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

Mi chiamo Giulia, ho 16 anni e vengo da Torino, Italia.

Fin da subito tutti i componenti della famiglia sono stati gentili e disponibili con me, mi hanno fatto sentire a casa. Sono stata molto seguita in tutto il mio percorso. Prima di atterrare ho potuto fare alcune chiamate skype con la mia famiglia per conoscerci. La mia famiglia é composta da mia madre Jenny, mio padre Mark e i figli di Jenny, Aidan and Charlotte. Mi sto trovando molto bene con loro perché sono molto simpatici e disponibile e sempre pronti a darmi una mano, che sia anche solo un passaggio. Ho la mia camera con il bagno adiacente e tutti i confort di cui necessito. É molto bello passare del tempo con loro, scherziamo e parliamo normalmente il pomeriggio e durante la cena. Ogni tanto usciamo a cena e qualche giorno fa siamo andati alla serata di trivia al club di canottaggio della famiglia.
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Anche a scuola é andato tutto benissimo, mi sono sentita subito parte integrante della scuola. Tutte le ragazze mi hanno aiutato quando avevo dei dubbi e abbiamo fatto amicizia subito. Mi hanno dato un computer e il mio diaro. La scuola australiana é molto diversa da quella italiana. Bisogna cambiare aula per ogni lezione, puoi sciegliere le materie che vuoi fare, bisogna indossare la divisa, ci sono pochi libri di testo e si usa molto il computer che la scuola ti fornisce. Ti stimolano molto di piú, durante le lezioni si guardano molti video oppure ti fanno cercare delle informazioni o avvenimenti su internet. Fin da subito ho cercato di integrarmi in questo nuovo sistema, faccio i compiti come le mie compagne australiane, faccio le mie presentazioni di inglese e i miei esperimenti di scienze. Anche i professori sono stati molto gentili e comprensivi, i primi giorni avevo ancora delle difficolta ma dopo una settimana facevo le stesse cose delle mie compagne. Tutte le ragazze ragazze sono molto curiose di sapere qualcosa su di me e sull’Italia. Le ragazze sono tutte molto aperte e puoi parlare di tutto. La scuola cura molto la pare delle relazioni percui organizza dei giochi di gruppo durante le assemblee o durante il pranzo.
Ho notato fin da subito che tutti gli australiani sono disponibile e pronti ad aiutarti. Gli australiani sono persone informali e sincere. Ti fanno sentire subito a tuo agio. Il loro stile di vita non é molto distante dal nostro ma un po’ diverso. In generale sono persone sportive e gli piace stare all’aria aperta. Gli piace stare insieme ad amici e parenti, sono molto socievoli.
La cittá, Sydney, é di impostazione amercana con un po’ di Inghilterra soprattutto dei sobborghi. La cittá é molto estesa e piena di grossi quartieri con villette a schiera. Ho visitato nanche il centro della cittá e ho visto i piú famosi monumenti. Durante il mio soggiorno sono stata all’acquario, al Toronga zoo e ho fatto una lezione di surf. Nel weekend e dopo la scuola esco con le mie compagne per andare a vedere un film o per un compleanno.
Questa eperienza é stata fantastica perché ho migliorato il mio inglese, ho conosciuto delle persone fantastivhe con cui cercheró di tenermi in contatto e ho visitato un nuovo paese che da tanto volevo vedere.

Giulia

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

Ich heisse Céline und komme aus der Schweiz
Ich durchlebe im Moment wortwörtlich „the time of my life“ hier in Sydney. Leider nur für sechs Monate – wie schnell die Zeit umgeht! Aber ich kann sagen, dass ich die grösste Erfahrung meines Lebens gemacht habe. Es ist so toll zu wissen, dass ich eine zweite Familie am anderen Ende der Welt habe, so viele Aussie (Australische) Freunde und ein zweites zu Hause in der schönsten Stadt (Ich sag das nicht einfach so! City, beaches, Australian lifestyle, Hafen, food, Eukalyptusbäume, Kakadus (eine Art von Papageien, die man die ganze Zeit sieht) etc kombiniert an einem Ort!) auf der Welt, Sydney.
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Ich heisse Céline und komme aus der Schweiz. Es war so ein grosses Unterschied zu zu Hause als am Anfang hier ankam. Ich fühlte mich jedoch von Anfang an wie zu Hause; dank meiner Gastfamilie, Jennifer, CEA und allen meinen neuen Freunden. Natürlich war es am Anfang schwierig einzusehen, dass meine Schweizer Familie und Freunde nicht hier mit mir waren und das alles erleben würden und nein, deine Aussie friends werden nicht gleich sein wie deine Freunde zu Hause. Nicht einmal im negativen Sinne. Aber wenn du einmal realisiert hast, dass du hier nicht für immer bleibst und du nach Hause gehen wirst und sie alle wieder sehen wirst, nichts wird sich geändert haben, wirst du die Zeit ganz sicher auch so fest geniessen wie ich es tue! Es macht dich nur traurig zu sehen (wie es mich
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jetzt gerade tut…) zu wissen, dass du bald gehen musst nach einer viel zu kurzen Zeit und deine Aussie friends und Gastfamilie nicht mehr jeden Tag sehen wirst. Aber dank diesem Austausch weiss ich, dass ich die Chance hätte in ein Flugzeug zu steigen, nach Sydney zu fliegen und zu wissen, dass ich ein zweites Zuhause hätte. Und eines Tages werde ich ganz sicher zurück kommen!

