Cultural Exchange in Switzerland - Maeve from Australia
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. Read More..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. 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
Vasco on the Sydney Australia Program – Best choice of my Life
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! Read More..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. 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! 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 .
Giulio – Italy
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. Read More..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.
Céline und komme aus der Schweiz Die beste Zeit meines Lebens hier in Sydney, Australie
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. Read More..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 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! 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. 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! 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 CélineWE LOVE SYDNEY – Rugby Game
Katharina from Switzerland
My name is Katharina a 15 year old student from Switzerland 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. Read More..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
KatharinaMein 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. 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
Arianna - Italia Non voglio più tornare a casa!”
“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. Read More..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…! 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.
Claire USA - When I first got off the plane, it was already so much more than I expected
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. Read More..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.
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. Read More..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. 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.
Hello, I’m Victoria from Canada!
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. Read More..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. 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……
Mathis from France Thanks CEA for making it possible………
Hello everyone,I'm Mathis, an exchange student 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. Read More..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. 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.
Tommaso - Italy “ My experience in Australia”
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. Read More..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. 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
Stina from Sweden – down under for a year !!! – The best year of my life
- I’m Stina and right now I have been living in Sydney for almost a year – and I’m absolutely loving it! Leaving Sweden for Australia for a year is probably the best choice I have ever done and I haven’t for a moment regretted it. I’ve honestly had the time of my life and I can now say that Australia is my home as much as Sweden is. As well as heaps of fun you learn and get so much out of being on exchange, like responsibility, independence , learning how to overcome fears, a much wider view of the world, improved language skills, how to handle new and sometimes hard situations, a deeper understanding for the culture and lifestyle of your host country, newfound friends from all across the world and so much more. Read More..
- At first I was so nervous and even a bit terrified 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 hostfamily, they were so nice and welcoming and I quickly felt part of the family. I also soon became good friends with my both host sisters Angela (17) and Nicola (20) and together with them I’ve done heaps of great stuff like for example going to the beach, shopping days, sightseeing, concerts and a holiday to the Gold Coast in Queensland. I really couldn’t have been happier with my hostfamily and it feels so good to have a family in Sweden as well as my Aussie family over here!
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 at all to worry about. Everyone was super friendly, welcoming and wanted to be friends. Just in my first hour at school I had been introduced to everyone in the whole year! That’s why Australia is such a good place to go on a cultural exchange for because everyone here is so open and talkative. I quickly adjusted to the Australian lifestyle which I love ( and I don’t even mind the school uniform now!) and I’ve made some great friends which I know I will keep in contact with after I leave. It feels so cool to have a bunch of best friends on both sides of the world! We’re already planning for when I’ll come back again, which I hope is very soon. I sure do feel like a true Aussie now!
As well as experiencing the Study Abroad Australian high school life there’s also so much else to do and see here. Living in Sydney there will never be a dull or boring moment, there’s SO much to do! I was always out every weekend and afternoon doing stuff like hanging at the beach, going surfing, exploring every single place in Sydney and around, going to concerts, or simply just sitting in Circular Quay eating ice cream with some new found friends. In addition to great Aussie friends I’ve got to know a lot of the other international students in Sydney as well and it feels really cool to have someone I can visit in almost every country of the world!
Having Jennifer from CEA as my coordinator 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. She was always very caring and concerned about how I was going just to make sure everything was alright, which it fortunately always was! So sometimes we met at the local coffee shop just to catch up, and she also provided us with sightseeing tickets for whale watching, surfing classes etc. as well as arranging pizza-bowling nights to get to meet the other students from Denmark, Italy, Germany, Switzerland USA, Canada all on the CEA program. So again, thanks Jennifer for always being there for me
If anyone has any questions or just want to talk to someone about Studying Abroad with CEA I am more than happy to help, don’t hesitate to contact Jennifer and get my email!
I enjoyed and loved my time in Australia so much and I would definitely do it all over again if I could. So if you’re even slightly considering going on a cultural exchange just DO IT! You won’t regret it.
My friends and I on my last day of school !!! simply the best !
Leonardo – Italy – La migliore esperienza della mia vita!
Salve! Il mio nome è Leonardo , e sono appena tornato da Sydney, dove ho soggiornato con il programma di Campus Education Australia “CEA”. Ho avuto la possibilità di visitare tutta Sydney dove mi sono sentito esattamente come un australiano, quando sono andato a scuola, per esempio, o quando ho fatto shopping e ho imparato a vivere e fare tutto da solo, per la prima volta. Infatti Sydney è una città molto sicura e che ha permesso una completa indipendenza per me, soprattutto nelle attività turistiche e mi sono sentito come a casa. Sono stato anche a un campo scuola con la mia classe scolastica! E` stato tanto emozionante poiche` ho dormito in una tenda con i miei compagni e ho fatto un sacco di attivita` e di escursioni! Il liceo è stato fantastico! Il personale ha fatto di tutto per farmi sentire a mio agio, e superare tutte le mie ansie senza problemi. Sia gli insegnanti che gli studenti erano persone estremamente cordiali, simpatiche, solari, molto accoglienti, e soprattutto sempre entusiasti di conoscere culture straniere. Il sistema scolastico australiano è ovviamente così diverso, rispetto a quello italiano! Inoltre, la scuola mi ha aiutato molto con il vocabolario, oltre alle competenze linguistiche generali.
E, ultimo ma non meno importante, il mio ospite-famiglia era molto accomodante e cordiale. E ‘molto rilassante per sapere che ci sono persone sempre pronti ad aiutarvi nel caso improbabile di una emergenza. Il cibo era molto buono, ed è stato bello fare una chiacchierata la sera, e dire loro quello che aveva fatto durante il giorno. Erano sempre pronti ad ascoltare le vostre attività quotidiane, e per darvi preziosi consigli e adatto! Ho scelto la migliore famiglia che avrei potuto desiderare,perche mi hanno portato in moltissimi posti come Manly, Bondi Beach o allo zoo dove ho visto tantissimi animali che non ci sono in Italia e mi hanno portato anche a Opera house,Sydney Tower ,Palm Beach ecc . Avevano una bellissima casa con tanto di giardino e piscina dove potevi passare il tempo durante il pommeriggio.
- La mia famiglia era composta da: Jordan il mio fratello Australiano con il quale ho passato la maggior parte del tempo, la piccolo Mia con la quale e` stato molto facile comunicare, la magnifica Anita (la madre) che mi ha sempre supportato e aiutato e infine il boss della famiglia Rick che mi ha mostrato moltissimi posti durante il weekend.Ricordate: è un tipo di esperienza in cui è molto importante il coraggio. In un primo momento ti sente un po ‘solo e nostalgia di casa perche` e` un ambiente nuovo. Poi, passo dopo passo, tutte le vostre preoccupazioni scompaiono così facilmente, tutto diventa incredibilmente semplice! E vi posso assicurare, la soddisfazione è enorme! CEA mi ha aiutato in ogni modo possibile. L’Australia è incredibile, e avrò la possibilità di tornare al più presto.
Partecipate, sara` una bellissima esperienza!!
Anna – Austria
Hi, my name is Anna and I have been living in Sydney for about 5 months.
I’ve had a thoroughly positive experience from the beginning and can’t stress enough how much living abroad makes you grow and change in so many ways.Not only have I improved my English skills, but I’ve also formed great friendships and experienced so many great things in Australia. Not even once have I regretted leaving Austria with nothing but a suitcase to come to this wonderful country.
- The people here – especially my wonderful host family – have taught me a heap of things and I feel like I am a completely different person to what I used to be. Personally, I think going on an exchange is a life changing experience, that gives you a deep insight into other cultures, other mentalities and beliefs.I was lucky enough to live close to Manly Beach. I was only a bike ride away from one of Sydney’s best beaches and could go down there whenever I felt like a swim. My school is a public girls school was only a 2 minute walk from my place and I met some lovely girls there throughout my time in Oz. Manly is a great location, with a lot of Cafes, Restaurants, shops and is an awesome place to hang out with friends. There is ALWAYS something to do and discover in Sydney and I was always really busy throughout my stay.Before my departure I was slightly nervous about the fact that things might not work out at school or with my family etc. but turns out, everything went well and I was really blessed to live with such a loving and caring family. My host family was great and I got along with them really well. I really enjoyed having 2 siblings approximately my age as it was always fun to be around them and spend time with them. I felt at home after a short period of time and having a home away from home is just incredible.
I fell in love with the Aussie lifestyle – everyone’s easy going and has a smile on their face. Being surrounded by open, warm hearted people helped me heaps to get used to my new home and people were always willing to help me.Sydney, my host family, my friends and Australia will forever have a special place in my heart and I’ve made some memories that will last forever. I am sure, I will come back one day soon to reunite with all my loved ones here.
If you are thinking about spending time abroad, just do it and don’t think about the things that MIGHT go wrong too much. If your attitude is good, everything will be ok in the end! CEA cultural exchange organization is fabulous and did a great match with my host family. It is perfect as is everything else here…
It has been awesome and now I am enjoying my last weeks to the fullest!
Thanks CEA for everything !!!!!!!!!…..
PS: If you want to contact me or have some particular questions, feel free to ask for my contact details.
NORA from Denmark
I’m Nora Sanaya I am from Denmark. I’ve been in Sydney on a High school study abroad cultural experience for 15 months and I have had the best experience of my life, every moment have been like a dream. I came mainly for music and to learn the English language, understand and try to live in the Australian culture and just to get an amazing adventure and experience. I’ve been so lucky to stay with the loveliest host-family in Sydney who has been so warm and welcoming since day one. They have been so good to help me with everything and they’ve been there every time I have needed them, just like a real family. They have taken me on holidays to different parts of Australia and showed me how the Australian culture works. They have also taught me how to speak true Aussie slang ;)) I have an amazing relationship to them and I feel like I am a part of their family. They are now a huge part of my life, and they will always be.
I am a singer and I went to a private Performing Arts School as an international student and also a cultural exchange. This was organized by CEA, to follow my dreams as a musician and get experience in the performing arts industry. I’ve learnt so much! The school offers different streams, gigs and workshops, all with experienced professionals, who have thought me so much during my time at school.. The academics have also been very good. The teachers and other students are so caring and helpful and they all made me feel like one of them, not like a foreigner. My English have improved so much since when I first came to Australia, that most people think I’m a real Aussie when they meet me. I’ve had the best friends and teachers who will never be forgotten. Everyone at the school have been so nice to me from the very beginning. I have so many great memories and so much experience I can take on with me in my life.
I wanted to try living the real Aussie lifestyle, so I started surfing and joined the Queenscliff Surf Life Savings Club on the local beach in Manly. That was definitely one of the best decisions I made while I’ve been here. Everybody at the club are so nice people and I loved spending time with them on the beach. I made heaps good friends and many amazing memories from the beach and the ocean. I took my bronze medallion, which I needed to be able to call myself a lifeguard and I can now use that for the rest of my life. I helped patrolling the beaches, and after spending the whole summer on the beach or in the water I even got the additional tanned legs and sun-bleached hair.
All together the last 15 months have been the best in my life so far. I’ve grown up heaps and made friends for life. I now know people on the other side of the world and I always have somewhere to come back to.
If you are a lucky person like me and you get the chance to do an exchange, you should definitely take the chance – it’s amazing! And I promise, you won’t regret it.
LAURA “My Study Abroad cultural exchange experience Downunder on the “Sydney Program” Australia was the BEST !
I am going to share with you the story of my best time of my life!
My name is Laura, I am 17 years old and am living in Manly close to Sydney, the best place one can imagine. Well living, this was my home during the last five months, better the best five months in my life! my dream was always to go on a cultural exchange experience in Australia.
Finally my dream came true; I will never regret leaving my family and friends behind to start a second life.
I am an only child and my wish was to experience how it is having siblings. And guess what? I got to have four host sisters!
(I on the far Right in the above picture and on the left below)
Going on CEA Study abroad cultural exchange program was the best decision I’ve ever made. My goal of this exchange was getting more self-confident as you have deal with an environment you don’t know and living with people you haven’t met before, I also wanted to learn about an other culture, get new friends, learning better English and just experience a completely different life style! I don’t want to scare you, but at the beginning it was quite challenging and special. Everything was so new and you have to adapt to a new way of living, which is very interesting. I had support from my student coordinator and this was really good. Any time I had a questions or need help of advise Jennifer was there.
I felt extremely welcomed by my host family and they made me being part of their family straight away. I met heaps of new people and built up friendships for lifetime!
If you are worried you might get bored, I can tell you know you won’t!
I have been out every weekend…! I wanted to see every thing from Sydney and the surroundings.
I saw heaps of beaches, went shopping in the city, went to musicals and theatres, explored every part of Sydney and much more! There is so much to do during your exchange and your new friends will take you out everywhere!
And join a sport club like netball, soccer, football, tennis or what ever you feel like.. Even if you don’t know the sport, try it! It is so much fun ;)I have learned so much during this time here, which I wouldn’t have learned without having done this exchange, I am a completely “new person” who has a different point of view of the world.Don’t dream it, DO IT! xoxo Laura
I soon got really good friends/ sisters with my two host sisters Taylah (18) and Nora (14) and we did lot’s of fun stuff together like water skiing, shopping, swimming and lots more…
I was really lucky that I lived near to Manly beach, so I could go to the beach whenever I wanted to.
I went to the Stella Maris College in Manly, which was also not far away from my home. The teachers and girls in my school were all very nice and I soon made lots of new friends.
In my school holidays I went to the Outback Adventure Safari with CEA to the Northern Territory with 40 other international students on a cultural exchange . This was definitely one of the highlights. We flew to Alice Springs from where we then drove all the way through Kings Canyon, Yulara (Uluru), Coober Pedy, Adelaide and Melbourne until we finally ended up back in Sydney
This was an awesome experience with lots of fun and I would definitely recommend it to everybody who gets the opportunity.
I’ve also met lots of new people and made up lots of new friends, who I’m still in contact with.
I’d like to thank CEA and especially Jennifer for being so helpful through my whole stay in Australia.
The best time of my life in beautiful Sydney, Australia
My name is Céline and I come from Switzerland.
I’m literally having the time of my life here in Sydney. Unfortunately only for six months – time goes so so fast by! I can say that I’m having the biggest experience I ever made. It is so great to know that I have a second family on the other side of world now, so many Aussie friends and a second home in the most beautiful city (I’m not jut saying that! City, beaches, Australian lifestyle, harbour, food, all the Eucalyptus trees, Cookatoos – a kind of parrot you find everywhere all in the at one place on earth called Sydney !!!
