Hi my name is Maeve and I went on CEA White Christmas cultural exchange to Switzerland for 6 weeks living in the town of Therwil, just outside the city of Basel in northern Switzerland. I first heard about going on cultural exchange when a friend of mine had told me about the cultural exchange program and how it is a great experience for young people like me. Campus Education Australia came to my school and told us about the White Christmas cultural exchange to a range of countries in Europe for 4-8 weeks over the school holidays. I was very enthusiastic about this exchange as I was desperate to see more of the world and especially Europe. My parents agreed to let me go on exchange as they were very keen about me getting this experience.
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When leaving for Switzerland I had very mixed feelings about the whole experience, I wasn’t very sure if I wanted to go as I knew I would miss my family and friends. I didn’t think too much about the exchange closer to the date as I didn’t know if I would enjoy the Swiss life over there. When going on the plane to Switzerland I felt very sad to leave my family and friends but also excited at the same time to move to another country. Arriving in Switzerland I again felt very excited but also very nervous. When walking out of customs to meet my family I was greeted by my host mum and dad holding up a large banner with my name on it. As soon as I met them I felt very comfortable with them and knew I would get along with them very well. On the drive home my host family and I talked the whole way, learning about each other and getting to know one another better. My host sister was the same age as me, making it very easy to get along with her as well.


Living the Swiss life for me was a great experience, as I was only over there for a short time I was introduced to Swiss traditions for Christmas and New year. My host mum was very enthusiastic to teach me how to cook Swiss meals and introducing me to a variety of Swiss foods and other traditions. My host parents were able to teach me to speak some Swiss-German language and teach me about the variety of dialects around Switzerland.
While I was on exchange I was sent to school for 4 weeks, as I was in school I was able to recognise the differences in the school system in Switzerland compared to Australia. One thing I noticed in Switzerland was that all the teachers shook hands with each student as they walked in to the classroom as well as leaving; when I first saw this I was very confused as one teacher came to shake my hand. The Swiss teachers and students in my class were all very welcoming to me when I started, helping me with classrooms and work during classes.

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During the last two weeks of school my family and I celebrated Christmas, New year and multiple family holidays. During these two weeks we had traditional Christmas Chinua Fondue with family relatives and New Years Eve with family friends. Spending Christmas and New year with my host family was very special as they really celebrated the holiday passionately and put a lot of effort into making it a great day for everyone. Within the last week of the exchange my host mum and I travelled up down to Riederalp near Italy to go skiing for a few days. At rideralp we were able to have a full view of the swiss alps and to ski among the alps, this holiday was one of the highlights of the trip for me as I felt very much apart of the swiss culture. My host family and I also went on a holiday to the alps to stay in an igloo over night, in this igloo we were all able to eat traditional cheese fondue, go snow walking through the alps and go into the hot spa. Going in the igloo was an amazing experience and was a great way to spend time with my host family before I left.


Going back to Australia I felt very grateful to be given the opportunity to go away on exchange to such a beautiful country like Switzerland. At first I had mixed feelings of what the experience would be like as I didn’t know if I would like my host family or school, although after arriving in the country I felt very much at home by the way my host family greeted and welcomed me to become a part of the family. Campus Education also put in so much effort to make sure I was doing well on the trip, and always asked me if I am happy with the family, school and the whole experience. Campus Education put in so much effort to make sure the trip flowed smoothly and I was having a good time. Overall the student exchange gave me so much more responsibility and confidence in myself. MAEVE

When the idea of studying abroad was first brought into my mind, it had to be when I was no older than six or seven; and it had never fully faded from my future plans. I always knew that going abroad was something that I wanted to do, and when I was finally given the chance by Campus Education Australia (CEA) I was more ecstatic than I ever had been about the idea.