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Hmm, was könnte ich sonst noch schreiben… Weißt du, ich könnte Seiten schreiben was ich alles gemacht habe, wie ich mich fühle und so weiter aber ich glaube ich sollte das wohl ein bisschen zusammenfassen für dich 😉
Ich lebe in Frenchs Forest, Northern Beaches was in der Nähe der Stadt und vom Beach ist. Ich hatte ziemlich Glück. Mindestens einmal die Woche gehe ich an den Strand und das erste Quartal bin ich jede Woche mit meiner Schule Davidson High Surfen gegangen. So eine tolle Schule! Die Lehrer und Schüler sind so so offen und hilfsbereit, ich war in wirklich guten Händen. Die Schule bietet viele Möglichkeiten in Sport, Schulfächer und Exkursionen an. Ich habe vieles an der Schule gelernt und es ist so much fun mit deinen neuen Aussie friends zu sein. Und ich habe das Glück, dass ich jeden Dienstag keine Schule habe! Yep, das ist so so cool und das bin ich mir von zu Hause definitiv nicht gewöhnt. Es ist ein sogenannter „Study Day“, was ich auch mache wenn wir Tests haben (mach dir keine Gedanken über das Englisch in der Schule – du lernst so so schnell und nach einer Zeit realisierst du gar nicht mehr ob es in Englisch oder Deutsch ist. Ich habe im Moment sogar Probleme mit meinen Freunden zu Hause auf Deutsch zu schreiben…) oder was wir normalerweise machen ist Stadtbesichtigung und –auskundschaftung. Du hast so viele Möglichkeiten hier in Sydney! Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbour, Wildlife, Sealife, Jetboat, Manly, Bondi Beach, viele Konzerte und Festivals, to the movies, Palm Beach (mein Lieblingsstrand da), viele andere Strände, surfing, boat tours, many adorable cafés, fishmarket, Chinese Garden, Sydney Tower, Newtown, all diese kleinen Märkte, Hyde Park und so so viele Shops und Strassen für super Shopping! Dir wird es nicht langweilig werden, glaub mir.
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Ich hatte auch die Chance auf die Red Outback Safari zu gehen – das war eine wunderbare Erfahrung! Du siehst wirklich viel von Australien und ich konnte all diese schönen Orte wie zum Beispiel Uluru sehen. Wahrscheinlich das Tollste war all diese Leute zu treffen, die von der ganzen Welt kommen. Sie sind alle in der gleichen Situation wie du und es ist so toll all diese Gedanken und Erlebnisse gemeinsam zu teilen. Es fühlte sich wie eine grosse Internationale Familie an. Geh unbedingt auf einer dieser Trips wenn du die Möglichkeit bekommst, du wirst es lieben!

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Ich würde sagen, der ganze Austausch hängt von deiner Einstellung ab. Sieh all die positiven Dinge diese Erfahrung dir bringen wird und sei positiv und offen für neue Freunde zu treffen. Erwarte nicht, dass es das selbe wie zu Hause sein wird, denn das wird es nicht. Es wird andest sein – in einem positiven Sinne! Sitz nicht einfach zu Hause nach der Schule herum, steh auf und tu etwas. Sieh dir Sydney an, mach Sport, treffe deine Freunde, koche für deine Familie ein traditionelles Gericht oder starte einen Blog wie ich es gemacht habe. Sonst könnte es dir langweilig werden und denkst zu oft an zu Hause (übrigens; ich hatte abgesehen von einer Woche etwa nie Heimweh :-)). Und du wirst solch eine tolle Zeit hier haben, dass es keine Gründe gibt Heimweh zu haben!