It is Such a big difference when I first came here. I felt from the beginning like being home; thanks to my hostfamily, CEA and all my new friends. Of course it was firstly hard to see that my Swiss family and friends are not here with me experiencing all that and no, your Aussie friends won’t be the same as your friends at home. But once you realize you’re not staying here forever; you will go back and see them all again and nothing there will have changed, you will surely enjoy the time here as much as I do! It will only make you sad (as it does me right now) to know that you will leave after this too short time and won’t see your Aussie friends and hostfamily everyday anymore. But thanks to this exchange I know I could always go on a plane, fly to Sydney and know there is a second home to stay at. And I’ll certainly do that one day!
Hmm what else could I write… You know, I could write pages of what I did and how I feel but I think I might have to sum that a little bit up for you 😉
I live in Frenchs Forest, Northern Beaches which is near to the city and near to the beach. So I was quite lucky. I go at least once a week on the beach and did the first term once a week surfing with my school Davidson High. Such a lovely school! Teachers and students are so so open and helpful, I was in good hands. They have many opportunities with sports, subjects and excursions. I learnt many new things at school and it is fun to be with your new Aussie friends. Also I had the luck that every tuesday I haven’t got school. Yep, that is cool and I’m definitely not used to that from home! It’s supposed to be a study day, I do that when I have tests (don’t worry about the English at school – you learn so so fastly and don’t even realize anymore if it’s in German or English written. I have even troubles writing in German with my friends at home now…) or like what we usually do is to go sightseeing. You have so many possibilities here in Sydney! Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbour, Wildlife, Sealife, Jetboat, Manly, Bondi Beach, many concerts and festivals, to the movies, Palm Beach (my favourite beach here), plenty other beaches, surfing, boat tours, many adorable cafés, fishmarket, Chinese Garden, Sydney Tower, Newtown, all these little markets, Hyde Park and so so many shops and streets for great shopping! It won’t get boring here, trust me.
I also had the opportunity to join the Red Outback Safari trip – that was an amazing experience. You really got around Australia and saw all the beautiful places like Uluru you usually only see on pictures. Probably the nicest thing was to meet all these new people from all around the world. They are all in the same situation as you and it is so great to exchange thoughts and tell them how you go and what you did. It feels like being one big international family. Definetely join one of those trips if you get the chance, you will love it!
The whole cultural exchange experience depends about how your attitude is. See all the positive things this experience brings you and be positive and open about meeting new friends. Don’t expect it to be the same as home, it won’t be. It will be different – in a positive way! Don’t just sit around after school, go up and do something. See Sydney, do sports, meet your friends, cook for your family a traditional dish or start to write a blog, as I did. Otherwise you might get bored and you think too much about home (by the way; I was apart from about a week maybe never really homesick because I always had something to do and was busy :-)). And you will have such a good time here that there are no reasons to be homesick!
And then my adorable hostfamily! I love them. They are so open and always here for me when I need help or advice. Be open, help them, ask them how they are and their day was and feel like being home. That will help you a lot to settle in. But that means there are also some rules like in every household to follow as you’re part of the family now. On the other hand they will treat you as a family member and give you the same opportunities as your host siblings do. You can always ask Jennifer for help or support if you feel uncomfortable – she helped me a lot!
During those six months I had many ups and downs – definitely more ups than downs. But this is part of being an exchange student and doing this experience. I learnt a lot about myself and feel more independent and can handle things like an adult right now 😉 I am so jealous that you get the opportunity to experience this cultural exchange – I wish I could run time back and do it again. So the conclusion of my surprisingly long essay is – don’t dream it, do it. Do it and go to the most amazing place, Australia. I promise you, you will love it. As much as I do.
If you want to talk directly with me feel free to contact Jennifer for my details – I did the same and that helped me a lot deciding whether I should go or not.
WE LOVE SYDNEY – Rugby Game
NORAH from USA
When I first arrived in Australia I was disoriented and jet-lagged but once I got out of the airport and met up with my host family it already started to feel like home. Upon arriving I was taken in very warmly by my host parents and three host sisters and the house I stayed in was beautiful.
Before starting school I had a week to get to know the area and get my bearings, which helped my nerves on the first day of school. I quickly learned that there was nothing to be nervous about at all, the school, teachers, and people I met were all very interested in hearing my story and getting to know me.
The school was an amazing place to attend and had a beautiful campus close to the beach and not far from my host families house. The convenient location between school and home gave me the opportunity to explore the area even more. After a while I really got to know Manly and Sydney and by the time I had to leave Australia really felt like home.
I had an amazing time not only with the city and the host family but with my friends. Everyone I made friends with was excited to teach me more about Australia and show me around the area. I ended up visiting a lot of interesting places in New South Wales that I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to go to if it weren’t for the friends I made at school. One of these places was a ski hills in Perisher Valley which I spent a weekend with my friends at during the first part of my trip and ended up being one of the highlights of my stay.
I’ve had so many lovely experiences and have learned so much from my time in Australia that I wouldn’t change a thing about my semester that I spent here. If I had to thank someone for how great my time here has been it would be Jennifer of CEA who has done a great job of making me feel at home and making sure that I had a good time.
If you wish to email me any time please ask CEA for my details. Norah.
Phillip from Germany
Hi my name is Phillip, I was 16 when I arrived and 17 years old when I returned home. I come from Germany. I’ve been staying in Australia for 1 year. This year was most probably the best year of my life. I’ve had so many experiences that are enriching for my whole life. I’ve had lots of freedom but also responsibilities that gave me a sense of independence and maturity. I’m not the Phillip that came to Australia one year ago anymore. This year strengthened me and gave me self-confidence. Furthermore, my English has improved a lot.
I’ve been staying here with 2 lovely host families. My first host parents were called Kathy and Lee. They were very warm, friendly and caring. We were talking a lot and we have had lots of fun. They have lovely sons and daughters that were interested in doing things together with the family. So I got introduced to the whole family. I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, they moved up to Port Stephens after 6 months. But this wasn’t a problem at all. After I’ve talked to CEA, my student coordinator reacted immediately and we found a new host family within a couple of days. The second family is as good as the family before. They seem to be quite interested in the German culture and often ask me questions.
My school was a Senior Campus. This school contains year 11 and year 12. It is a very academic school that pushes you to receive best results. But if you pay attention in class you don’t need to worry about school at all. I usually catch the bus to school.
I’ve met lots of friends over here. In the beginning it was hard. But once you overcame your shyness finding friends isn’t as hard as it sounds. The students always were very welcoming and interested in me. They are still asking me many questions. Many students tell me, that they are going to miss me.
I do a lot of sports over here. I’ve joined a local tennis club. I’ve found many friends at the tennis club. I play on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If I’m not on the tennis court, swinging my racket at the ball, I’m at a gym or go for a run. On the weekend I usually catch up with friends in the city. Sometimes we go to the movies.
Sydney is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. You can always see a smile on my face when I pass the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House. Challenge yourself and come and live in Australia. You won’t forget this experience. It is beneficial and enriching for your whole life. You return as a different, grown up person.
I also wanted to say that I had a wonderful Coordinator on the program. Jennifer was always there for me when I needed help and I could not have asked for a more caring and helpful coordinator. We also went on lots of fun nights with CEA, we had pizza nights, bowling nights, tour of Sydney with the group of the other exchange kids and this was fabulous – we all walked around Sydney City together and visited the Opera house and The Rocks, Darling harbour and also went on the Manly Ferry and it was lots of fun. Also I do have to say that I went on CEA Safari – it was fabulous I did Ayers Rock trip and also was lucky enough to also go to Cairns and the Barrier Reef and had the best time ever. You will really have the best year of your Life. If you wish to email me at any time, just ask CEA or our German Partner organization and I will be happy to speak with you see ya Phillip
Emi from Switzerland – stayed 1 year and had the best time
Hey this is Emi…
The first thing I would like to say is that if you are unsure if you should come on a Cultural Experience abroad or not don’t dream it do it!
I have lived down under now for a year now, but it feels more like a month. I remember when i was back in Switzerland, I was quite nervous to leave my family and friends. I couldn’t think of living with a completely unknown family miles away from home. But besides the unknown, I was quite excited to see a new country, new lifestyles and to have my own life somewhere else.
With a whole lot of clothes in my suitcase, which I regretted as soon as i arrived, my journey finally began. I got picked up from my Host mum, host dad and my little host brother Jonny.After a long night in a new bedroom, things just got better everyday. In the beginning you don’t even have time to miss your home, because there is so much stuff to do.
As soon as your in a new country you’d like to explore and obtain everything. My host family is the kindest family ever, and they made my life in Australia PERFECT. After one week of arriving, school began and that’s the part where you first met a lot of people. Friends make you’re life overseas even better!!!
In winter time I started doing some Australian sports like Netball and I made many friends also outside of school also and felt part of something and also kept me busy.
Besides the great city Sydney, the Northern Beaches is the best over ever. In summer my host sister Millie and I could just go for a paddle everyday at the beach. I also went down to the beach and would swim after school everyday. In winter it got a bit too cold to go there for me :). My host mum and I are doing our bronze at the moment and it’s great feeling like a Lifeguard already.
But besides all the hot days here, there is also Winter and during Winter I went on SKI CAMP with the school and it was one of the best weeks ever and so much fun. I never ever thought you could go skiing or snow boarding in Australia.
I also went to Melbourne with my host mum and also a friend and this which was amazing. Our last family trip was great, we went to the Gold Coast with my host family. It took us like 14 hours to get there, which was a looong drive 🙂 But the Gold Coast is beautiful as well, and it was so good to see so much of Australia.
And now it’s time to leave already and I can’t imagine leaving this beautiful place just yet. Thanks to everybody who made my time here one of the BEST ones in my life.
My host family, all my friends and also thanks to Jennifer, who is a great Coordinator of Campus Education and who you could speak to about everything all the time. This is very important and my parents also were very happy to be able to speak with her or email her at any time as I was only on the other side of the world and they also feel happy and only an email or telephone call away and always felt reassured that I was safe
So if you’ve got the Opportunity to go in Exchange on the SYDNEY program take it. You won’t regret it for sure!
Have a good one Emi 🙂
If you wish to email or contact me at any time, just ask CEA for my details and I will be happy to chat with you and share my experience. My parents would so be only to happy to speak with your parents too if this helps.
Linden – Canada My Time in Australia
Deciding to study in Australia for 6 months ended up being one of the best choices of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Australia and wouldn’t have changed anything about it.
Above with my great host family, I am on the right
I arrived in Australia mid July and was greeted by my host dad at the airport. My host family was really welcoming and I quickly became friends with my two host sisters, Angela (15) and Nicola (18). I often went shopping and sight seeing with Angela. In the evenings, the whole family would sit down for dinner and we would talk about what happened that day. This made feel like I was part of the family and I quickly felt included.
I started school about a week after I first came to Australia. At first I was terrified.
Above with my great host family, I am on the right
Coming from a school with 15 kids in your year to 96 was a big jump. I quickly adjusted and made friends with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. My friends were great and made this trip one of the best ever. I made plans with them on weekends and they would take me to some of their favorite spots. They acted as my personal tour guide for most of the trip. They would take me to their favorite beaches and the best places to eat. They were the best friends I could ask for.
In September, I went on the CEA Safari up to Cairns and then bused back down to Sydney. I was a bit skeptical as to if the trip was going to be any good but it turn out to be amazing. I had a great time on that trip and I would defiantly recommend it to everyone. We went so many great places over those two weeks. The highlight would defiantly be snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. The entire trip was a highlight of my time in Australia
Going on this trip was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I have made great friends here and have some of the most wonderful memories from Australia. If you are unsure of going on this trip, let me assure you that this will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. I know it has been one of min
I would like to thank Jennifer from CEA for being so helpful throughout the entire process of the trip and during my stay in Australia.
Lorenz – Germany
Hey there, I’m Lorenz and the 6 month I lived with my host family on the Northern Beaches of Sydney where just amazing. I would absolutely recommend everyone to come to Australia with CEA.
My family that I stayed was as nice as it gets. From the first day I stayed with them I felt very welcome and included. They took me to lots of places but of course especially to the beach. My host mum and brother are both great surfers and tried their best to teach me how to surf. Probably just the Australian beaches alone would be worthwhile coming to Australia!
During my time in Australia I felt a bit like on holidays even though I went to High School, I really liked the school I went to. The teachers are all very nice and welcomed me into their classes. Also it wasn’t very hard to become friends with my classmates because the Australian teenagers are very nice to new people and like to find out more about you.
Only three weeks into my stay I went on a Ski-Camp with school. I had a great time there! It was a great opportunity to get to know the whole year and make friends and skiing of course – it was great – as CEA ensured I was able to participate and let me know it was happening even before I arrived and booked me in and I am glad I did go – it was the best.
There are lots of things to do in Australia. I didn’t do the CEA-Safari in the holidays and although I’m sure that it is great fun I didn’t feel as if I was missing out on something. There are many interesting things to do in Sydney such as The Harbour Bridge Climb, Whale Watching, exhibitions and the Blue Mountains. Also you can pet Kangaroos or Koalas or you can just meet with friends or go for a surf.
I really enjoyed my time in Australia and I would do it all over again. CEA gave me all the help I needed to organise me before I arrived and during the trip. I’d like to thank CEA for that!
Luisa 16 years old from Switzerland
My 6 months in Australia, Sydney with CEA 2011
Going to Australia for 6 months was probably one of the best decisions of my life! I wanted to study abroad since I’m 12 and when the day of my departure finally came I couldn’t wait to start this adventure. When I arrived in Sydney in January it was in the middle of summer and really hot! My host family were really welcoming and nice, they showed me around and helped me settle in with school and sports and everything. There were so many new things around me that I didn’t even have time to think about home or feel homesick.
Read More..My little host brother Louis (11) often went to the beach with me and even tried to teach me how to surf and I was renting a horse like my host sister Freya (16) so we went horse riding together twice a week. I decided to do my bronze medallion for surf life saving with my host sister, I learned how to safe people at the beach and once I had done the course and passed my exams I got a proper uniform and went on patrols 🙂 I also went sailing sometimes with my host father or walking with the dog and my host mother.
