Saturday, July 28, 2012

One Month Left

Wow.  Time has gone by too quickly.  I still remember back in October thinking with Amelia that the time we start planning about our farewell parties, souvenirs for our host families, or deciding what to take with us wouldn't approach in a million light years.  Back then, we both still thought this is just a dream; a life-time experience that is too good to be true.  Well here we are now.  The end of July.  For me, I have exactly one month left... and IT'S SCARING ME LIKE CRAZY!!!  Right now actually, I am taking a grade 12 math course in summer school which is keeping me super busy.   At least when I come back, I won't have to do it :)

Yes,  it's going to be an extremely amazing journey, but no one said it's going to be an easy one.  It especially strikes me when I hear stories of struggle from many current exchangers and even Rotexs who continue to express how difficult the first few months were.  And this is why instead of being all giddy and excited, I am rather nervous for my year abroad.  Nervous of being who I am, and how people there will think of me.  I'm also worried of how my family and friends here at home will think of the new me when I come back to Canada.  But do not fret dear reader.  After all, this IS the emotional ups and downs of a pre-exchanger.

Fortunately, I have been getting tremendous support from a Rotex who went to France two years ago from our district.  It has been so helpful to contact someone like her because she has already experienced her exchange year and has settled back into our home country, having the time to healthily balance between her new and old personality.  She told me that making friends is not easy as you think it may be because you are not accustomed to the country's language, culture and trend.  However, through many weeks and perhaps months of hard work of learning their language, gaining respect from various people and exemplifying yourself as a good Canadian, it will all pay off.  She even shared her story of how she took children's books to school to read, resulting positively that many native French students have appreciated her great effort.

Oh, and speaking of children's books, I know that I will have host-siblings!!!  My first host family is a fairly young family of a host father who is a Rotarian, a host mother who is an English teacher (how awesome is that?!), a 6 year old host brother and 1 year old host sister.  I really look forward to stay with them for the first few months.  I hope that my French will improve because sadly at the moment, it is 'orrible!  (Noticed the silent 'h'?) 

I never knew or truly understood that even becoming an exchange student already changes who you are and how you see the world.  Today when I was watching the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics (specifically when the separate nation-states emerged into the stadium in gleaming smiles), my appreciation of witnessing 204 countries  all celebrating together has soared.  I never thought of it, but millions of people across the world were watching this exact same event including myself, which is a cool feeling once you realize it.

Before I finish, I have two more news: a few days ago, I sent my visa to my travel agent who then will send it to the Vancouver consulate, so fingers crossed!  (This year as an experiment, the consulate does not require physical appearances in Vancouver!)  Plus yesterday, my business cards finally came!!!  Rotary Youth Exchange students receive these prior to their exchange to give to other exchangers, Rotary members, family and friends.  I love how this program has a touch of professional style haha!   (It is traditional too!)

My first ever business cards!!!
Bonne Nuit!


  1. Are you going to post your experience in here?

    1. Yes! I will update it throughout my year :D

  2. Hey Sari, Have a great time!

    1. Thank you Sarah, and everyone who reads my blog! I hope you all enjoy following me through my journey! Bisous