Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How it all started

Hi everyone,
A few years ago I accidentally visited the EF website and I read something about the High School exchange year. It seemed like a really nice and adventurous thing to do, but I was a lot younger back then so I didn't think about really doing it.

Then, in september 2014, I saw an EF ad on Facebook. I visited the EF Facebook page and saw that there would be an information meeting about the High School year in my city the next day. I thought: 'why not?' so I applied and went there with my mother and sister. I really liked the meeting and an High School year seemed like something perfect for me. I had been on two exchanges before that were organized by my school and those where amazing experiences. 

So I decided I wanted to do an exchange year, but first I wanted to go the the USA after I graduated from High School in the Netherlands. There only was a small problem: I would be already 18 years old and because of that, there would only be few host families available. I would also be older than almost all the people in the High School. After thinking a lot about it, I decided to go to the USA next year, and finish my last year of school in the Netherlands when I'm back.

There are many organizations that offer an exchange year, so I did some research and I also searched for opportunities to go to university in the USA. But I found out that I liked the idea of going to an High School the most and that EF was the best organization for me, because they have offices in all the countries so you don't have to rely on another organization when you're abroad.

After my decision I applied for an interview. The interview is mandatory for all EF students because they can make sure you are motivated and your level of English is good enough. Firstly, the interview leader told many things about her own exchange year which was very nice to hear! After that, I had to write a letter to my future host family and there was an interview in English, where I had to answer questions about me, why I wanted to go on an exchange year and what I wanted to learn from it. After a few days I got a phone call that I was accepted into the program!

When I was accepted, I had to finish my application, go to the doctor for a Certificate of Health, let a teacher write a Letter of Recommendation for me, fill in my grades and so on.

And that's where we are now! All the paperwork is finished and I just have to wait for the state I'm going to live in and the host family I'll stay with. I hope you will follow me on my blog this year :)