Of course, in the months and weeks leading up to my departure, I was nervous. I couldn’t imagine being away from my own home, let alone my family and friends. Luckily, CEA allows for their students to choose their host families, as well as their schools. But, even with this option, I still wasn’t sure how I would adjust to living in my new host family, or if I was going to be able to find friends at school, or if I would find something to do on the weekends.
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When I first got off the plane, it was already so much more than I expected. Everything around me was new, and I came in late summer, so the heat and the air around me was absolutely blistering, which was a shock coming from the dead of winter. I soon arrived with my host family and was greeted by my host sister and brothers. In the first week of my arrival, CEA had set up a tour around the city, led by two exchange students who had been there for six months before us and everything was new, exciting and amazing . On this trip, we got to meet all of the other students with CEA, as well as get shown all of the tourist attractions, and the major bus stop. This experience was one of the best, but also one of the most terrifying ones. I remember feeling like I would never really be able to find my way around the city, and I would always be lost. Of course after visiting the city a few more times, I know how to get basically anywhere I might need to.

Once I started school, this same fear of not knowing my way around, and not fitting in took over. And for the first two weeks or so, I didn’t really have a group of friends that I could talk to as much. Of course, people would talk to me now and again, but it did take a bit to start getting a really close group of friends.

After being here for nearly six months, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve made an incredible group of friends, that I couldn’t be happier to have met, as well as so many new experiences that I’ve had. Now that i am leaving it is a bittersweet time. I can’t wait to see my friends and family back home, but they will never replace my overseas friends and family.

Claire

“Non voglio più tornare a casa!” è la prima cosa che dirai appena ti accorgerai di star terminando la tua exchange experience. È la verità, è quello che senti, perché il posto dove hai passato mesi della tua vita, dove hai stretto nuove amicizie, dove hai imparato cose nuove e dove sei cresciuto diventa un po’ la tua casa. Dopo quest’esperienza la tua casa non è più il tuo Paese d’origine. Il mondo diventa la tua casa. Hai viaggiato fin dall’altra parte del mondo, da solo, e sei riuscito a cavartela, da solo. Finchè non hai trovato delle persone che ti hanno notato e hanno detto “Ehi, quella ragazza è arrivata dall’altra parte del mondo! Sentiamo un po’ cos’ha da raccontare!” e hai iniziato a vivere una nuova vita, insieme.
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L’arrivo di persé è un passo importante che fa crescere. 20 ore di viaggio, 2 giorni senza dormire in un letto, perdita della cognizione del tempo, 2 fusi orari diversi, un sacco di emozioni contrastanti che ti attraversano e un’esperienza totalmente nuova e sconosciuta da affrontare. Non puoi tornare indietro, è tutto nelle tue mani.
Capire dove ti trovi o cosa stai facendo richiede un po’ di tempo e ancora qualche sforzo, benchè tu sia sfinito dall’incredibile viaggio che hai fatto per arrivare fin qua. Ma le persone ti lasciano il tuo tempo, capiscono la tua stanchezza e la tua confusione. Capiscila anche tu, tutti appena arrivati provano più o meno le stesse cose che provi tu. Spaesamento, nostalgia, poca fame, voglia di piangere, paura di non farcela, felicità incontrollabile, voglia di uscire immediatamente e girare tutta la città in cui ti trovi per vedere tutto subito. Ma prenditi il tuo tempo. Stai per iniziare una nuova vita dove prenderai i tuoi ritmi, farai le tue conoscenze e imparerai moltissime cose nuove.

Cosa ti aspetta? Non lo sa nessuno di preciso, questa è la parte più divertente. Lo scopri tu, lo decidi tu. Perché se sei partito per quest’esperienza significa che devi essere in grado di decidere per te stesso ciò che è giusto. Sei abbastanza grande ormai.

Sappi soltanto che incontrerai una nuova cultura, un nuovo stile di vita, nuove persone, nuovi problemi, nuove gioie. Tutto completamente diverso magari, ma dovrai vivere secondo queste regole da adesso fino alla fine della tua esperienza.
Ricorda: se sei qui, sei in grado di farcela.

