advice for future exchange students #15:
if you make it to the third month, congratulations.
you are exchanging.
I have this theory that life for exchange students gets more dramatic at the third month mark. While I haven't had that much drama as of yet (which makes me rather worried, because I feel like something should be coming), I've observed enough of my friends to conclude that around three months in, something changes.
I talked with some of my Austauschschuler friends about this, and what we came up with was that after three months, you are no longer a guest. You are on exchange-- you have lived in the same house for almost 100 days, you (should) be able to speak the language to communicate, and you are no longer new to school or classes or your village.
And so you are transitioning.
You are transitioning into living your new life.
things that have happened in the past 10 days:
- first skype with my family!!! For those of you who didn't know, there is something called the 90-day-rule that my district set up for the outbounds. It basically states that we cannot skype or call home (with the exception of a short call home to tell them that we've arrived) for the first 90 days of our exchange. But... my 90 days are over, and so I skyped home! :) :) :) words do not express how excited I was.
- I finally got to meet up with one of my friends from Zurich, Sarah. We skyped several times before I left (she is from Kentucky and I am from Oregon) but since she's in a different area and district I haven't gotten to see her very often. It was good to see her and talk and compare lives :)
- I got an account at the Rheinfelden library. This means that I can check out German books whenever I want for free. Since the library was a huge part of my life at home, it's nice to have an account here.
- met with my counsellor at Gymnasium Muttenz. We spoke completely in German, which was actually pretty cool for me... while I've had conversations with my host family and my colleagues at school, it's a different experience to explain yourself and ask "business" questions in German.
- On Wednesday, my whole class had something called a Berufstag (at least, I think that's what it's called). All of the first-year FMS students were required to take a huge long test to see what their strengths and weaknesses and job preferences would be. Then on one day, all of us go and visit places and hear presentations based on what those job preferences are. Each of the different jobs require you to go to a specific type of school where they train you for the specific job you pick. So for example, I went to a pedagogy presentation (which was really boring), an architecture presentation (which was interesting) and a presentation about journalism/translation/communications (which was really awesome.)
- I've also decided to go to university here.
- Just kidding.
- Except really... there are some very good schools in Switzerland, so we'll see how my German goes and then maybe college in other countries would be a possibility!