Performing these activities and helping in the house made me feel more part of the family and therefore made my stay even better. I lived a 5 minutes walk from the beach so I went there practically every day; I met some friends there who went surfing every day before and after school. I joined them sometimes or went for a swim before school, which makes your day just so much better :).Living so close to the beach really gives you this ‘holiday feeling’ and you will feel so much more relaxed and happy.
Friends and school were two very important factors during my stay here. From the first day on I felt welcome and included. I already found my group of friend in the first week and was invited to a birthday party the first weekend after school started. It amazed me how open and friendly everyone was, everyone wanted to talk to me and get to know me and that really helped me to settle in and enjoy my new life down under. The teachers were also very supportive and nice, they offered me their help whenever I needed it and I choose great new subjects like hospitality and photography that are so different from the subjects I used to have in Switzerland. Wearing a school uniform was great, you never had to worry about what you are going to wear and everyone wears the same so you get to know the people without judging them on hand of their clothes. It makes you feel like you belong somewhere and fit in.
I’m from Celerina a small mountain village in Switzerland right next to St. Moritz and therefore living here in Sydney right next to the beach and the city was just amazing.
It’s a completely different lifestyle and there are so many things to do you’ll never get bored! The Northern Beaches are amazing and just stunningly beautiful. CEA has been very supportive and offered us so many activities and adventures during our stay. Through CEA I could do a surfing day in manly where I learned how to surf that was such a great experience. CEA also gave us a voucher for a hop on hop off bus, where we really got a great overview of the city and it’s sights: the opera house, harbour bridge, darling harbour, the botanic gardens, town hall, centre point tower, Bondi beach, the rocks, the zoo, the aquarium.. There’s just so much to do and see. Sydney truly is the most amazing city I have ever seen :D. We also got a voucher for a dolphin watching day, we went out on a boat and the dolphins where jumping around in the water below us, we also went sand boarding down sand dunes and to a reptile park where we could pat koalas and feed kangaroos, that is just one of many great days I’ll never forget.
During the Easter holidays I went on an Outback safari for 10 days. This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. We flew to Alice Springs where we saw an aboriginal show and then we drove all the way through the heart of Australia to King’s Canyon and the Uluru (AyersRock) where I did the climb and even flew with the helicopter over the Uluru and Kata Tjuta, this was an amazing experience. On my birthday I went camel riding and had my birthday cake while enjoying the magnificent view of the sunset at the Ayers Rock. Then we travelled further down past huge salt lakes, Coober Pedy with it’s Opal Mines, Adelaide and finally to Melbourne where we did lot’s of shopping and sightseeing. I had such a great time on the safari and met so many new people who I’m still in contact with and will catch up with once I’m back in Europe.
Doing this step of leaving my home, family and friends behind and going to Australia was one of the best decisions of my life. The friendships I made here and the amazing memories will certainly last for a long time and I’m already planning on coming back to visit everyone.
If you still have doubt and are unsure about everything let me tell you: DO IT! You won’t regret it, it will change your life 😀 however if you have any questions, need any advice just ask CEA for my e-mail address or contact me over facebook. I’m happy to help and answer any questions you might have. I hope you’ll have an amazing time on your exchange just as I had.
I’d like to thank CEA and INTO for this amazing experience 🙂
Ariana – USA
Coming to Australia has definitely been the most amazing experience of my life. I came here for an adventure and that’s exactly what I got. My host family has been absolutely amazing, I could not have asked for greater people to live with. They welcomed me into their family with open arms and I know we’ll keep in contact after I leave.
It was so easy to get used to the Australian lifestyle – wake up, school, beach, family dinner, sleep, repeat! My host mom and host brother taught me how to surf and by my second time out, I was standing up on tons of (tiny) waves! My host family also included me in their family vacations to Crescent Head and Treachery where we surfed in the ocean, surfed down sand dunes, and had a great time. If you thought having one family at home was great, try having two!
everyone was so friendly and accepting, I had already made an entire group of friends by the first day of school! By the first weekend I was already hanging out with new friends and experiencing the Australian teenage lifestyle and learning all the new Australian words I was constantly so confused about! I know that the friends I’ve made will always be a part of my life, I couldn’t have asked for more.
Even though it’s hard to leave once you’ve made a whole life for yourself, you won’t be leaving empty handed. I know I’ll be leaving Australia with a second family, amazing friends, new vocabulary, (a nice tan hopefully), and a lifetime full of memories I will never forget.
-Ariana Eva Album
Noemi 16 years old from Switzerland, July 2010 – July 2011
I’m really, really happy that I decided to come to Australia for 1 Year. It was a hard decision and during the year sometimes really hard for me because of homesickness but my new Australian friends and my beautiful Host family helped me to forget it because there was never really time for it. I did so many things all the time with my friends that I had no time to think about it.
At the beginning on the first day of school I was surprised how easy it was to organise school, how nice they were to me and especially how easy it was to meet new people. The Australians are really friendly and helped me to find a way into my new Australian life.
I think I did a really good choice with my Host family. They were always there for me and they showed me so many things. Because my Family is really involved in Tennis we went in January 2011 to Melbourne to see the Australian Open. I was so amazing for me because I love Tennis like they do. It was my first time to see a Grand Slam. It was just awesome! 🙂
Christmas was so good because we celebrated at a house at the beach. It was a really special Christmas because it was so hot. I loved it!
Then in April I decided to one of these Safaris, one going to Cairns, Great Barrier reef and Rainforest and the other one going to the Outback. I chose to do the Cairns one and I really enjoyed it. It was a full packed week, doing different things everyday with an amazing group of exchange students from all over the world. We saw so many different things. It was amazing.
It really was the best year of my life! All these things I learned about, all these people I met and now how good my English is, were really worth it! I can just say if you don’t do it you’ll miss something!!
And I really want to thank my coordinator Jennifer from CEA ( Campus Education Australia ) for being always there if we needed help. She did an amazing job for all of the students on the program!! 🙂
You can always contact me through Jennifer or just find me on Facebook.
I hope you decide to come down under and have an awesome time! 🙂
Linda – Switzerland
My name is Linda and I’m from Switzerland. Coming to Australia for six months was the best decision I’ve ever made. But on the other side it wasn’t easy to let go of my life back home.
It took me a little while to get over my homesickness. But I managed to get over it. I had a great host family: two lovely host sisters! They included me in their daily life which was really great. Also they showed all around Sydney. Just the most beautiful city on earth! Also they included me in family holidays, camping in Crescent Head and going to the Blue Mountains.
Going to an Australian school is very different to what I was used to back home in Switzerland. Just no stress, no worries! We had to wear school uniforms. I was able to choose six subjects. Drama was definitely my favourite one. It was so much fun!
At school I made some really great friends. Now back in Switzerland I’m regularly receiving emails from Australia.
In Australia everyone is very friendly. You can go up to some random person and ask them for help. What you get back is a very friendly answer. „No worries, lov’!“
I was so amazed by the beaches. Very, very beautiful. Like in a dream.
I’d loved to tell you some ore about my stay, but I could go on for ever 😉
I hope you choose to go to Australia. I won’t regret it. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’ve got some questions via CEA they are great.
All the best,
This is a my fabulous host mum and sisters
Marco – Switzerland
The best time of my life!!!!!!!
Coming to Sydney with CEA for 6 months was the best experience of my life! I had the best time here and don’t regret coming to Australia at all, I actually want to stay here for a few more months…;)
If you’re not quite sure yet whether to come on a cultural exchange here with CEA I can only tell you one thing: DO IT. It will be the best time of your life.
Everything’s awesome, the people you’ll meet, your host family, your coordinator, the school, the location.
At my school it was very easy to meet new people and make friends. Everyone was so nice to me and included me. Already after 2 weeks I went on a ski camp with my school, that was great and actually the best way to get to know all the people in my year during that whole week. After that camp, I knew everyone better and started doing things with my Aussie friends also during the weekends and go out at night. I have definitely become more outgoing during this time in Sydney. My host family here was great, they included me in their family and took me to many places, I spent a lot of time with them, especially surfing with my host brother and host mum!
My coordinator from CEA, Jennifer was always there when I needed help but we also went bowling and eating pizza with all the other exchange people.
During these 6 months I went to Gold Coast, Canberra, the Blue Mountains, camping with my host family and to the Central Coast. I have been surfing almost every day with my host a host brother who taught me everything. That was one of the best things. I didn’t go on the Outback Safari in the holidays because I decided to stay here and surf and just hang out with my friends and host family. I don’t regret that decision at all even though everyone told me how great the Safari was.
All I can say is that it will be the best time of your life and you should definitely come with CEA, it’s the best! If you have any questions I’m happy to answer them, just get my details off Jennifer from CEA. Enjoy your time down under! MARCO
you wish to email me anytime,ask CEA for my email address or check out facebook
Anja – Switzerland
My name is Anja, I’m 16 years old and at the moment I live in Sydney, Australia. Last year I decided to put my life in Switzerland on hold to go and experience the Australian way of life for 11 months . I applied with CEA Campus Education Australia in Australia. As a part of the Sydney program I had the possibility to choose three different host families from a list with a description and photos and I could choose the one I liked the most and they were going to be my new family for the time of my stay.
The family I’m living with is great and I wouldn’t want to change for the world. My host mother and father are both really nice and helped me to feel like home for the whole time. My host sister Katie (17 yrs. old) and I got on well from practically the very first day and now we are like real sisters. I think my host family helped me really quite a bit to hardly ever feel homesick and make my year here a full success.The school here is definitely different to my school in Switzerland. Here they have a big number of subjects and I could elect five to six out of them. The school are pretty laid back. Also, they don’t have classes but you’re with different people in every course. This made it a bit difficult to make friends, but with a bit of patience I eventually found some awesome friends.
On the weekends I sometimes went out with friends or stayed home. Sydney itself is really beautiful and there’s always loads to see and do. Also in the area I live in are quite a few nice beaches, malls, cinemas, etc. Since I’ve never really had homework or many tests (which I really appreciated) I had a lot of free time. Earlier this year I also joined a local soccer club which kept me occupied on Sundays.
During the holidays I had the chance to go to the Blue Mountains for a few days, which was a really nice trip. In the winter holidays my host family took me to the Gold Coast for a week and my host sister and me could then plan our own program. The last two weeks of my year I’ll also visit the Outback and the Whitsundays.
Generally, I really enjoyed my year down under. Australia is such a beautiful country and the people are really nice too. So to anyone who has ever thought about going exchange, I can only say:Do it, you won’t regret it! Anja……
Silvia from Italy 16 years
Hi everyone!! I’m Silvia, from Italy! I’m writing now, at the end of my Australian experience, after spending 6 months in this wonderful country.
Obviously, now, my feelings are really confused; a part of me misses home, family and friends, but another part of me settled down so well in the months that I wouldn’t exaggerate if I said that I feel like I’m home!! Of course, I can’t say it’s been easy from the beginning cause that wouldn’t be true!!! I’m honest when I say that some moments the first couple of weeks at school were just terrible, when you really feel misplaced and lonely; but after breaking the ice and showing the ozzie kids that you’re not some strange alien but a normal teenager,
you will start to feel suddenly really comfortable and appreciated! Obviously, during the hard times in the beginning, you’ll have Jennifer at CEA Campus Education Australia and a host-family at home, giving you the support you need and helping you out with any sort of problem.You will soon understand that you don’t need to be related to someone to feel part of the family, and you will spend some great time with them!! It took me 5 weeks to get used to the new lifestyle and make some friends and I had to put a lot of effort in what I did but then….it was worth it, definitely worth it!!! I can now say that I met some of my best friends here and, hopefully, we’ll find a way to make our friendship last for a long time!! Australia also gave me the chance to do things I had never tried before….like surfing!!!
Being in the Northern Beaches it was really easy to go to the beach in the afternoon after school or at the weekend, and the cold winter, fortunately, decided to arrive later this year! =) Apart from the sea I also had the chance to visit Sydney, a beautiful city, or go kayaking (and maaaany other things!!). You will be surprised also by all the wildlife that lives just around the corner (like wallabies, echidnas, birds) . As a period of time, I have to say, I think 6 months are just the right amount; enough to create a new life, but not to forget the old one! =) resuming in a few words: COME HERE!!! YOU’LL NEVER REGRET IT! AND DON’T BE SHY!! EVERYONE WILL BE INTERESTED IN KNOWING YOU AND WHERE YOU COME FROM!! I hope this essay will help you with your decision! =) Ciao Silvia
Silvia – Milano – Italy 16 years
Ciao a tutti!! Sono Silvia, da Milano! Vi scrivo adesso, giunta alla fine della mia fantastica esperienza, dopo aver passato 6 mesi in questo Paese stupendo!! Ovviamente i miei sentimenti sono un po’ confusi adesso; una parte di me ha nostalgia di casa, della famiglia, degli amici; un’altra parte di me invece si è abituata così bene a questo posto che non esagero se dico che mi sento COME A CASA!!! Ovviamente, non posso dire che sia stato sempre rose e fiori!! Sono sincera quando dico che alcuni momenti le prime settimane a scuola sono stati semplicemente terribili!!! Ci si sente davvero fuori posto e soli, ma con un po’ di coraggio si riesce a rompere il ghiaccio e si tratta solo di mostrare ai ragazzi qui che non sei un marziano ma un teenager esattamente come loro! Sforzandoti un po’ le prime settimane, in poco tempo ti sentirai a tuo agio e apprezzato!! Non ti preoccupare comunque, perché nei momenti difficili avrai la Jennifer CEA Campus Education Australia e una host-family a casa per aiutarti a risolvere situazioni o problemi difficili, e per darti il supporto di cui hai bisogno! Ti renderai presto conto che non bisogna essere imparentati per sentirsi parte della famiglia, e con loro passerai dei bellissimi momenti!! Mi ci sono volute 5 settimane per abituarmi al nuovo stile di vita e farmi un po’ di amici, e mi sono dovuta sforzare molto ma poi….poi ne è valsa decisamente la pena!!! Posso dire con certezza che ho stretto alcune delle migliori amicizie di sempre qui e, con un po’ di fortuna, riusciremo a mantenerle nel tempo….e nello spazio! =) L’Australia mi ha dato anche la possibilità di sperimentare cose mai fatte prima….come il surf!! Abitando nelle Northern Beaches era davvero facile andare in spiaggia il pomeriggio dopo scuola o nel weekend, e per fortuna l’inverno ha deciso di ritardare molto quest’anno!! A parte che andare a mare ho avuto anche la possibilità di visitare Sydney, città bellissima, o andare in kayak ( a mooolte altre cose!). sarete sorpresi anche da tutti gli animali selvatici che si trovano dietro l’angolo (tipo wallabies, echidnas, uccelli). Penso che come periodo di tempo 6 mesi sono perfetti!! Abbastanza per farsi una nuova vita qui, ma non troppi tali da dimenticarsi quella vecchia!! Riassumendo in poche parole: VENITE QUI!! NON RIMPIANGERETE MAI LA VOSTRA SCELTA! E NON SIATE TIMIDI! TUTTI SARANNO INTERESSATI NEL CONOSCERE VOI E IL PAESE DA CUI VENITE!