Und dann meine liebe, liebe Gastfamilie! I love them. Sie sind so offen und immer da für mich wenn ich Hilfe oder Ratschlag brauche. Sei offen, helfe ihnen, frage sie wie es ihnen geht und ihr Tag war und fühle dich wie zu Hause. Das wird dir fest helfen, dich einzuleben. Aber das heisst, dass auch du Hausregeln folgen musst – so wie alle anderen Familienmitglieder. Auf der anderen Seite werden sie dich wie ein Teil der Familie behandeln und die selben Möglichkeiten wie deine Gastgeschwistern geben. Du kannst immer Jennifer für Hilfe oder Unterstützung fragen, wenn du dich unwohl fühlst – sie half mir sehr!

Während diesen sechs Monaten hatte ich viele Hochs und Tiefs – definitiv mehr Hochs dann Tiefs. Aber das ist ein Teil ein Austauschschüler zu sein und dieses Erlebnis durchzumachen. Ich habe viel über mich selber gelernt und fühle mich selbständiger und reifer – kann Dinge wie ein Erwachsener regeln 😉 Ich bin so so eifersüchig, dass du die Chance bekommst dieses Erlebnis zu machen – ich wünschte ich könnte die Zeit zurückspulen und alles nochmals durchleben. So die Zusammenfassung meines erstaunlich langen Essays wäre – don’t dream it, do it. Mach es und gehe zu dem most amazing place, Australien. Ich verspreche dir, dass du es lieben wirst. So fest wie ich es tue.

Wenn du direkt zu mir reden willst, würde ich mit Freude dir gerne weiterhelfen. Frage einfach Jennifer für meine Details. Ich habe dasselbe getan und das hat mir sehr geholfen zu entscheiden ob ich einen Austausch tun soll oder nicht. Oder sonst Fragen.

Deine Céline

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WE LOVE SYDNEY – Rugby Game

Hi Guys my name is Vasco and I`ve stayed in Sydney for half a year and I absolutely loved it! Leaving Switzerland and my normal live behind me to start a new one in Australia was one of the best choices I`ve made so far! Being on exchange in Sydney was heaps of fun, there was always something to do and it never got bored. As well as improving your language skills, widening your boundaries and experiencing a completely new culture. I can clearly say now that Australia is my home such as Switzerland.
At the beginning I was so nervous about starting in a new school where I didn’t know anyone and living with completely strangers on the other side of the world. But as soon as I arrived I really liked my host family, they were so nice and welcoming and I quickly felt part of the family. I had an amazing time with them including learning how to surf or water-ski or just simple things such as trying to eat vegemite (which tastes absolutely gross) but which is part of the Australian culture. Furthermore my two older host brothers Ben and Nick took me to the beach or on boat trips up the river which were heaps of fun!
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One week after my arrival in Sydney it was time for the first day of school, and once again I was so nervous! But as it turned out I had nothing to worry about. Everyone was super friendly, welcoming and wanted to be friends. That’s why Australia is such a good place to go on a cultural exchange , because everyone here is so open and talkative and extremely friendly. Fitting into the new school wasn’t hard at all (only the uniform was weird at the beginning but that will change after wearing it every day). My school was just great because it was right next to the beach which gave me the opportunity to surf almost every day and take it as a school subject! Having the beach so close and basically having a school full of surfers was great because everyone was just relaxed and chilled and lived after the Aussie motto she`ll be fine (which basically means everything`s gonna be alright in the end) which made them great friends to hang out with.
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Being on exchange in Sydney was just amazing! I completely fell in love with this city and the people living her! For me living in the northern beaches was a trek getting there as Australia is so big, but it was totally worth it going to the city so I almost went every weekend. There is so much stuff to do from climbing the harbour bridge to just sit in Hyde Park with some friends and have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view over the skyline of Sydney but u will figure it out by yourself believe me!
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Having Jennifer my local INTO coordinator here in Sydney has been very nice and helpful as I knew she would always be there for help and support if anything would happen or go wrong which wasn’t the case for other exchange student other program, as some had hard times and they had to manage them all by themselves. My coordinator was local, she checking in with me regularly and was always very caring and concerned about how I was going just to make sure everything was alright, which it fortunately always was! So again, thanks Jennifer for always being there for me!!
Vasco .

