Dank des Rotary Youth Exchange Programms konnte das Schuljahr 2006/2007 in Melbourne, Australien verbringen und die 11. Klasse statt in Deutschland an der Upwey High School, etwa eine Stunde westlich von Melbourne, verbringen. Ich hatte wunderbare Gasteltern, sofort Kontakt zu den lokalen Pfadfindern und insgesamt eine fantastische Zeit.
Für die dortige Schülerzeitung habe ich es damals so zusammengefasst:
What’s the point of an exchange year? What’s the point of leaving your family and all your friends behind, of missing out on all those good parties that are going to happen and instead travel to a foreign country where you know no one and can’t even speak the language properly?
Two years ago, I could not have replied to this question: I might have just decided to spend one year abroad, but I didn’t really know why, now I do! Now, after I have met so many unbelievable people on “your” side of the world: Openhearted, helpful and friendly. Now, after I have been able to experience so many magical moments and done so many fantastic things: An exchange year might be a one-in-a-live-time chance, but it holds for ever.
On July, 24th 2006, I said good-bye to my family, left Germany behind and flew to Melbourne, not knowing what to expect. A few hours later, I saw the first cheerful faces at the airport – those of my host family, a family I have become part of. Soon after, I met Braden, Bubs, Brucey, Matt, Asha and so many more at Upwey High School, and that’s were a wonderful story started: It might have been hard sometimes, but there was always someone to help me along: I was invited to join the daily soccer games (oh, sorry: football) on the oval, was taken into the city and in the end, was able to join the SoccerTwos – We never won a single match, but it was always good fun!
Through Rotary I met other exchange students from all over the world, with Venturers I took part in various activities including the Australian Jamboree and my three host families kept me busy as well … During the last few months I hardly had spare time on the weekends!
Now, what’s the point? Meeting so many people and making so many friends, and that within only a few months, is a magnificent experience I am glad to have made. It’s something I will keep for life, just as all those business cards!
Thanks for everything, guys