Spero questo testo vi aiuti con la vostra decisione.
Ilke – from Germany 16 yrs – had the best time of her life!!!
HI my name is Ilke from Germany
Six months ago I could not imagine what it would be like to stay away from home for half a year. That is such a long time I thought. And when people asked why I had not decided to spend a whole year in Australia, I answered something like “Are you kidding me? A whole year! I would miss everyone so much, no, a year is too long for me.” Now looking back I wish I could stay longer. There are only about two weeks of school left and I can’t believe how fast time has passed. It doesn’t feel like the end. Not at all. But at the same time I don’t see myself as I am right now when I look back at the girl who arrived here several months ago. She is not me. In fact, I have changed so much, I have grown.
I remember how strange it felt to go to a new school, meet so many new people and to try and fit in the completely new environment… the environment that would be my new home. And that is exactly what happened. It feels like home. Meeting friends, going to school, surfing in the afternoon, yes, all those things and more are part of my daily life. It is normal for me.But it wasn’t like this all the time. In the beginning everything was new and exciting, more like a holiday trip. It was quite hard to realise that a dream had become reality, that I was really as far away from home as I could possibly be. It is quite a big step from Germany to Australia, I would daresay.
My host family is lovely, I am lucky to have such a nice homestay and they also love music and CEA helped me a lot with getting the right family, but none of my friends experienced a really horrible one. All in all everyone seems to be quite happy with their families.
When I started school I found friends quite quickly, although I must admit that they were mostly international students. It is much easier to make friends with people who are in precisely the same situation as you are. And I was grateful for those friends and for the large amount of international students. To make friends with Australians it is better without so many German speaking people though.
I know it is hard to go and talk to people you don’t know when you already found a group to hang out with, but it is worth it. You will find more and more friends and it’s something great to feel part of their lives.
To catch up with the work in school wasn’t really hard. The teachers helped me a lot, yes, I had loads of support from School, my host family and Jennifer from CEA was always there to check up on me and see if I was happy. As soon as one gives up being shy and starts to be active in class, it gets much easier and it is even fun. There’re a couple of teachers I’d like to put in my suitcase and take them with me to Germany. My Studies of Religion teacher, she is a great person who has loads of stories to tell and who helped me to see things from different views. She taught me to keep my eyes wide open to be able to see all the things the world has to offer. My Music teacher who is the most supportive person I’ve ever met. He is down to earth and knows what it is like to be a student. He makes you believe in yourself. Or my other Music teacher who made me take part in musical performances. And that is something I would have never done before. I gained a lot of confidence. I am proud to have been one of their students. There are so many awesome people I had the pleasure to meet and it would honestly take too long to mention them all.
If someone asked what the best thing was, I would definitely answer “to join the school band”. Or to name it correctly, to join the symphonic orchestra. I am actually a piano player, so I asked if I could join anything musical. Alright then, and that’s what I got. I was made to play the glockenspiel and xylophone as a percussionist, because there is no piano required. Fine, but I was totally lost. I couldn’t play my parts properly and felt ridiculous going to rehearsals twice a week. Nor did I feel part of the band, I could come and go without hardly anyone noticing. I am so incredibly glad that I didn’t quit, because those band people became such goods friends and I know I will miss them so much once I left. Even unexpected things can happen. The band went on tour for nine days in New Zealand and I was with them. It was the best time I have ever had. It was amazing. Apart from the last 3 days we slept each and every night in a different city, had performances in many schools and were part of the Jazz festival in Whangamata learning so much about Maori culture.
I had lots of fun with friends, going out, shopping, movies, and visiting the city and luna park. We went out with CEA on fun bowling and pizza nights – and it was great fun.
And now I am back in my room writing this report and to be honest it feels really odd. To write this shows me that I will be leaving this wonderful country and its great people pretty soon. A fact, I would rather ignore. I thought it would be half a year away from home, but it is half a year at different home. When I left Germany I knew that I would be coming back, that I would see all the people I love again, so I never got homesick. To leave Australia will be different. I know I will come back, I just don’t know when. And it is certain that it will never be the same.
If you wish to contact me via email or facebook, just email CEA and they will share the details with you anytime
Sydney Australia July-December
I am on left – the beaches are just beautiful
Australia is by far the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. The beaches, sunsets, landscape, even the people are just wonderful. When I first arrived I was very tired scared. Everything was so overwhelming but my host family was very relaxed and just let me take it easy. I remember eating breakfast the morning after I arrived and thinking wow Im really in Australia.
I spent all day with my host family and really felt part of the family. My first day of school was scary of course but lots of other foreign exchange students were there as well it made it easier knowing they were feeling the same way. By the second day of school I felt good and had made friends. After I came back from snow camp with the school I became close with everyone and fit in with a group of friends.Coming to Australia was the best thing I decided to do. But looking back now I realize I should have done something’s differently. Although it may not seem like it at first but weekends are very limited. By the end of your stay you will be wanting to go out every weekend with your friends. So go do touristy things like going to the zoo and the city first. I would do these with other foreign exchange students who are also interested.
Some other recommendations would be to go on the snow camp (if you’re here for that time of year) after I got back I felt so close with all the girls and the other foreign exchange students on other program were jealous they couldn’t go. Trust CEA and go on the snow camp its worth it! be very outgoing, don’t be afraid to talk to people first they will most likely love hearing about your life. Also try new things. Your in Australia probably once in a life time so experience everything you can.
Coming here has been the highlight of my high school and maybe life. I was so shy and scared at first but now I’m don’t want to leave. In your stay here just have fun, do as much as possible, live it up, and remember no worries mate!
I had the best time ever on the CEA Safari – CEA offered this fabulous trip and again – other organizations did not offer this to the other kids also at the school who came on other program, I was very lucky with everything that was offered and organized for us. I felt really comfortable with the fabulous support from my CEA coordinator – who rang and checked in on me often – I never felt alone, they supported and guided me the whole way through over the last 6 months and I do wish I did come for the whole academic year as I am now sad to leave and would love to stay longer. Thank you for everything and all my new friends at school for making this the best part of my life. I have really grown from this experience which was not always easy – but I had the support from host family who were fabulous and CEA – all the way through…….thank you for everything.
I had the best time of my life
Moritz – 16 yrs from Germany
Had the best time !!!!!!!!!
My name is Moritz . I stayed in Australia (Sydney) for three months. I lived in a very nice family – my host mum and dad were very very nice and I had a great host family and (this is me in the Red T Shirt with my host family at a theme park) host brother Nick who was 15 and also a host brother Brennan 18 who was from Canada who was staying with the family too
I would catch the bus to school which was 20 minutes away from my house. All the students and teachers there were very friendly and everybody talked to me. I got a lot of friends very early because everybody was interested in me and it will be the same with you if you are open and friendly. . So don´t worry!!Sydney is a very big city and you can see so many things. I really enjoyed going to Paddy’s Market or Darling Harbour. If you want to buy some souvenirs for some friends or your family then Paddy’s Market is the right place.
This is a photo of our group of exchange students in front of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in our school uniform!
The beaches in Sydney are amazing I loved it to go to Curl Curl Beach or Manly Beach. I often visited some football or rugby matches. So if you are interested in football (soccer) you have to visit a Sydney FC game in the “SFS” (Sydney Football Stadium). Also rugby is a very fascinated sport and people in Australia love it.
At school they always play rugby at recess or after school. Rugby is the same as football in Europe. I liked doing a lot of sport especially at school or with friends on the beach.
I made a lot of good experiences and I recommend a stay in Australia.
This is my group of my friends from School, we had a fabulous breakfast together with my host family. My host dad Malcolm and host mum Julia cooked some great eggs, bacon and pancakes
It was really the best farewell party I could have had……I really had the best time – the only thing is I wish I stayed longer.
Come down under…….
Keeley 16 yrs USA – 6 months
My time in Australia has gone by very quickly!! I have had the time of my life! My host family has been amazing! I had 3 new host brothers and immediately I felt part of the family They are a very musical family and I felt included immediately – this is because CEA found the perfect compatible family for me!
I have worked on getting my Bronze Medallion, which is surf lifesaving and did this with my Host mum we did it together and this formed great bond. That is a huge accomplishment for me because I do not live near the ocean at home! I go to the beach almost every day.
I absolutely love the beaches here, they are gorgeous! I have also made many new friends, that I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life! I have been to the Gold Coast and went to theme parks there. I went camping for the first time, too!I also got to go on a bus tour of NSW with my host dad. I also was a part of the Sydney Performing Arts Unit. With them I played my French horn in one of the top bands in Australia!
Coming to Australia for 6 months has been the greatest experience of my life. I had the perfect family, CEA really helped that – and the match were perfect. They checked on me to see I was ok – my dad was always updated and he felt happy also know I was having the best time of my life. I have grown so much from the experience because I have learned to become more independent and I have also become more outgoing. I think part of the reason I was so successful was because when I came here, I did not have any expectations. I am also usually pretty independent and I like going on adventures. Coming to Australia has been the greatest adventure of my life!
See ya Keeley – USA.
Australia WOW – Miranda 16 yrs – Holland – The Netherlands
Hello every one,
My name is Miranda and I’m from the Netherlands in Europe.
Australia……. WOW….. the land of the kangaroo’s and koala’s. I don’t know exactly how long ago I decided that I wanted to go to Australia, but my memory’s going back till I was about 4 years old. Me Getting exited with a little Koala beer I got from my Australian family coming over for a visit. And me telling myself as little as I was “When I’m big I want to go there” At that time I had no idea where Australia was on a map or how far it was away but all I knew was I wanted to see the koala’s and as I got older I realized there was more than only koala’s but all the rest of the 11 years I kept begging my dad to go on a holiday or let me go to Australia. And…… here I’m in Australia and how sad nearly at the end of my 6 months stay. The 6 most funny and exiting months I’ve ever had.
This host family was a GREAT host family which CEA helped pick for me, and they where fantastic and really nice for me. I had two host brothers (3 and 11yrs) and one sister(16) the same age as me but she went to and different high school: Davidson High school and I went to the Forest high school.During my stay here down under I Enjoyed lots of differed experiences, at the first the school. That’s so differed from what I’m used to in the Netherlands but I absolute loved it. I loved the uniform that every one has to wear at school It’s so much better!! And all the sports opportunities you have at school here here, I was in one of the dance groups and two of the soccer teams. I never found school such an exiting experience and so much fun to do.
On the weekends you could usually find me on Dee Why beach where I tried to learn surfing, yes tried because after these 6 months I’m still not very good and end most of the time swallowing a lot of sea water. Or if it was cold (which is not that often here compared with Holland) I usually went to the mall to do some of Australia’s national sport: shopping, or just see a movie. During my stay I also had the great opportunity to visit one of my mum’s cousins who lives on a farm in a small country town, and had the chance to see how the Australian people live on the farms and I tried to do some horse riding (which was quite scary sometimes) but I had fun. I’ve done lots and lots of great things and I’ve seen a lot around Sydney the must see things like the opera house, the harbor bridge, yes I’ve even seen the hospital from the inside, yes just 6 weeks before I had to go home had a little accident and dislocated my elbow and had to go to the hospital and had to quit some the sports I was doing. So reason enough to go and do some sight seeing and I decided that I wanted to see something in the opera house; which was one of the greatest things I’ve done here it was amazing to see the opera house and listen to the music.
Now as it comes closer to the day I have to leave Sydney I feel the same as I felt before I left the Netherlands. I’ve met great people and made lots of new friends, even as it took me a few months to settle in I’m settled in now completely and I don’t want to leave them. But I would love to see my mum and dad again and tell them all about the wonderful experience I had to be here in Australia. And also this experiences weren’t possible without the help of CEA they made my stay here down under so much fun and Jennifer I’m really thankful for what you’ve done for me to make my dream to visit Australia one day come true.
Thanks for every thing and I hope you will get many more students and let them have the same wonderful experiences as I had.
Julia – Germany
Julia (16 years) from Germany
the best time ever in Sydney, Australia on the Sydney Program
I really had my best 3 months ever down here in Australia. Making the decision to live in another country, far away from my home, my family and friends to live with a host family for a “long” time was worth it by any means. Definitely, when I first arrived in Sydney everything was new, different and mainly unusual: the first meeting with my host family, their home and the area they live in and the school with its feature. And I had to get used to it.
No, I didn’t have to, I wanted to get used to everything as fast as possible and I was surprised how quickly it actually happened!Of course, it takes a while to settle in a new family and to cope with their way of living. However, I got on with my host mum really well and we had a great relation to each other, as well as with the remaining family. And I was really lucky because attending the same school as my host sister we could go to school together and could talk about the last pranks from the senior year or what we were going to do that afternoon. Indeed, the first school days were a bit unfamiliar.
Everything was new and seemed different even strange. But after I got used to the school etc., it actually was fun. I found new friends there, who showed me around and helped me wherever they could. Generally, everyone, the students and the teachers, were very welcoming and friendly. And that’s why I never felt lonely, but I felt like I was absolutely part of the family and the school. From day to day, the time was ticking away and I wished to do as many things all the time. So, after the initial time of adjustment I was quite busy and didn’t have plenty of time to think about home and get homesick. And this is important, because otherwise, you can’t really enjoy this exchange, you can only spend one time in your life!
Therefore, it is really significant to live with the “right” host family. And thanks to “CEA” and the German Partner organisation with CEA I had my perfect host family. With three host siblings and their cat and dog, it was a completely different family compared to my own.
Because of this challenge my stay was even more exciting. For example, one of my host sisters went riding every week, and so I often went with her and learned riding as well, what I never would have dared to dream of.
At the weekends, I mostly went to Sydney, Manly or to one of the gorgeous beaches. There were so many things to experience and see: The view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge was unbelievable, actually, every experience I have made was unforgettable. And that’s why I definitely want to come back to Australia.
