Fri May 19 2017
Hometown: Staufen, Switzerland
Exchange student in: Adelaide, Australia, 16/17
I wanted to go to an English-speaking country, but England was too close to home, I had already been in the US and Canada was too cold. So, I figured, since Australia is so far away, I might as well stay there for a while if I ever go. I surely do not regret choosing Australia.
I’m quite lucky to go to a big public school with plenty of exchange students. It was easy to make friends in the beginning; exchange students get along well since you can relate so much to each other. After I while all of us started to hang out with the Australian kids too, and by now I have made many great friends that I hope I will be in touch with forever.
I really love the hot summers and to live close to the beach. We do have warm summers in Switzerland but that’s nothing compared to 40 degrees in Adelaide. Also, I really love the known laid-back Australian lifestyle.
My host family was very welcoming and I couldn't have wished for a better one. My sister and I are the same age and since she has also been an exchange student with STS (but in the USA) we naturally have a lot in common and get along very well.
We don’t go to the same school which we both think is good (in case we would get on each other’s nerves) but after school and in the holidays, we do most things together. Meeting her is probably the best thing that happened to me this year. I am sure we will stay in touch and visit each other many times in the future.
My first week in Australia, after the welcome camp in Sydney, I went to the Australian mountains with my host family. Of course, living in Switzerland, the Australian "alps" are nothing compared to the majestic snowy mountains we have but it was a fun experience and a good story, being able to say I went snowboarding in Australia.
Other trips my host family and I have made has been to Kingston SE, Melbourne and Kangaroo Island. I got to see stunning views and of course tons of kangaroos.
In October I went on the East Coast Safari that STS offers and it is sure to say I had a blast, it was great to see another part of the country and traveling with other exchange students is always a great idea.
And about a month ago, the STS Outback trip took place and I took the opportunity to see a completely different side of Australia – it was truly worth it!
Absolutely. Going on exchange is one of the best decisions I've ever made and I am beyond grateful to have been given this chance. I wouldn't give back a second of my time in Australia and I am very happy with the way this adventure played out. Sure, it's not always easy, especially in the beginning but the good moments always outweigh the bad ones.