I thought it would be quite a cliche to write about such stuff since there have been already tons of information about being an exchange student, and how to apply and so on. However, after constantly meeting with friends and talking about my year in Sweden. I come to realize how special my exchange year had been. I would feel bad if I kept it to myself. And that even if students all go through the same system called being an “exchange student”. It actually depends on individuals how you live your life, not only the way you do it but also how to adjust the mind set, sounds cliche again probably but trust me, it’s much easier said than done. So here I am to talk about my amazing and dreadful experiences to help all those that are either considering to go on an exchange, or are actually going, about how to decide whether to go or not, and the mind set for how to make the best out of it. I am also writing this for myself in an organized way so that I will remember it.
Having been lived in the UK in my childhood years, and being abroad to the US every summer during high school, I thought I could easily catch up with the living tempo in another Europe country, which didn’t seem like a big deal at all. But I was really wrong from the beginning, this might be personal, but I am an extremely stubborn person even if I don’t want to admit it. I had been constantly reminding myself to be open and dare to try everything I could. However, as time went by I actually realized that I am the only one who seems to be doing a lot of things based on only “rational choices”, but I am not embracing their way of life, neither daring to step out from my comfort zone so to speak. Language was not a problem but communicating was. There was more beyond language as a mechanism. Unfortunately I couldn’t completely come to realize and make amendments to this until almost the end of my exchange year. I feel lucky however that I did get a chance to see the problem of myself eventually. It’s late but better than never and this is one of the most important thing I learned from my exchange. The change is subtle but it makes a whole lot difference to me now that I think of things and look back. I found my blind spot (or one of it).
I will be posting perhaps a series of it. Might take some time for the quality and to squeeze time from my busy life. I am usually a lazy person to do such things, so hopefully I will get to the end of it. Please bear in mind that this is very personal experience, no two people would have maybe the slightest similar situation and feelings, but I have observed many other people, and how they live. So hopefully it might be helpful when there is a larger group of experiences to see from.
A small outline planning:
Things I have done throughout the year.
Stepping out, stop lying to myself, excuses