Per fare un esempio semplice, in Australia le abitudini alimentari sono diverse. La dieta dà molta importanza ai carboidrati e alla carne rossa, meno importanza al pesce. I pasti principali sono la colazione e la cena e consistono in una sola portata, il pranzo non ha orari fissi. L’orario della cena può variare dalle 6 alle 7 e mezza di sera. Può sembrarti strano all’inizio, ma dopo un po’ di tempo ti accorgerai che ti verrà fame alle 5.30…!
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Un altro esempio è la scuola. Dimentica il sistema scolastico come lo conoscevi! In Australia, la scuola si basa sul fatto che le valutazioni servono solo a farti capire il tuo livello di apprendimento. Il concetto del ripetere l’anno non esiste, gli insegnanti aiutano gli studenti in qualsiasi tipo di problema, che riguardi la scuola o qualcosa al di fuori di essa, il programma scolastico è strutturato in modo da farti studiare uno o al massimo due argomenti per volta in modo da poterli approfondire adeguatamente e in modo di poterti dare il tempo di studiarli adeguatamente.
Studi quello che preferisci, scegli le tue materie e andare a scuola diventa divertente!
Tutto risulterà più facile di quello che sembrava prima di partire. Forse l’unica cosa più dura è trovarsi degli amici. Comunicare in un’altra lingua è difficile, ti serviranno probabilmente un paio di settimane per abituartici, dopo di che sarai benissimo in grado di comprendere tutti e di esprimere te stesso! Ed avrai anche trovato un meraviglioso gruppo di nuovi amici.

Esci tutti i giorni! Visita ogni attrazione possibile, prova ogni cosa, perché il tempo passerà così velocemente che non ti accorgerai neanche che la tua esperienza è sempre troppo corta… Ed è una delle esperienze migliori che tu possa mai fare in tutta la tua vita.

Arianna

In your dreams you travel the world, scaling mountains and city steps with equal ease and basking in cultures ancient and exciting. You crave adventure; you thrive on change; and you’re forever peeking around the next corner, wondering where the road will lead.

Campus Education Australia applauds your enthusiasm and we proudly offer you exceptionally unique ways to turn these dreams into realities with our cultural exchange programmes. We can connect you to eye-opening new overseas experiences. We help you discover the world, delivering exclusive study opportunities in Europe. Immerse yourself in German, Italian, French, Swiss, or Spanish cultures!

These immersions demand more than a backpack and a dream. You must properly prepare for the trip by allowing yourself (at least) six months to ready both yourself and your family.

 

Step One: Chat with Your Parents

No cultural exchange is possible without the support – and permission – of your parents. Discuss this opportunity with them, citing the many benefits of a study abroad programme (including language learning, educational experiences, and enhanced university transcripts). Connect them to the Campus Education Australia team so we can address every question or concern.

Step Two: Learn the Language

Unfamiliar lands are exotic but an inability to communicate can turn them into frustrations. We recommend studying your chosen country’s language. Participate in online classes, seek tutoring at school, and watch films to gain insights into pronunciation and enunciation. This will spare you a few challenges during your travels.

Step Three: Study the Country

The world is vast beyond your front door! Before arriving in another country, take time to understand its history, its cultural diversity, and its traditions. This will allow you to better assimilate and ease the burden of trying to get familiar with social nuances on the spot.

Step Four: Study Your Own Country

As a guest in Europe, you’ll be exposed to a dynamic collection of heritages and attractions – and your host family will wish to learn more about the ones you left behind! We recommend brushing up on your trivia before setting foot on foreign soil to ensure that you can easily answer every question about your homeland.

Step Five: Organise Your Visa

Travelling requires more than a plane ticket. A visa will be your ticket to adventure. Allow us to organise all of your paperwork, ensuring that you receive the necessary documentation to enter Europe. This eliminates the traditional stresses associated with the Department of Immigration and lets you focus instead on your studies.

Step Six: Choose Your Host Family

Campus Education Australia boasts a diverse network of host families, each eager to accept students into their homes and introduce them to new experiences. We understand, however, that these experiences can and should be different for each teen. This is why we allow you to choose your family, connecting you to individuals who reflect your personality and your expectations.

