take every opportunity you get even if you have to go out of your comfort zone for it and I can promise you, you’ll have an amazing time!