With my exchange coming to a quick end I thought I would write a blog post about what my exchange has taught me, not only about life but about myself.
Sometimes you ask yourself why you ever came on exchange, why would you want to go to a different country without your family, why you would want to go to a new school. Honestly I can’t answer these questions everyday, but when I look at my journals or pictures I get overwhelmed with joy of what I have seen and experienced.
A lesson that I learned pretty quickly into my exchange is that you will loose friends from your country. They will stop caring, stop asking what is new, and stopped missing you. I guess at first I was mad and sad but then I realized that I needed to stop caring too. I made new friends from not only France but from all over the world. These are the true friends that will support my every move even when I am not by their sides.
You may have more downs then ups but the ups with always out way the downs. You may of had a bad day at school or you may miss your family, but you get to spend the weekend in Paris! Not many people can say that they know the map of Paris like the back of their hand, or know which metro line to take to get to the Eiffel Tower or Champs D’Elysses.
You learn how to problem solve. I mean you can’t turn to your parents everytime something doesn’t go the way you want it to. You learn how to make adult decisions, and how to get positive results from it.
I have learned so much more about myself since I started my journey last August. I love to write in my journal, to reflect on what I did during the day. I will always have a Canadian accent no matter how hard I try to cover it up. I like (maybe love) vegetables and fruits. Never in a million years would I have been caught eating green beans in Canada, but in France, hey why not. I like to be alone, just to have time to myself and to think. I love walking to school every morning, and I like running as frequent as possible. I also realized that the grades you get don’t matter and that school will never be able to teach you about what it is like in a different country. You have to experience it yourself.
I think that one of the most important things that this exchange rewarded me with is a closer relationship with God. I knew that when no one understood what I was going through, He did and He helped me get through the difficult times. There were days where I read bible verses with tears in my eyes knowing that they were meant for me to see.” I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight.” – Isaiah 45:2
So if someone were to ask me if I would redo my exchange, in a heartbeat I would answer yes.