Before selecting a host, allow us to provide you with Skype sessions. You can easily familiarise yourself with those who will offer you a home away from home.

You seek a change of pace and exposure to a new culture. We’ll offer you both. What are you waiting for? Live the dream today and contact Campus Education Australia to learn more about our European programmes.

surfing australia

It’s a wide and wonderful world – and you are ready to experience it, scouring maps for distant locales and tracing kilometre lines from border to border. Your research eventually leads you to the golden shores of Sydney where you hope you’ll find your next adventure.

Let Campus Education Australia help you properly plan that adventure. As the nation’s premier cultural exchange programme, we help European students discover what waits beyond their door by offering access to world-class attractions, amenities, and excitement.

The Sydney Experience

Tucked along the corner of New South Wales is Sydney, a city of enticing contradictions. Within its massive sprawl visitors will discover old-world architecture, exemplified best by the Queen Victoria Building, a painstakingly restored 19th century shopping plaza, and modern architecture, such as the breathtaking Opera House. Every street reveals a new attraction to discover, including the Sydney Harbour National Park, the Powerhouse Museum, the Sydney Observatory, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Luna Park, and more. It’s an area where the historical and the fresh and exciting collide.

The excitement extends beyond the city limits. Sydney isn’t merely a metropolis! It’s flanked by the world’s largest natural harbour with its endless series of cove and inlets that allow students to immerse themselves in outdoor fun. Travel beyond the CBD and find internationally renowned beaches including Bondi, Manly, and Avalon. There you can surf, snorkel, scuba dive, and even experience a few animal encounters. The waves always prove perfect and so does the weather with the city boasting an average temperature of 18.3-degrees Celsius. It’s always sunny in Sydney!

The Campus Education Australia Promise

You crave thrills. Sydney offers them, allowing you to quickly access art, history, and the great outdoors. Your study abroad will require no compromises.

Campus Education Australia will ensure that it also requires no frustration. We help each student achieve the ultimate cultural experience by fusing every programme with personalisation. Our coordinators don’t merely oversee travel plans and visa documentation. They live in Sydney, offering 24/7 guidance and dedicated support. For over 20 years, they’ve enabled European students to navigate the city with ease.

We’ve cultivated a network of qualified and secure host families. Campus Education Australia recognises that each student is unique. This is why we offer a tailored host selection process, ensuring that every boy and girl is carefully matched to those who meet their specific needs and interests. Through personal interviews and Skype sessions, they create connections that will last a lifetime.

These connections define the Campus Education Australia experience. Our coordinators strive to provide students with more than memories. They also wish to foster friendships, which is why they host group activities and take teens for surfing lessons, bowling nights, wildlife treks, and more. They cultivate global relationships.

 

Embrace Immersion in Sydney with Campus Education Australia

You want to see the world. Let Campus Education Australia help, offering you the chance to explore stunningly unique Sydney. To learn more contact our coordinators today and start planning an adventure like no other.

CIAO Lets TRAVEL to ITALY during the school holidays for students 14-18 years. Improve your Italian speaking skills, visit Rome, Turin, Venice and Milan on our fabulous cultural exchange study tour.

Attend a local Italian high school and make life long friends. Speak with your parents and your Italian Teacher today and let them know about the Tour so they can also share this with the Italian classes at school. We have Limited places. Register Today  Open to all students and high schools studying Italian in Years 8, 9,10,11)

I arrived here in Sydney almost five months ago. And I can’t believe that the time passed so quickly. Before my departure back in Austria, I was, to be honest, a bit worried about my cultural exchange experience: Is the host-family gonna be okay, how is school gonna be…
But when I was sitting in the plane to Australia I realized that it’s too late to go back now anyway and so I thought, I’ll just have a look how it is and make the best of it.

In fact it turned out to be really good, and now, only four weeks before I go back to Austria I’m a bit sad that it is already over.