And my advice for newcomers is to live by the motto “Seize the day!”, because your time is limited and you don’t know whether you get the same opportunity again. Enjoy yourself and try to make the most of your exchange. Just live the Aussie way of live!
Julia = )
Land – Utah USA – 6 months 16 years.
It was January when I arrived in Sydney. Upon arrival I did not know what to expect. Kangaroo’s? People like Steve Erwin? I did see some Kangaroos and met a handful of people that reminded me of Steve Erwin but there was much more to my experience in Australia. As a skateboarder, ending up on the northern beaches was perfect. I had the chance to meet many young kids in a place with different and more people than where I live. I’ve been told that all of this has made me a more mature and independent person.
Many people hardly know anything about Australia. Six months ago I was one of those people. The only impression I had of Australia was from an episode of the Simpsons. Now I know about Australia’s history, about their culture and customs, their geography, and how they like to have a good time.Skateboarding is my life’s ‘thing’. As a skateboarder I was thoroughly impressed with the northern beaches. The amount of skateboarders and the average skill level here was much higher than at home. Sydney was also not far away and holds some of the best skateboarding terrain in the entire world. Sydney’s skate scene is also very close-knit as some of my friends could introduce me to some very famous professionals from the area.
Not just skateboarding was perfect in Australia. As most people in Australia are very laid back, my house parents, Deb and Dave l were very laid back and very very nice and felt part of the family immediately and my host sister and brother were great and that was perfect. In addition to my house family, everyone who helped me out along the way was perfect. They were looking out for opportunities I could take advantage of. Deb encouraged me to take surfing lessons and a photography course. Dave took me sailing. Jennifer from CEA , my advisor told me about a ‘safari.’ It would take us all the way up the coast from Sydney to Cairns, and then flew to Alice Springs, and then drove down to Melbourne and back to Sydney. That let me see more of Australia than most Australians see and meet other exchange students from all over the world.
When I arrived in Oz, I was a very shy boy. I was used to only speaking to a few select people each day. Once I was here I was semi forced into opening myself up and meeting new people. I’m so glad that I did let myself open up as I met many of the best people and made many life-long solid relationships.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible – it has changed my life and now that I am home, I can t believe how fast the last 6 months have gone…. I am already planning on coming back to Australia. CEA was fabulous and I had support all the way along in my stay
I would really say – CEA just provided everything, great family, perfect location, great school and just had the best time of my life.
Land – Utah USA
SUSANNA – 16 years Switzerland
Hi everybody! I`m Susanna from Switzerland and I have to write a report about my stay in Australia but I just don`t know where to begin. So many things have happened since I`m here in Australia, my stay was a big experience. Learning English was just a good minor matter next to living here.
When I was sitting in the airplane to Sydney I was so exited because I had no idea what will be expected of me in down under. Now I know that it was an experience of my life. I learned to live with the Aussie culture and what this easy going means, which is so famous for Australia.
Read More..It was so great but it was not always simple. I had to look for myself, to bear my own responsibility, to make decisions and also to adopt me at this new life.But my host family, CEA and my new friends supported and helped me always.
They were all together so nice. And I very enjoyed it. It was like a big holiday even though I had to go to school, which is very different to Switzerland. They don’t take it that serious and the teachers are more relaxed.In my free time I went a lot to the City and to Manly. The City is so big and
Beautiful and the skyscrapers were amazing to me. At Manly beach I learned
to surf in the huge waves (had to swallow a lot of saltwater) which was so much
fun. Sometimes I went shopping in big shopping centres or went out with
my friends.During my stay I had the great opportunity to go on a Safari tour with CEA. I travelled with about 60 other exchange students 10000km in 3 1/2 weeks through Australia. I made lots of friends from the whole world and it was so great, just awesome.My stay is almost over and I will go back to my normal life. But I will never forget this half year in Australia, how much fun I had and all the people I met. Thank you all so much, who made it possible for me.Susanna
Swiss German Translation
Hallo! Ich bin die Susanna aus der Schweitz und sollte einen Artikel ueber meinen Aufenthalt in Australien schreiben, aber ich weis einfach nicht wo anzufangen. Mein Aufenthalt war ein riesiges Erlebnis und so viel neues passierte seit ich hier bin. Englisch lernen war nur ein ganz kleiner Teil, neben hier zu leben.
Als ich alleine im Flugzeug sass, war ich so aufgeregt, weil ich hatte keine Ahnung, was mich im Down Under alles erwarten wird. Jetzt weis ich das es eine Erfahrung fuers leben war. Ich lernte mit der Aussie cultur zu leben und was mit dem easy going gemeint ist, fuer welches Australien so bekannt ist. Es war einfach mega schoen. Aber es war nicht immer einfach. Ich musste auf mich selber aufpassen, die eigene Verantwortung tragen, entscheidungen treffen und ich musste mich auch an das neue Leben anpassen. Aber meine Gastfamilie, CEA und meine neue Freunde halfen und unterstuetzten mich damit. Alle waren sehr nett zu mir und ich konnte mein halbes Jahr einfach nur sehr geniessen. Es war wie riesige Ferien, obwohl ich zur Schule gehen musste, welche recht anderst ist zu meiner vorigen. Sie nehmen es hier nicht so ernst und die Lehrer sind viel lockerer. In meiner Freizeit ging ich viel nach Manly und in die Stadt, Sydney.
Sydney ist sehr gross und wunderschoen. Es gibt da riesige Einkaufscenter und es ist einfach gemuetlich. Am Manly beach lernte ich surfen, (musste sehr viel Salzwasser schlucken) aber es war super gut. Ansonsten verabredete ich mich mit Freunden und besuchte neue Orte. Ich hatte auch die grossartige Moeglichkeit mit CEA auf eine Safari Tour zu gehen. Ich reiste mit etwa 60 anderen Austauschschueler 10000 km durch halb Australien. Es war mega schoen und lustig und ich lernte Leute aus der ganzen Welt kennen.
Mein Aufenthalt nimmt langsam ein Ende und ich werde zu meinem normalen Leben zurueckckehren. Aber ich werde dieses halbe Jahr, alle neue Leute und wie viel spass ich hatte nie vergessen. Danke allen so viel mal, die dies moeglich machten.
Susanna (man verlernt das Hochdeutsch leider ein bisschen!)
Alexandra – Zurich Switzerland
Hi, I’m Alexandra and I just had my best 5 months ever.
I’m 16 and come from Zurich, a beautiful town in Switzerland. I live there in a village on the lake not far from the city of Zurich. But in Australia, I lived in a totally different environment pretty near to the sea and all the beaches. Being here felt like holiday even though I went to school. It took me quiet a long time to get used to the school here and to like it, because it is just so different and new to me. I was not used to wear a uniform or to be only with girls. 600 girls around me every day seemed pretty strange.
But, after a while, I just thought, why not? I found new friends there, who showed me around and everyone was friendly and helped me wherever they could. I definitely never felt lonely and that is an important thing, because if you begin to feel lonely, you’ll get homesick and you can’t really enjoy your exchange year. But while I was here, I did not even have the time to get homesick, because the time was flying and there was not much left to think about home.The most important thing to prevent getting homesick is a good host-family, who helps you to get into the real Aussie life. I was really lucky with my host-family, CEA there did a great job by finding them for me. I got along very well with them and that made my stay even more enjoyable. In Switzerland, I don’t have any siblings, but here, I had two host-sisters 9 and 11 years old. It was not always easy for me because I’m just not used to two girls always living around me, but exactly this was a challenge to live with another family and fit in it.
Already when I was in year 8, I knew that I will go to another country as an exchange student and Australia was always my first choice.
Not only because I have family down here, but also because Australia is one of the most interesting and most beautiful countries. It’s actually a whole continent and so, wherever you go, you’ll see something new, special and mostly even unique (and often even poisonous).
I loved going on safari with all the other exchange students. We travelled through Australia and we’ve seen places such as Cairns, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs or Melbourne.
That was just an awesome experience. I met many new friends that I’m still in touch with and we are planning to catch up in Europe all together.
But not only the safari was a great part of my five months in down under, also just to be in Australia and live like an Aussi, was a good experience.
You don’t only learn the language, you also learn a lot about a totally new culture and another way of living. The “easy-going”- way of living.
When you go to the beach, surfers are in the ocean and people are getting tanned while lying in the sand. Even if you are not on holiday, you automatically feel like you would and become more relaxed. Since I started my exchange year here, I realized that I’m way more relaxed here than at home in Switzerland where I always had something to do. It’s a great break from the stressful life back home.
I did my diving license here and I’ve seen beautiful and often a bit scary things. The ocean is great and all the reefs there are wonderful. I even swam with sharks!
Every weekend, I could choose between lots of different things. I could go to the beach, to the city, to Manly or just hang around and do nothing. There is just so much to do that you almost never choose to just hang around at home. I personally love the city of Sydney. It’s very busy and tiring but on the other side just fantastic. There are so many different parts of the city and you can find everything you like and if you stand in front of the opera house and see the harbour bridge, it looks just so much better than on all the postcards. If you are used to a city like Zurich, you would see Sydney rather as a whole country than a city. It’s huge.
Now, when I look back, I almost regret that I did not stay for the whole year.After about three and a half month, I began to realize that my time here is almost over. I planned so many things and could not even do most of them.
So, I really have to come back to Australia. I already look forward to my next visit, hopefully not too far away..!
Ben – 17 Years – Canada Jan – July
My name is Ben and I’m a Canadian cultural exchange student. If you are thinking about coming on exchange here in Australia, then think no more …………CEA was the best ! I wrote to them and CEA contact me and also rang my parents and explained the whole program and now I am here.
I’ve just had the greatest 6 months of my life out here. My host family is great, my friends that I’ve made here are great, everything has just worked out.
This is Me on the Left in the Blue while On Safari …the Best…….
When I first arrived I was greeted by my host mum and dad, and they were nice so it was easy to talk to them, not awkward like I thought it would be. I got home and settled in and met the family. I met up with my representative from CEA who was great and very helpful and always there when I need help and advice. I still had 2 weeks until school started though, so I did get a little homesick just sitting around the house because I didn’t know anyone outside of my family. but once school everything was fine, met friends, and started going out on the weekends with them and it kept me busy. School was great, it was a private school and I am really glad I did go to this School. I had lots of reports – from students that I did go to a great school and I felt accepted on the first, and second day.
The facilities were great, teachers great and the students very nice and included to me. This is what it is really about, I was a little afraid if they were going to accept me, and they did. So I am glad I did choose a local school – it is a co ed school and I met lots of people – girls and guys and felt part of the group. I joined a lot of team sports – this helped a lot, played Basketball, soccer and just go involved right from the beginning – this is what really helped.
So things were going great, and I had completely forgotten about the safari that I was meant to go on, but then it was time to go. honestly, I didn’t really want to go at that point, I just wanted to stay here with my friends. but I figured seeing the rest of Australia would be pretty good.. so Ii packed my bags and went.
The CEA Safari ended up being one of the funniest times on my trip, and I’m really glad I went. by the end of it I didn’t want to come back here really, I wanted to stay on the bus ha ha. But yeah, after the first week of being back at my host home I was back to normal and having a great time again.
Now I have got about a month left and I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends back in Canada again, but at the same time I really don’t want to leave Australia for good... so I think I’ll come back here traveling in a year or a couple years, just so its not goodbye, but just, see ya later.
Anyways, if you want to get in touch that fine and I will be happy to answer any questions you have – CEA will give you my email details etc.
Good luck……. Cheers……….. Ben
Adair – 17 Years Nevada USA July – Dec
My name is Adair and I am 17 years old. I am an only child and enjoy snowboarding. I live in Carson City, Nevada, USA and I chose to come to Australia as my exchange country. It was difficult to choose a company with who to come with to Australia, we spoke to a few, had unpleasant experiences with various companies, but then I found CEA and my Mom and I rang them and spoke with them and we felt very comfortable and sure that they would be here for me when I arrived and offered great support and assistance before I came and while I was here in Australia and they did!
About 9 months ago I never could of imagined being in Sydney, Australia and I now know that this is the best choice I have ever made. When first arriving in Australia, I was a little nervous about my living with my host family for the next six months and also about going to school and meeting new friends.Immediately I began to feel welcome in the home and from then on, I knew that this was going to be a great family to be with. I had one host sister named Margaux, who was nine, and one host brother named Enzo, who was two and wonderful caring host parents. I enjoyed having younger host siblings because I felt like the older sister and I have never had that before. Although they were French – Australian, I still am sure I got the feel of the Australian culture and the nationality differences didn’t change a thing. I even got to learn a little French in the process! I could not have asked for a better host family! My host mom is a fantastic cook and I talked to her all the time about everything.Frenchs Forest High School in Sydney, Australia was a wonderful school to go to. I have more kids in one year in the USA, then I do at this school, so it was a completely different feel. This was a very good thing because I got to experience a closer bond with all of the other kids there. All of my other peers and teachers did all they could to make me feel welcome at their school. I made a lot of friends at this school and through them I met many other friends from other schools. My friends were the highlight of my trip and I sure will miss them, but sure to keep in contact for if they ever come to America.
I had the chance to go the CEA safari with many other exchange students around Australia. This was probably the best time I had in Australia! I was able to climb Ayer’s Rock, go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, and see all of the Gold Coast of Australia! I have seen more of Australia than most Australians and feel very fortunate to of experienced such a great trip! I made friends throughout the world and learned many different cultures.
Australia was more than I could have ever imagined and more! I am sure this has been a life changing experience that I will remember and cherish forever. Thank you CEA for making all of this possible!
Laura –16 years – Switzerland Jan-July
My name is Laura and I am from Switzerland and I here from January to July I decided to go to Australia for six months in October , so I was really late and kind of scared I wouldn’t get in. But I desperately wanted to get away from home and to experience something new! Luckily everything turned out alright and I got into the CEA program without any trouble. Because I was so eager to leave home, I wasn’t as apprehensive as I probably ought to have been. I was just looking forward to coming over, trusting the family would be fine and that I could always change if there was a major problem (which there wasn’t). Saying goodbye went off without a hitch too, I only wanted my family at the airport, so they wished me a good time – and I was off.