My name is Katharina a 15 year old student and I decided to come over to Australia for six months. I was very worried before I arrived over here but also my main goal was to have a great time and experience a completely new lifestyle and Culture. I was scared and nervous to leave all my friends and family over at Switzerland. After I arrived here I was really excited and also looking forward to my amazing time over here. I settled up for a few days and school was coming up. I attended the local High School. I was really terrified since I didn’t know if I would make any friends but it was the total opposite. I made lots of great friends that I seriously just want to take home with me. There isn’t really anything to be scared of since the people over here are super nice and also they really do care about you. I had a amazing, kind and caring Host family also I had a little sister which is 10 years of age. I am an only child so it was a really new experience for me. I would really recommend exchange years or months to other people since you can learn about the other Cultures, meet new people and just have a new experience for your life.
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If you are deciding to do an exchange year down under. Message me and I will give you all the details and tell you even more details about my trip over here. Ask CEA for details

Katharina

Mein Name ist Katharina eine 15 Jährige Studentin aus der Schweiz und habe beschlossen, für sechs Monate nach Australien zu kommen. Ich war sehr besorgt, bevor ich hier ankam aber Ziel war es eine tolle Zeit zu haben und eine völlig neue Lebensweise und Kultur zu erleben. Ich hatte Angst und war sehr nervös alle meine Freunde und Familie in der Schweiz zu lassen. Als ich hier ankam, war ich sehr aufgeregt und freute mich auch auf meine erstaunliche Zeit hier.switzerlandkatharina_2 Ich habe mich für ein paar Tage eingelebt und die Schule stand vor der Tür. Ich besuchte die High School. Ich war wirklich verängstigt, da ich nicht wusste, ob ich irgendwelche Freunde machen würde, aber es war das komplette Gegenteil. Ich habe viele tolle tolle Freunde gemacht die ich ernsthaft mit mir nach Hause nehmen möchte. Es gibt wirklich nichts zu fürchten, da die Leute hier super nett sind und sich auch wirklich gut um dich kümmern. Ich hatte eine erstaunliche, freundliche und fürsorgliche Gast-Familie auch ich hatte eine kleine Schwester, die 10 Jahre alt ist. Ich bin ein Einzelkind, also war es eine wirklich neue Erfahrung für mich. Ich würde wirklich empfehlen ein Austausch Jahr oder Monat zu machen um andere Menschen kennen zu lernen, über die anderen Kulturen lernen zu können und natürlich eine neue Erfahrung für dein Leben zu machen.

Wenn du dich entschieden hast, ein Austausch zu machen. Melde dich bei mir und ich werde dir alle Details und geben und dir noch mehr Details über meine Reise hier erzählen.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Katharina

I’m Tommaso, a high school student from Italy, and I decided to come for six months over to Australia, in order to have a completely new experience and discover another culture as well as another country.

I came to Australia in July , and attended the High School. As school is the environment in which I was going to spend most of time and where I could find most of my new friends, I was quite worried the first day. But as I walked in, I realized that the people were really friendly and there was nothing to be afraid of. The teenagers in Australia are enjoyable people that are happy to share their cultural heritage and discover a new one. Initially it was difficult to remember all the names of the students that were introducing themselves, but after a while I learnt most of them, and the Aussies were always keen to repeat their names even after months.
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My family was also very nice: I stayed with a family and I had two younger brothers, and it was a good chance to see how the families interact in other parts of the world. My room was comfortable. I got use to my host family very quickly and felt part of the family. One of the things that worried me the most was the Australian accent, because I had heard terrible stories about it. But as soon as I got off of the plane and spoke with an Australian, I realized that it was actually more understandable than British English.

The Land Down Under is a lovely place: it has a wonderful weather, astonishing views, it’s safe, clean, and enjoyable.
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My experience in Australia was altogether one of the best ones I ever had, the people I met here, the things I did, and a completely new environment changed me deeply. It was definitely worth it!

If you would like to make contact with me please ask C for my contact details

Tommaso

Hello everyone,

I’m Mathis and I am from France and I am 17 years old. I left my school at the half of the equivalent of year 12 in France to come to Sydney Australia on the Sydney program. We enrolled very late, but CEA helped secure me a place in a high school and I started immediately in March. I was not sure if I wanted to come to English college or High school. We decided high school was better so I can immediately practice my English with my fabulous Australian host family as well as high school so I can practice my English ever day with teenagers of similar age. It was my aim that I wanted to improve my English in the sight of my future studies which require a high level in English.
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Although we didn’t know how to do the formal things such as the visa, find a family and everything. We had a friend who found the Campus Education Australia CEA and she did all the research and referred this to my parents and this really helped me a lot

CEA helped find the right family for me. Actually the family CEA found me was an unbelievable family and they were all very nice people. Living with a local Australian family who were very relaxed and layed back was great for my stay in Australia.