My host-family seemed in the beginning not as good as the other people’s families they neither had a swimming pool nor a big luxurious house, but now I find that I get along with them better than most of the other international students I know who are also here on a cultural experience but came with other organisations Choosing a host-family is not about how much money they have, it’s much more important, that you get along with them well. This is where CEA is really good as they look at placing you with a compatible family. CEA did tell me that by the time I leave I will really enjoy my host family very much – and guess what – I really really do and I am really part of the family. I make dinner or dessert with my host father and mother and just love feeling needed and part of the family.

We laugh a lot and have fun and even go and kick the ball around at the park. One of my chores is to take the dog out for a walk and I really enjoy this, so I would not really call this a chore, but part of life.

Moreover I’m also living in a great location: the northern beaches in Sydney. I’m living in a nice little house, only 15 minutes away from the lake where you can go sailing, kayaking and the ocean -surfing, body-boarding & swimming and still it just takes me a bus ride to the heart of Sydney – which is pretty close and easy.

School seems a bit strange at the beginning, but you also get used to it actually I got pretty lazy because it is so easy. But if it were too hard, I would not have time to really do and see what I have done. Simply the best experience of my life coming a cultural exchange as a high school student to Australia. Georg- Austria

When I left home, I crammed my French lessons so I would be able to communicate with my new host family and at least feel that I would be able to exchange friendships with new friends and practise my French. Well life here, when I arrived was very different, everyone welcomed me at home and school as I was Australian and they really made me feel special and part of the school immediately. It was difficult to really understand everyone as they spoke so fast and smooth and I just had to listen very carefully and gradually I go use to the it and understood more and more each day. I had a great younger host brother and he introduced me to all his friends and their brothers and sisters and I had a little host sister who was so nice, she helped me the most with my French. We read together and she read to improve her reading skills and I read so I could read her class books to improve my French. We formed a lovely bond and helped each other.

At first the idea of having the same age host brother I thought would be awesome and was important, but I really did ever think it would be really great to have a little brother and sister hanging around me. Well to be honest, it was just the best, I felt part of the family, they included me so much as I had a younger host sister and host brother and the family all went out together and I naturally went along. At first I had not idea of where we were going, my host mum just said to be ready in 10 minutes and we are all going out. So without question I got my self ready and just tagged along and wow… we had so much fun and my french improved soooo much I loved it and my exchange life here in france just go better and better every day.

I loved having younger brother and sister, it could not have been better, they alsoloved the idea of an older host brother and it made me feel very special and they also exchanged french ideas with me as I exchanged English and Australian ideas with them. We played together,our conversation was simple, easy and I improved and did not feel embarrassed with my speaking skills as its so easy when you play together, board games and water balloon fights and just had so much fun.

I simply would not have had any other way. When at school, I had plenty of friends of the same age so its was the best of both worlds……….It was a wonderful exchange experience exchanging so many of our ideas together I love it.

Going to Australia was one of the best decisions of my life. I really enjoyed my time Down under and wouldn’t have changed anything about it. I’ve made lots of new friends and had the best host family I could think of. I arrived end of January in Sydney. It was summer around this time and therefore really warm.

To be honest I was a little worried as I had just been on exchange in England and it was not great, so I left early to return home and came on this program and I booked into a girls private high school which was pretty strange for me, but I really wanted an awesome experience. I trusted my coordinator with CEA and they said I could go to a private school as a friend of my mother’s daughter also came on the same program the year before and they could not speak more highly of everything CEA did for students on the cultural exchange and I simply had the best choice of families more then any other program. I could choose them and they were just exactly it was described. Going abroad is scary but so worth it, I just had to put my trust into this program plus with my mums friend also said was very good, we just felt comfortable and happy with booking and it was so easy, just step by step and it was done.

My host family was very welcoming from the very first moment and I felt part of the family really soon. They showed us around, helped us settle in and did lots of fun things with us. We went away on the weekends, we went sightseeing and also helped to know all the public transport. I rode my bike to school and the beach every day and it was great. It was completely different experience from England I am so glad I got the courage to come to Australia and take the plunge and it was the best best best decision I could have ever made L. Germany