One thing I didn't expect or think about as much on exchange is that you are not only leaving your own world, but stepping into someone else's. You won't be eating the same foods, waking up at the same time, and probably not wearing the same clothes. The people you look to as parents aren't Diana and Eric. They're Laure and Philipe.
I know who my biological parents are, obviously. But if I need bus money, permission to go somewhere, a problem with school, friends, or feeling sad, it's who you go to. I'm following their rules and living in their home.
The point I'm trying to make is, you leave literally everything in your life behind. You make new friends, new habits, and (I think) become very different. You're braver and you don't girlishly overthink every single detail of every situation. Everything's going to work out. You dye your hair a different color and lose five pounds. The world is a different place from the old one you knew, and so far you really dig that fact.
But also, this new world around you doesn't comply with your preferences. First off, the language around you isn't your native tongue. Hm, difficult, but I'm a language person so I love learning and making progress. But I can also be deeply introverted, and sometimes that doesn't fly. My idea of a fun friday night in Michigan would be to shut the door of my room, putting on some cds and reading until I was too tired to see. But here you can't just alienate yourself, there are people around who are trying to help you learn French and that isn't really the personality of french kids (to like to be alone). So it's really hard, but you must abandon this personality of the only person living in the world. The change may not be permanent, but if it adapts to the culture and makes those around you happy, it is for the better. And it's made me more comfortable in many social climates. So sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end with your eyes closed and nose plugged.
I love my friends at school. I love my friends at school. Oh and have I mentioned, I LOVE MY FRIENDS AT SCHOOL?! Even though the teachers can be quite negative and without understanding, the kids in my class will never fail to make my day better. If you just put yourself out there and smile, people will gobble you up. Because you're an exchange student, you already have something to talk about.
Where are you from??
The United States!
Uh, sure, close enough! :)
And then you're friends who are learning to knit and play guitar together. Or maybe you just like to make fun of each other's accents. I love everyone in my school <3 . I've also met with the rotary exchange students from my neighboring district, and THEY ARE GREAT, from places like australia, brasil, india, bolivia, and canada. Thank you Jean.
Three months soon (smile)
P.S. if you haven't you have to listen to Florence (+) The Machine's new album, "Ceremonials". It is my favorite collection of music in this world. I don't think it's available in the united states yet (haha), but when it is, get on it. Worth every penny and then some. Good night