Even on the plane I wasn’t feeling nervous about meeting my host family, only as I was waiting in line for passport control Sydney, did I start to wonder what they would truly look like.The whole family was waiting for me at the airport. They probably spotted my friend and me at once; there weren’t that many girls wandering around Sydney airport looking kind of lost. They instantly welcomed me into their family, my host mum, dad and sister all giving me a hug and my host brother, who was too shy, just shook my hand. Everyone laughed and it broke the tension immediately. We arrived at around 9pm and as there was the Sydney festival going on that night,my host family decided to take me around Sydney and show me all the lights before going home at midnight. My stay had started with a late night out and promised a lot more fun to come!
My host brother Peter, my host mother Vicki and me sailing
The first day of school was very entertaining; all the kids were so eager to know all about Switzerland, it was quite hard to answer all the questions, not least of all because they had no idea where Switzerland was, let alone what the adjective is (I got all kinds of strange words like Switzish, Switzerlandish thrown at me). After two weeks of school however, I was certain that I wanted to change classes, as I had covered most of what they were learning in year 11. This was no problem at all, and all the teachers and year coordinators were most helpful and understanding. Year 12 also immediately included me into their group.They already had two other exchange students in that year, plus experience with about 5 others the previous year and were quite accustomed to integrating us and making us feel part of the school.
Outside of school I took part in various church activities my host family introduced me to, like youth group and bible study. Even if you are not a religious person (I do not have any affiliation what so ever, but am very interested in what attracts people to religion), I highly recommend this to you. Church is where I made my very best friends and where I think I had most fun. Scouts was also exciting and a great place to make new friends, but it was sometimes a bit expensive, so I couldn’t always take part in their activities. But I still propose you try these things out, as they really help you get over any kind of regrets you might have in leaving your friends at home. These activities also enabled me to see a bit of the Australian country side, the beautiful beaches, animal and the fascinating nature of Australia.
During the holidays I did not go on safari but went on camp with the church and scouts. It is definitely one of the best memories I will take home with me. During the Easter weekend, I went camping in the Blue Mountains, lugging half a tent, all my food and clothes around for four days. It was really tiring, but soooo much fun. After that, I had two days to recover, and then my host family took me to Taree, where my host mother’s choir was singing in a concert. From there, I didn’t even come back to Sydney, but went directly to Youth Camp up in Foster, where the people from Youth Group and I played games, surfed (well, they surfed while I sun baked on the beach) and just chilled out. I met heaps of new people and I am sure that we will keep in contact for quite a while.
The second term of school was really exhausting for me, as I did not have much time to recover from my fantastic holiday and the teachers were bombarding us with assignments and assessment tasks. So time passed really quickly, and before I knew it, I was counting my last Youth Group, my last Bible Study, my last this and last that, but this exchange has taught me so much about Australian schooling and social life in general, I am really glad I did it, even though some parts seemed difficult and annoying at the time.
Now that my days here in Australia are drawing to a close, it is getting more and more fun, as everyone is organising goodbye parties and you really feel special. In my last too weeks here, I only have a single evening, when I have not organised anything yet! Time will seem so boring when I go back to Switzerland! But I am looking forward to going back home; meeting all of my friends, getting on with school and recovering from my unforgettable six months.
I am sure you will have a great time in Sydney and make some great and lasting friends Have Fun Laura
- Jennifer,First and foremost, I didn’t expect I would have such a great time as I did. I knew it was going to be a life changing experience but I never could have imagined how good it was! I just wanted to thank you for everything! Whenever I had a problem you were there tohelp me and you always made sure I was happy and OK. Even when my bed was a little bit hard, you gave me a mattress.I have heard many different stories about area reps and I feel grateful to of had such a wonderful coordinator. I know my mom could trust you and I knew I could too. I am going to tell all my friends about CEA and how I had such a good time!
Thank you for the farewell dinner and thanks for everything, Jennifer.Best wishes
Adair and Denise Nowacki
Edwin – 17 years from Germany
Photos from the CEA Safari with Ayers Rock in the back ground….wow…….
To all the brave students who decide to go to a foreign country and to all of you who declared to be prepared for solving problems on your own, organizing your daily life on your own (which can sometimes be harder than you might think) and to those feeling lonely from time to time.
G’day mate. My name is Edwin and I am a German 17 year old student and decided in spring to spend half a year in Sydney, right on the other side of the world!
From my experiences in Australia from July till December, I can honestly recommend this step, which will influence your lives intensively, in a positive way as you already might have been told by many people around you.A few months prior to my departure from home to the great open world, I kept thinking that leaving home will be the hardest and coming home the long-awaited and best feeling. But actually it turned out to be the other way around. Being at the airport and the sad feeling of having to say goodbye to my family, girlfriend and best friends for the long time of six months was dominated by the happy and adventurous emotions. And now as I am approaching the last moments of my stay in Sydney I feel as if I am just getting into the Australian way of life and fitting into this new home. However, I believe that half a year is an appropriate period of time to improve a language and, certainly, mature as a person.
I was welcomed in Australia with more than open arms. With a lovely, caring host family right from the start I settled quickly into the completely new environment and started to develop a routine to make as much as ever possible out of the time abroad – although that was a bit hard. Sydney is such a fascinating and entertaining place that you will barely ever stop sightseeing and discovering new corners; a city full of lights, life and beauty.
Going to school worked just as well from the start. Of course, you have to get used to this totally different way of schooling but teachers as well as many students are very helpful, open and keen to support you to make your stay as nice as possible. I made some really good friendships with my mates and my teachers.
I was really surprised by all these students from all different years ranging from 7 to 12 approaching me and asking hundreds of questions about my country and my stay in Sydney (the most commonly asked question will certainly be “Do you like Australia?”).
Although I felt like having been introduced to half the school already just during lunch break chats, I once was officially on stage at the weekly assembly to make “everybody aware of having guests from overseas”. I actually played the piano which was a bit easier for me and turned into a success.
Another reason why you blend with society in Sydney that quickly is its multiculturalism. You have so many people from all over the world living in Sydney that you will hear people speaking in your language almost every day. Also a unique experience making life easier for exchange students.
A true highlight of my stay was the safari, the best camping trip ever. We saw so many places you always dream of to see like Ayer’s Rock, the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands and many more. We had wonderful tour leaders, funny and helpful, and soon a great community among all these exchange students from all over Australia and all over the world respectively. A gorgeous memory!
Of course not everything was that easy. There were times when I was very sad and felt lonely and homesick but I always had somebody or something that cheered me up soon after and made me stronger, CEA and my coordinator Jennifer was great and always there for me, I look forward and concentrate on enjoying the great life again.
After approximately two months some problems between my host family and me were emerging and finally made me decide on moving to another host family. This is one of the biggest fears of exchange students I believe, to not fit into their host family. However, this is only natural and happens occasionally as it did to me. No reason for despair, CEA was there for me when I needed them in this moment, guided me and solved the situation spontaneously and without a great fuss. (And you will have more luck with your second host family as you already have experience in choosing and determining what’s important for you, what do I need around me…)
So there is not really much to worry about. The main thing is to be open for the new, be adaptable to circumstances that are different to what it has always been like in your life, and you might find the new eventually to be better than the usual…
Have a wonderful, impressing, enjoyable, teaching and everything changing time in Sydney. The best people, the best place, and the best time for you to come: perfect!
With the best wishes for you and in memory of the adventure of a lifetime,Edwin
Jess – from Switzerland
I’m Jess and I’d decided to spend the year in Australia in order to improve my English and to spend some time on the other side of the world (as travelling is one of my many passions)!
Back in Switzerland, I looked at all the offers for different cultural exchange programmes and decided I was going to do the Sydney programme Campus Education Australia CEA . It seemed like the best option, having school fees and all that comes with it included and first of all getting very supportive assistance from Campus Education Australia, in Sydney.
Read More..I hadn’t realised what I was doing for a very long time, saying goodbye to my friends and family back home wasn’t really hard at all! I was just so excited, couldn’t wait to start my adventure in Australia! Once I was on the plane, nervousness started to kick in and all those questions were twirling around in my head (“What am I doing, going to a country I’ve never been to before, staying with people I didn’t know and first of all, not knowing anyone at all!”) But I felt at home very soon after I’d arrived! My hostfamily was just lovely! They showed me around in Manly, the city, we had barbecues at Clontarf, etc.Then, my first day of school…HORROR! I hated my school so much in the beginning! No one had told me anything about what was going on…Ok, I asked people, etc. but there were so many things I wasn’t used to (“roll call?” what was that, we don’t have that in Switzerland) I was really disappointed, having seen how exchange students were treated at my school at home, being welcomed by the principal, being showed around,etc.
There I was, at Forest High, trying to find my way around there… But you get used to everything and it’s not for the rest of your life, so accept it and make the best out of it!I joined a local soccer team (the Seaforth U18s Ladies) so I had training twice a week and a game on Sundays when the season had started. Our coach was only 24 and the other girls were my age or older and went to different schools… Our trainings were always a lot of fun and I always looked forward to them! We really became a team and when the season was over (we came third) everyone was sad!I’m still in contact with them and do things with some of them!Other than soccer, I went to the gym (kickboxing classes, yoga and pilates were some of the classes I enjoyed most). And I also tried a lot of other things as well, like Capoeira, swimming, touch football, Beach Volleyball course, etc. I really used the time here to try stuff I didn’t have the possibility or I just was too busy with other things at home to do it.My friends took my to some Rugby league games of the Sydney Rooster’s, turning me into a real fan… I went to the Cirque du Soleil, the Maroon 5 concert, and the JET concert…
With CEA, we got together about once or twice a term, to catch up, look at photos and tell each other stories! We went Ten Pin Bowling, having pizza, going to Pancakes on the Rocks, etc. I could always rely on the support of CEA! My area rep would check on me regularly, asking me how I was going, etc. and if there was any trouble, it was sure that I could meet her within the same week!
My first travelling in Australia was with the Safari I did in April, with 48 other exchange students from all over the world (staying in different parts of Australia)…It was a nice change to my life in Sydney and I got to see parts of Australia that are completely different to Sydney! We were staying in tents (with a few exceptions; backpacker accommodation in Sydney, the first night, then a “dugout” in Coober Pedy and a night under stars in the outback)
It was usually a pretty busy schedule (too many things to visit 😉 ), with early starts and a lot of action… We climbed Uluru (Ayers Rock), visited some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, going to the Great Barrier Reef (snorkelling and optional diving, plus yummi lunch buffet), going surfing in Surfer’s Paradise and of course a lot of souvenir shopping!
Making friends (for life) and exchanging experiences with them was really good. You know, hearing from other students what they had to deal with suddenly didn’t make my school seem too bad…!
When it was time to say goodbye at Sydney airport, everyone was crying, hugging each other…We got so close in those 24 days! I’ll meet some of them again and I talk to others (that live further away from my place) on msn or email!
Other travelling that I did was with my first host family…My host mum, my host sister and me went to Canberra for two days and then drove to “Blackheath” in the Blue Mountains where we met up with my host dad. They knew people that have a house there so we rented it off them, staying there for one week. It was such a great time, we did a lot of bushwalking along the cliffs (amazing views!!!), etc.
Then, I changed host family in July…(not because I was unhappy, but it’s a good experience to stay with two different host families, getting to know more people and different Australian lifestyles)…I still meet my last host family sometimes (they invite me for dinner) and they took me to a “chilli festival” because they know I love HOT food and chillies!
One thing I was able to do after a couple of weeks was scuba diving! I did my Open Water Course at the Dive Centre in Manly…The people were great and so relaxed, we had a lot of fun together! Then I was thrilled by it, continuing with Boat Dives and the Advanced Open Water course! Going deep diving, wreck diving and night diving were some of the highlight and, of course, seeing Port Jackson and wobbegong sharks, is not an everyday thing in Switzerland! It is so addictive and I will miss it soooo much back home!
Now, looking at all my photos, I can hardly believe what I’ve done in just one year! I’ve been to so many places, met so many people and also made friends for life!
Okay, yeah, of course I’m looking forward to catching up with my friends at home, but I know that I’ll miss so many people and things I got to know here in Australia! And I will always look back with a smile on my face!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me – just ask CEA for the address
Katrin Germany 16 years Jan – July 2003
Hi from Sydney Australia !!!!!
My name is Katrin I am 16 years and live in Germany and I decided to live in Australia for 6 month first of all to improve my English and to get to know another country. But I also thought that this is a great opportunity to become more independent, to grow up and to learn to deal with complicated situations. That’s why I finally arrived in January 18th for an experience I will never forget.
Read More..I chose Campus Education Australia CEA because I got a personal response when I asked for information last year via the email. CEA then directed me to one of their local partner in Germany and I made contact with them which was great and I then went and had an interview and spoke with them with my parents. Having this available in my country is really good as it helped my parents and they could ask all the questions to the Germany partner We had a great orientation before leaving and prepared me for my new experience down under. It was very late when I decided to come to Australia and the good thing was that they accepted my application and they got everything organized for me so quickly
This was not available with many other organizations. This personal relationship is something really important considering that I fully trusted them in organizing half a year in another country – Sydney for me.During my cultural exchange I met with my CEA Representative in the first few days of arriving and we went over a number of things. She helped me in areas I needed help with, gave me some great advice and we got together and had dinners together with other exchange students in the group and talked about our experiences – this was great. My representative emailed me and rang to check in on me and she really supported me and helped me with feeling less homesick. But even though I had somebody to support me I felt lonely and terribly homesick sometimes. But now as time goes past, I am really happy and feel really part of a new culture and life.My host family , mother, father, two host sisters 17 years and 23 years and a hostbrother (14), are really kind, interested in my culture and I enjoyed living there even though I had to get used to their different lifestyle and habits. They took me to many beautiful places around the Northern Beaches, to Canberra and the Central Coast. But more important than that, they always helped and supported me. Especially my hostmother became a person I could talk to when I felt lonely or homesick. In my opinion a good relationship to your hostfamily makes everything much easier and more enjoyable.School was a kind of challenge for me. Not that we did anything difficult in class but the whole system is completely different and the students have another attitude and ‘work’ differently. So it was hard to get fully into it. Therefore you have to be very sensitive and patient. But I finally I made really good friends I hope I will keep in touch with.Everyday Life was great, I used to deliver the newspapers with my hostfamily in the morning I got up quite early. We then had breakfast altogether and I got ready for school. I walked down to school. On my way I met friends and it took us about 25 minutes to get down to Narrabeen Sports High School. School starts with Roll Call (on Mondays and Fridays followed by an assembly). A school day consists of 5 period, which take about an hour depending on day and period. After school I used to go to the beach (10min walk from school) with friends for a swim or just to relax at the beach. In winter we used to go to the square (5-min walk from school) for a soft drink ore some shopping. During the first term I used to go dancing next to my school once a week.On the weekends I liked to go to the city which takes, depending on the traffic, about 40-min. From the first moment I saw Sydney I just loved it. There is so much to do and it has two beautiful harbors. Even though the city is quite big you can reach everything in walking and experience this multicultural society which is really interesting. But not just the city is a facility to have fun and get to know this area but all the Northern Beaches and Bays around the city are worth it to go there.
