I personally adore travelling and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there in the world. You may ask yourself why you should take part in an exchange program if you already travel a lot. Well, there are many good reasons you should consider.
Everyone knows that through travelling you get to know different cultures, try new food and maybe you will interact with some local people. But that`s basically it. Taking part in an exchange program can do even more.
If you are learning a language, I would definitely advise you to think about participating in an exchange. Why you ask? When you are in a country where they don’t speak your language you have to talk in theirs all the time. Therefore, you will improve your language skills so much.
I have a friend who wasn’t the best in French, but then she decided to do an exchange. After she came back from France she could speak French fluently and my friend wasn’t even there for a whole year!
In school, I am learning Spanish and this year we had an exchange with a school in Spain. First they came over to Austria to us and then we stayed at their homes in San Fernando (near Cádiz). I had already been in Spain once, but you can’t compare it to the exchange. In one week I got to know the culture from another perspective. One of the things that surprised was that they only say “thank you” and “please” to persons who have a higher rank. We went into the inner city in the evenings too and I improved my Spanish a lot. Therefore, I’m not “translating” my sentences most of the time any more. Because we lived with host families and not in a hotel we got to know the life of the Spaniards a lot better, I also got to know a lot of local people.
It doesn’t matter how long you stay there, even a week is already good if you don’t want to go away for a longer period of time. Of course being in the country for a year leads to an even bigger improvement of your language skills. In the end it’s still your decision for how long you want to go away.
All in all, exchanges are an amazing experience; you should definitely consider taking part in one at least once in your life.
Have you ever taken part in an exchange? What did you like most about it? If not, would you like to take part in one some time?