I had a host brother who was 18 and a host sister 15. Honestly I highly recommend your host family to have children around your age it makes everything more fun and enjoyable! – well it did for me.
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During my exchange I went to a fabulous high school which I found was a very good school, the teachers and the pupils were all very friendly. I made such great friends, I will stay in contact with them all and I will see them when I come back as I loved Sydney and the Northern beaches. I will really miss them.

I did so many things during these 4 months I had here on the Sydney program Such as going to the city sooooooo beautiful and it is so good as well for the shopping, Canberra the Australia’s capital, a lot of surfing as I just fell in love with surfing.. I surfed every single day as I was only minutes from the beach. I also was invited a lot of parties, and it was a load of fun!!! I would have loved to stay longer but unfortunately I need to go back in France to go to school…

Thanks again for the amazing time I had in Australia, thank you Campus Education Australia CEA for making it possible and locating the best family and best school !

Mathis – France.

Hi everyone

– my name is Sofie and I am from Denmark. I’ve been living in Sydney Australia for the past 5/6 months and it has been one of the best experiences of my life! Leaving home can be really difficult but as soon as I landed and met my host family I felt safe. I have been so lucky with my host family and they have become my second family and a part of who I am. I have got a unique bond with both my host siblings and my host parents. They were very keen to show me Sydney and include me in their daily lives. It is very important to engage in the family life because that is what at the end is making you a part of their family.
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I started at a very nice school and there were other exchange students just like me having their first day! Everyone was really open to get to know me and I quickly found a group of friends who I know will last for a long time. I love knowing that I have friends from all over the world who can give me so many different things. My Area representative Jennifer has always been there if I needed help with something and has arranged nights out for us exchange students to share experiences and advice. It has been nice to have someone there even though you may not need their help in your daily Australian life. I have gotten a new perspective on things and learnt to respect, accept and tolerate people’s differences.
I would say to anyone, if you considering going on exchange, just to do it ! If I could stay longer I wouldn’t give it another thought because I have experienced so much by just being here 5/6 months.
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It has been an experience of a lifetime. You get to know so much about yourself and the world around you. I feel so grateful for my parents at home that they gave me the chance to experience the world outside my hometown and if you have the chance I would say to do it! The only thing I regret is not staying for longer but I have so many amazing memories that I will never forget.

Sofie..

As soon as I started living in Australia for 5 months and it has been the best time of my life!

I am so grateful for the personal and educational growth this experience has given me. This experience has challenged me to try new things, become more independent and appreciate life for all it has to offer!

I have met a number of people I never would have met in my whole life. I have created amazing friendships with the friends I met here, in Australia. They are amazing and include me in everything they do.

Before my departure to Australia, I was so nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations but it has exceeded my expectations. I fit in so well with my host family and I made friends so easily. It was such an easy transition! I fell in love with the “Aussie life-style” from my first couple of weeks here.

My host family is truly amazing! They have made me feel like I am actually part of their family and not just a stranger living in their home for 5 months. They have shown me around Sydney, taken me up the coast to Nelson Bay and out west to the Blue Mountains. I have bonded very well with my host siblings and I consider them my own siblings. We do so much together and we are very invested in each other’s lives. I go to some of my host brothers’ soccer games and they come to mine or I go to my host sister’s singing concerts and show my support for them. I even consider myself very close with my host mom and dad. They are always there if I need someone to talk to and are always there to give me support and encouragement.

Going to the local high school was really great! It is only a 10 minute walk from my house and the staff and students are very nice and welcoming to the International Students. School had many international students and has a very organized and successful International Student Program. They are very accommodating to different learning strengths and the language barriers some of the International Student have.

canada-victoria-jonasson_2 Living in the Frenchs Forest, NSW has been amazing!
You are in a suburban family neighbourhood but only a bus trip away from the beach, shopping, and restaurants. It is very easy to get around by yourself to do things with friends.

During my time studying abroad, I have made amazing friendships with so many people, friendships that will last for the rest of my life. The memories I have made here will stay with me forever and I would never change my choice on doing this exchange.

It has been such a lovely experience to feel so at home in a country that is half way around the world from my family, friends and my home.
Thanks CEA for making my experience so easy and amazing! Victoria……