On Sundays I used to go to church with my hostfamily. I first though it would be boring because I’m not really religious but I found good friends at Narrabeen Baptist Church and I went to Youth Group every Friday night where we met to do stuff like bowling or just to hang out together.
CEA has a great Safari and I went on, it was the best time I had here in Australia. We had a group of 65 exchange students from 15 different countries, travelled through the Australian desert, climbed Ayres Rock and Kings Canyon, sleep underground, went diving and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, enjoyed beautiful days on Great Keppel Islands, the Whitsunday Islandsand Surfers Paradise and got to know so many interesting people. By the end everybody was crying. I’m still in touch with most of them and I’m going to visit some of them very soon.
Not just that I’ve seen more of Australia than most Australians have but I also learned a lot about this huge continent and made so many good friends. This was an adventure I would describe as awesome, amazing and fabulous.
I often asked myself the question of what an exchange is all about and what I can expect and honestly I still don’t have an answer. But I know that I’m not afraid of meeting other people or other cultures any more, I’m independent, grown up and had and exciting and interesting time with many memories which I will keep in mind forever. It is not always easy and homesickness made it pretty hard for me sometimes but you have to put an effort in everything especially in relationships to get something back and to enjoy yourself.
Now, when I nearly finished my exchange, I can say I’m proud of myself and happy do made the decision to actually go to Australia!
See ya Katrin.
Julian 17 Years from Germany – 6 months
My name is Julian and I am a 17 years old student from Germany.
I decided to come to Australia for 6 months and that time was the best time of my life.
I arrived in Sydney in February, the whole flight I couldn’t sleep because I was that nervous, but when I met my host family and had dinner with them I could already see that I will feel comfortable living with such a nice family.
They also helped me on my first school day, when I was pretty nervous. My brother introduced me to his friends and they are still pretty close friends of mine. After I got to know my grade in school, I started looking for afternoon activities. I signed in for soccer, which I played already in Germany.Through my new friends in school I tried to play Rugby and it is an amazing sport and I still play it. I also started going to gym which I will continue when I come back to Germany and I loved going to the beach which are not comparable to the beaches in Germany. By feeling comfortable in the new country the time started running.
After 3 months I went to the CEA safari, which was great. You see so many things you wouldn’t have seen with out going on safari and you also become friends with other students in your age from other countries. Now another 2 months are over and I am still in contact with my friends from safari.
I have only 3 weeks left and mixed feelings on the one hand I am upset because I will miss all my friends, the school, my family and Rugby, but on the other hand I am glad that I have chosen to come to Australia and the experience that I had will I still remember for my whole life.
I am already planning to come back for holidays and visit my friends and my family.
Christy 17 years from USA – Jan – July My trip Down under, Sydney Australia with Campus Education Australia (CEA)
Making the decision to leave home for six months was one of the most difficult, but also most rewarding, decisions I have ever made. When I first arrived in Sydney, all I could think was, “What am I doing here?!”. It was a scary feeling. However, by the end of my first day with my host family, I felt like I was practically part of the family. They were very welcoming and helpful, always being there when I needed them, but also giving me space when I needed some privacy.
Read More..It was great having the support and guidance of CEA, who organized everything in Sydney.I read once that “Family isn’t about whose blood you have. It’s about who you care about.” My wonderful host family helped me realize how true that really is.For the past five months, they have been like my real family and I know it will be unbelievably difficult to say goodbye to them in only a few weeks.
Just as important to me are the amazing friendships I have made here. I have to admit that my first day at a new school in a new country was one of the most frightening situations I have ever been in. However, the kids at my school were so friendly and welcoming, I felt at home almost straight away. Between the many footy games, shopping trips, and movie nights, I have developed lasting friendships with some of the girls from my school that I know will continue long after I return home.Living in the northern beaches was one of the best decisions I made regarding my stay in Australia. It is such a beautiful and exciting place to live. There’s truly nothing like it. I have seen many remarkable areas of Australia since I’ve been here, but it was always nice to come home to the beauty of this place. The northern beaches are home to some of the best beaches in the country, and many of them are easily accessible by a 5-20 minute bus ride. Because I come from the heartland of America, being so close to the beach was really amazing – this is why my parents chose to go with CEA because they could confirm that the school and host family would be personally chosen and also in heart of the Northern beaches and in Sydney – close to everything and found them very efficient and professional.For me, six months was the perfect amount of time. I have enjoyed myself so much that I know I could stay a lot longer, but I am also glad to know that I haven’t been away so long that my life will be hard to slip back into at home. Missing my family was honestly really difficult sometimes, but the good times always outweighed the hard ones. The past five months have been some of the most exciting of my life, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.If I could give newcomers a few words of advice, it would be this:
1. Don’t be shy! The other kids at your new school will be as scared to talk to you as you are of them. Go ahead and make the first move. The friendships you make will be worth those few moments of nervousness.2. Six months or one year will seem like a long time when you first arrive, but in reality your weekends are very limited. Do as much as you can as early as possible. Get the touristy outings out of the way so that you’re not trying to squeeze in trips to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge right at the end. Before you know it, your time will be filled with friends and school, so do it while you can. You won’t regret it.
3. Go on the safari. I know that a month is a really long time to be living out of a suitcase and sleeping in a tent, but the unforgettable experiences you have will far outweigh the minimal discomforts – thanks to CEA for organizing such an amazing trip all of us……….
4. Be absolutely completely open to new or unconventional ideas and people. You will be surprised by how much you will go through culture shock. Different cultures value different things so don’t be surprised if your host family only gets five television channels or only owns one car even though they have five drivers. Embrace the differences and definitely don’t be condescending. You are here to learn, not to preach.
5. Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Don’t let your trip be hampered by stress and worries. Live the true aussie way… no worries, mate. No worries.
Carrie, 16 years – Washington USA
My trip to Australia !
Campus Education Australia CEA has been absolutely terrific in getting everything together for me while I was in the US and at such short notice. My Mom and Dad felt very comfortable and confident with the thorough way CEA organised everything for me to study the land downunder in Sydney Australia that I was packed and ready to go before I knew it I was here! Now I would like to share my story with you.
Read More..Before my trip to Australia, I had never been away from home longer than 21 days. So coming across the world by myself for 9 weeks was something that I had never prepared to do. However, I am so happy that I ignored the doubts I was having, because otherwise I would have missed out on the best experience of my life. During my stay in Australia, I have lived a completely different lifestyle, allowing me to become much more independent and arousing a certain curiosity in me to try new things
For the first time in my life, I got to wear a uniform to school. I had a really great time at Davidson High school, the teachers we very nice and assisted me with all my subjects I needed to take while here in Australia I made friends with many Australian kids, we went shopping, to the movies and lots of fun exchanging cultural differences and felt included instantly.I learnt to take public transportation everywhere instead of just driving myself. I went around to several of the Northern Beaches and got to see how beautiful and unique each of them are. I felt on top of the world when I climbed the Harbor Bridge and saw a 360 degree view of the entire city of Sydney, including the Opera House. I went to an Aboriginal Art Gallery and learned of their exceptional and fascinating culture through bark paintings and animal wood carvings. I took a ferry from Manly into the city and saw the beautiful skyline of the city from the water. I went to the Blue Mountains and saw the Three Sisters standing tall at Echo Point. All of these things I experienced and took interest in, I would have never had the opportunity to do back home.Amongst all of these wonderful experiences, I stayed with such a kind and loving host family that made my stay in Australia so much more amazing. I had a great host brother who was 15 and a really nice host sister 13 years and my host Mum is just like my Mom back home. They included me in everything, without their friendly welcoming, I would not have made it through my trip. They made me feel like I was a part of their family and I was not missing out on anything back in America because this was my home away from home. With my time in Australia coming to an end, I know that I will return home with lifelong friendships, beautiful photos, and most importantly unforgettable memories.Campus has been really great and helped me get everything together and they found the best host family ever and they were there for me when I needed them!
Jake – 16 yrs Germany
I spent one year in Australia, the first six months in Melbourne, where things didn’t seem to work out right for me. But once we had contacted CEA in Sydney they quickly and flexibly arranged for a transference to Sydney, taking care of all the paperwork, and I really got to enjoy the other half of my stay down under. They found an excellent host family, the perfect school and were always there whenever any questions arised.
These conditions enabled me to really get up to stuff, and with my friends from school we always do something on the weekends, be it going to the beach, the movies, walking around the CDB or spending six hours in a laser arena. During the holidays my brother and I went on a cycle tour from Sydney to Brisbane, so we really got to see the country.I can only recommend this program and to anyone about to participate in it I would advise to really try to do as many things as possible, as time flies and at the end of your stay you will look back, and regardless of how active you were, you will wish you had done more…
Ich habe ein Jahr in Australien verbracht, davon die ersten sechs Monate in Melbourne, wo es aber irgendwie nicht so richtig klappen wollte. Aber nachdem wir Kontakt mit CEA aufgenommen hatten, organisierten sie schnell und flexibel meinen Umzug nach Sydney.
Sie kuemmerten sich um den ganzen Papierkram und die zweite Haelfte meines Aufenthaltes konnte ich wirklich geniessen. Sie fanden eine klasse Gastfamilie, eine tolle Schule und waren immer da falls Fragen aufkamen. Dank dieser Bedingungen konnte ich eine Menge unternehmen und mit meinen Schulfreunden
war jedes Wochenende etwas los, von Strandgaengen, Kinobesuchen ueber Stadtbummel bis hin zu sechsstuendigen Sessions in einer Laser Arena. In den Ferien unternahmen mein Bruder und ich eine Fahrradtour von Sydney nach Brisbane, wodurch wir das Land wirklich zu sehen bekamen.
Ich kann dieses Programm nur empfehlen und jedem der demnaechst daran teilnimmt wuerde ich raten, so viel wie moeglich zu unternehmen. Die Zeit verfliegt und am Ende des Aufenthaltes wird man zurueckblicken und sich wuenschen, egal wie aktiv man war, dass man noch mehr gemacht haette…
Lucas – 17 years from Vienna Austria
It was sometime in March 2001 when I decided to go for 6 months to Sydney and I had looked really forward to see this city and the country and of course to improve my English which wasn’t that good and besides that I just wanted to do something like that my entire live.
I think it s a huge step for a young person leaving home for 6 months and going on the other side of this planet to look what s going on there.
I arrived in Sydney on the 19 th of January and it was dam hot of course I love the heat but when you come from Austria out of the European winter into the Australian summer it is kind of a shock. I was tired after a horrible 22 hour flight I was tired confused but excited. After a nice long chat with the customs officers I finally caught up with my Hostfamily who met me at the airport and it nice to see them there waiting for me but it was just so weird to see them and maybe I was a little bit shocked.Anyway we arrived in Killarney where they live and where my school is too I was just tired because of the time difference. I had about 2 weeks holiday before school started and I did some stuff with my host parents and my host brothers who were younger then me. I also met a friend from Vienna who was in Sydney at that time and I started my new hobby surfing at Manly beach – as my host family loved going to the beach and I also went with them. Then school began and I think I was pretty lucky that I decided to go to Killarney Heights High. There was this really nice girl there and she introduced me to everyone and helped me to choose my subjects which was absolutely new for me because in Austria you have every damn subject and here you can actually choose which subject you are interested in Jill just helped me to get used to everything not just this completely different school system.
I don t know why but it was pretty easy for me to get my new friends of course the first month you are sometimes a bit lonely but then I just took it easy you must not get depressed or start o have desperately thoughts about I have no friends over here what am I supposed to do? it just takes a while until you get used to everything and to really get known your friends and getting a part of their group in this time you just have to relax and try to make the best out of it , I went to the nice city a lot went to the movies bought some english books ,went to the beach surfing. but as I have said i was lucky with my friends and all the people in my school they just integrate me immediately and I got a new part of their group I wen to a party it was just getting more and more better all the time.
It was I think at the beginning of March when I changed my hostfamily as CEA always checked with me to see if I was OK and they helped with ensuring I was happy in my family and school the whole time I was here in Sydney. My parents felt relieved that I had support here and they could ring and speak to CEA if they needed. I m so glad that I did it. I moved to a lovely family where the host mother was Australian and the host father was Japanese and they were a lovely family in Roseville but I didn’t change schools
The family is just great they have 2 small kids Isai who is 5 and Mika who is 9,they also had 2 other exchange students Natsue from Japan and Alline from France and we just had a great time together. I was with Natsue and 5 of her Japanese friends on the mardi gras which was a heaps of fun.I got known other exchange students like Susanna who was also on our CEA program and she is from Switzerland and we are really good friends now and when we were bored we just went surfing or went to the city.
Then end of march I celebrated my 18th birthday with my friends and with my family and the great safari began It was a trip through half Australia through the desert mostly and we were about 60 students from all over the world. I think we were about 15 guys an the rest were girls which wasn’t that bad. We travelled with the bus everyday which wasn’t that good but suppose seeing Australia is so big it was the only way we were going to see it, slept in a tent every night and just had a great trip. Seriously it was one of my best time in my entire life.
After a month back in Sydney my examination week in school started which wasn’t that hard and my friendship to all the people in school increased and I got really close friends to some of them like ;Tim, Tom and Ian I went with these guys snowboarding in Thredbo which was very cool, Owen who lives close to me and Dillan.I can say Dillan is one of my best mates even compared to my mates back in Austria. but there were and are heaps of more people Japanese and Chinese friends, Jill, Lisa ,Holly, Laura, Christen and a lot of other girls in this time you are definitely enjoying your stay.
I have had a really great time as well and I could prove my independents which I got in Australia and I realized how this 6 months have changed me. It takes a while but after 4-5 months which is sadly nearly the end of my oz stay you don t feel like a stranger anymore you feel like you belong to there, I don t know how to say, but you just have heaps of friends and every weekend you are doing something, going to parties or in the city and all this stuff. you realize in this time that you don t have friends just back home but now you have real friends even in Australia.
You also will realize that you are actually not looking forward to go back and to leave you new life and your new people, but in some way your looking forward to go back to your old life which will have changed and to your old people who will have changed. You’ll be somewhere in between like I m now you don t want to go back and you know its time to go back, you don t really want to know how it will be back home but you know it s time to face it. but the main thing is you have changed in some way and you know you did something you really can be proud of it I’ll back home. I’ll be gone in 10 days thank you to my host family, my new friends my great school and CEA for the best time downunder
Lucas from Austria
Caroline 17 years – Innsbruck Austria
Already I’ve been here in Sydney for 5 months and there’s only one more month left – I can’t believe it, time has passed so quickly!! At the beginning 6 months seemed to be such a long time – everything was just so different to what I had expected and to what I was used to.
It was really hard to get used to the Australian school system. I wasn’t as happy with my first host family so after 2 months CEA helped me and placed me with a really great family . My new host family was the best thing I could have done. With my new host family I fitted in together much better and I felt very comfortable quickly.
– I had a great host sister who is 20yr who had also been an exchange student when she was younger and she was really nice and my host mother was so kind and motherly.My life here is very relaxed. I don’t really have to do much work for school and I live only about 10 minutes away from the beach. I just love to go for walks straight after school.
I also went on the CEA Safari Tour for about 3 weeks, which was a great experience. I got the chance to see Ayers Rock, the Barrier Reef and all the things you should have seen when you’re already in Australia.
Sydney is the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to and I’m sure I’ll come back one day!
Ich bin hier in Sydney schon seit 5 monaten und es ist nur noch 1 monat uebrig, ich kann’s kaum glauben – die zeit ist so schnell vergangen! 6 monate schienen am anfang so eine lange zeit zu sein, alles war ungewohnt und nicht so wie ich es mir erwartet hatte.
Es war schwer sich an das australische Schulsystem zu gewoehnen und ich hatte auch einige probleme mit meiner gastfamilie. Nach ca. 2 monaten CEA haben gastfamilie gewechselt und es war das beste was ich machen konnte!
Meine zweite gastfamilie und ich passten viel besser zusammen und ich fuehlte mich sehr schnell wohl.
Mein leben hier ist sehr entspannt. Ich muss nicht wirklich viel fuer die schule tun und ich wohne nur 10 minuten weg vom strand. Ich liebe es gleich nach der schule am strand spazieren zu gehen.
Ich bin auch 3 wochen auf einer CEA Safari Tour gewesen, was eine einzigartige erfahrung war. Ich habe Ayers Rock gesehen, das Barrier Reef und all die dinge die man einfach gesehen haben sollte wenn man schon mal in australien ist.
Sydney ist die schoneste stadt in der ich jemals war und ich bin mir sicher dass ich eines tages zurueckkommen werde!
Rafael – Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
“O tempo passou muito rápido pra mim na Austrália, não parece que passei 6 meses aqui, parece que cheguei aqui ontem. Primeiro, quando cheguei no aeroporto eu estava um pouco ansioso mas depois me encontrei com um representante da CEA e me senti bem melhor. Fui levado para minha host family e depois de algumas semanas eu não sabia porque eu tinha estado tão preucupado sobre o início. Minha host family me fez sentir muito bem vindo e eu começei a fazer amigos na escola e desde então eu não olhei pra trás e me diverti muito. Eu não posso acreditar que passei todo esse tempo aqui.
Minha escola era legal e Sydney é uma citade bonita onde tem várias coisas para se ver e fazer, especialmente nas práias do norte onde surfei praticamente todo dia em Manly Beach, Dee Why, Collaroy ou Narrabeen Beach.Ficar com uma host family é uma experiência inesquecível. Eu tinha duas ótimas irmãs com quem eu sempre conversava e elas me incluiam em tudo. Eu aprendi a cultura australiana e realmente me senti incluido na família, como me sinto na minha própria casa e me diverti muito ao mesmo tempo. Eu realmente me senti como um “Aussie”. Eu encontrava com os meus amigos da escola, a gente sempre saía juntos e isso ajudou a melhorar meu inglês. Essa foi uma das maiores aventuras que eu já tive e eu queria agradecer ao CEA pelo suporte e orientação que eles me deram enquanto eu estava neste programa. Venha para cá com Campus Education Australia – O melhor!”
“Time has gone very quickly for me in Australia as I have now been here 6 months as it feels like only yesterday that I arrived!. At first, when I arrived at the airport I was a little anxious but then I was met by CEA representative and I felt much better. I was taken to my host family and after a couple of weeks I did not know what I had been so worried about in the first place. My host family made me feel very welcome and I started to meet friends at school and since then I have not looked back and had a wonderful time. I can not believe that I have spent all this time here. My high school was great and Sydney is a beautiful city where there are many things to see and do especially in the northern beaches where I surfed just about everyday at Manly Beach, Dee Why, Collaroy or Narrabeen beach.
Staying with a host family is an unforgettable experience. I had two great host sisters who I always talked to and they included me in everything. I learnt the Australian culture and really felt included in the family just as I do back home and had lots of fun at the same time. I really felt like an “Aussie”. I met many friends at school, we always went out together and this helped to improve my English language. This is one of the best adventures I have had and I wish to thank CEA for the support and guidance they have given while I have been on this program. . Come down under with Campus Education Australia – the best!”
Fernanda – Sertãozinho, São Paulo
“I really enjoyed my stay in Australia for 6 months.I learnt many things by attending a local high school and met many new Australian friends. I want to really thank my home host family who welcomed me into their family as one of their own daughters. They are a great family and I never forget their kindness, love and help, and my host mothers cooking was the best.
Thanks with all my heart . Love Fernanda.”
“Studying in an Australian school allowed me to develop my English language and make many new Australian friends.”
Read More..FERNANDAAlso a letter from Fernanda’s parents.
Dear Jennifer and Nick, We are very happy to have our daughter with your family. We thank God everyday for you having received Fernanda in your house. Fernanda is a very humble and caring girl, and for this reason we miss her very much, but her happiness to be together with your family is much more important. We can’t express in words how much we thank you for what you are doing for Fernanda, and she says that she feels like a daughter in your house, and this makes the time pass quickly. We think that’s great! You can be sure that you have adopted a happy human being, created by the hands of God, that loves all the people around her. You have contributed enormously and we are proud of you and Fernanda. Maybe you don’t realise the greatness of your actions towards Fernanda, but certainly, your actions count with God. Our house is always open to you and your family to visit when you come to Brazil.We would like to write many beautiful things to you, but to put it into one phrase by Drumond: “Nothing is too small if you have a big soul” (Brazilian poet) or “Everthing is worth it when the soul is not small” May God be with you and we send a kiss to each one’s heart.Regards Neide and Mario PS: We read your letter and we were very happy with your attention and so I have written this letter with the help of Mario and my English teacher and friend (Australia)
Angeles – Santa Fe, Argentina
“Australia is a wonderful safe country. I feel very comfortable with my new Australian host family. I enjoyed having Australian sisters to ride bikes and take the dog for walks. I really felt a part of the family. Studying in Australia allowed me to develop new friendships and practise my English language – it is a wonderful experience, one I will always remember.”
Bea – Koln, Germany English translation
Hey everybody! I have been in Sydney Australia – for 6 months, which has passed by far too quick! Well, first when I arrived everything was so strange for me: the surrounding, the atmosphere, just everything was different and so I was really homesick, what I never felt before. But CEA helped me to settle down and my host family supported me as well.
Host family means my host parents, my 2 host sisters and my host brother, who are really nice. They make me laugh all the time and I have much to join in, because they are very active. They live in a nice house close to the beach, the shops and the school. I always ride my host brothers bike, so I am everywhere in about 5 min. I really love the beach, so I spent much time there with my friends. The school is pretty good. I joined year 10 and so I had the formal ( a dinner dance) . I did not even know what it was, because it does not exist in Germany, but I really liked it. After I got used to the different system I really enjoyed it, because it was really easy compared to my German school.It is the best place to make friends. I was really lucky to be in Sydney during the Olympic Games. CEA took me to see an event – swimming and I also went to an indoor Volley ball game. I also went to the Paralympic Games twice and saw so many impressive things it was great. The highlight was the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games, which my host family took me to.
During my vacation I also went on a Safari coach trip to Adelaide, through Central Australia to the Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef, and down the coast to Brisbane and Surfers Paradise. The whole trip was such a great experience, that I will never forget it and should not be missed.
At the moment I am experiencing an Australian Christmas, which is my first hot Christmas ever! Early in December I also went to Melbourne – Victoria with another exchange student. This was another great part of my stay in Australia. I learned so many things about Australia, its culture and people. I got many other benefits from those 6 months as well. My English has improved, I made good friends, I learned how to have responsibility and I am sure that there are many more things. Sydney Australia – the best……
Thank you – BEA, Koln ermany
Hallo! Ich bin jetzt seit 6 Monaten in Sydney, Australien und die Zeit ist gerast. Als ich vor sechs Monaten ankam war alles fremd: die Umgebung, die Atmosphaere, einfach alles war anders. Ich hatte sehr starkes Heimweh in der ersten Zeit, aber CEA und meine Gastfamilie haben mich wirklich unterstuetzt und mir geholfen mich einzugewoehnen. In meiner Gastfamilie sind meine Gasteltern, meine 2 Gastschwestern und mein Gastbruder.
Ich kann viel mit ihnen unternehmen, denn irgendwas ist immer los. Es gibt immer was zu lachen. Ich wohne mit ihnen in einem schoenen Haus in der Naehe des Strandes. Ich kann ausserdem zu den Geschaeften laufen und die Schule ist direkt um die Ecke. Ich bin ueberall in ca. 5 min.. Ich bin ziemlich oft am Strand oder mit meinen Freunden in der naechsten shopping Mall.
Die australische Schule ist sehr verschieden zur deutschen. Nachdem ich mich an das andere System gewoehnt hatte, hat mir die Schule sehr gut gefallen, denn es ist viel einfacher, verglichen zur deutschen Schule. Die Schule ist der beste Ort, um Freunde zu finden. Ich konnte mich ziemlich gluecklich schaetzen, dass ich waehrend den olympischen Spielen in Sydney war. Ich sah Syncronschwimmen und Volleyball. Nach den olympischen Spielen habe ich eine Reise durch Australien unternommen. Unter anderem ging es zum Ayers Rock und dem Great Barriers Reef. Das war ein weiteres highlight waehrend meinem Aufenthalt.
Als ich von der Reise zurueckkam ging es direkt weiter mit den paralympischen Spielen, die ich zweimal besucht habe.Ein weiterer Hoehepunkt war die closing ceremony der paralympischen Spiele. Anschliessend hatte ich eine kleine Pause, um den Strand zu besuchen und einfach zu relaxen und alles zu verarbeiten bis ich dann Anfang Dezember fuer vier Tage nach Melbourne geflogen bin. Die ganzen vier Tage waren mit Sehenswuerdigkeiten vollgepackt.
Als ich von Melbourne wieder eingereist war, stand Weihnachten schon vor der Tuere, welches mein erstes warmes Weihnachten war. Es war ungewohnt und ich war bei dreissig Grad auch nicht in Weihnachtsstimmung, aber es war doch eine Erfahrung. Ich war dann also an Weihnachten am Strand und die Ventilatoren im Haus waren auf Hochtouren, denn es war sehr heiss. Als naechstes erwartet mich Sylvester und ich bin jetzt schon gespannt, was mich da erwartet.
Abschliessend kann ich Australien nur weiterempfehlen und mein ganzer Aufenthalt hat mich viele hilfreiche Dinge gelernt, wie z.B. Selbststaendigkeit, Verantwortung tragen, mein Englisch hat sich verbessert, ich habe sehr viel ueber die australische Kultur und Lebensweise gelernt und ich bin mir sicher, dass da noch viele andere Dinge sind.
Phil – Colorado USA
Australia — WOW!!! Hi my name is Phil and I came to Australia unsure of what I had gotten myself into but I soon found out that this was the chance of a life time and I truly had the time of my life down here thanks to C.E.A..
My host family was very helpful and spent a lot of time with me while I learned how to get around town and get to school. The schools are great and you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to fit in amongst the teachers and students.
Sydney is very beautiful with many different cultures, I suspect this is why everyone is so open minded and eager to lend a helping hand if your lost or simply can’t find anything to do.If you get a chance I would definitely recommend visiting Manly beach, it is very beautiful and if you make your way down to the Corso there are tons of little shops to look through for souvenirs or, if your hungry, to grab a bite to eat.
This is Phil from Colorado, USA saying Good Bye.
Paulo – Saõ Paulo Brazil
“Eu estive na Australia por 11 mêses pude constatar que Sidney é uma cidade encantadora por ser limpa e segura você aprimora seu inglês e desfruta de iversas atividades que na Australia são dimais como: pular de uma ponte seguro só por um elástico, descer altas correntezas num pequeno bote, saltar de paraquedas, surfar em lindas praias com ondas emocionantes,. jogar futebol em campos belicimos, tenho certeza que você não vai querer ir embora.. Além de tudo isso você tem a chance de fazer novos amigos com pessoas do mundo inteiro, e ser assistido de perto por uma empreza especializada em intercambios de estudantes chamada Campus Education Australia ( CEA ) que lhe arrumará a acomodação em famílias acolhedouras que você se sentirá em sua própria casa.
Se você estiver cursando o colegial Imelhor ainda pois está chance lhe ajudará a ter um futuro brilhante.. Não se esqueça da excelente oportunidade Campus Education Australia está lhe dando.”Paulo – Saõ Paulo Brazil
“I studied in Australia for 11 months and had a really great time. Sydney is a wonderful clean city, it is safe and a great place to learn English. There are a great many things to see and do that you can enjoy such as Bungy jumping, white water rafting, sky diving and surfing the great waves on the beautiful beaches. I played football, soccer in beautiful natural green environment with lots of green trees, This is an experience you will never forget. Australia offers many opportunities. You will meet new friends from all parts of the world. Specializing in student exchange, Campus Education Australia (CEA) will organise excellent accommodation and caring home host families for you to experience and they are very much like my home in Brazil. Studying at a local high school gave me the chance to develop many experiences for my future. I will never forget this excellent opportunity Campus Education Australia has given me.”
“Sydney is a fantastic place. I am glad I came to Australia to study English, it is safe and I feel happy. I have seen and experienced many new things and places. My host family is very good to me, I feel like I am in my own home”