Saturday, September 12, 2015

Exchange student tag

Hi there! Today I decided to fill in the exchange student tag, which I found on another blog. It contains a lot of random questions about my exchange year. Hopefully you'll like reading it! 

1. What is your name, age, nationality and company?
My name is Sarah, I'm 17 years old, I'm from the Netherlands and I'm traveling with EF!

2. Where are you spending your exchange year?
I'm living in Greenville, South Carolina.

Our student section during the football game last friday!

3. Why did you decide to be an exchange student?
I really wanted to go to the USA, but not as a tourist! Of course I want to visit nice places, but I'm more interested in experiencing the culture. The only way to really experience a culture is to live in a local family and to do what other American teenagers do. I also want to speak English fluently, because that will help me a lot in the future. And I want to find out what I want to do after high school, because right now I have no idea. But the most important thing is that I want to have an experience I'll never forget! If you want to read more, I wrote a blog post about the same question a few months ago.

4. What did you think when you first stepped out of the plane?
The only thing I thought was: I'M SO NERVOUS! It was so scary that I was about to meet my host family. The moment I met them all the nervousness went away and I was so happy to be here. Especially with the amazing welcome they gave me! It made me feel at home immediately.
The first thing I said when we walked out of the airport was: 'It's so hot here!' The heat was something I had to get used to in the beginning, but now it's normal for me. When it's 25 degrees outside I even think it's cold, haha. I'll probably freeze when I'm back in the Netherlands.

5. What is the weirdest thing you have tasted so far?
This is a really hard question. I tried so many new things that it's impossible to remember everything. If you're going to be an exchange student you should be prepared for a lot of new food. Everyone loves to let me try food I've never had before. They even make videos of me eating it which is pretty funny. The food is not as healthy as I'm used to, and a lot of things are fried. They have a wide range of candy here as well! I'll probably never try all the candy they have. Americans love peanut butter and put it on everything. A weird thing is that a lot of people here eat chips during lunch. I feel like that's more of a snack for in the evening. Maybe I'll write a separate blog post about the food later, because there's a lot to tell!

6. Have you done anything so far that you never thought was possible?
Well, going here is something that seemed impossible for me at first. If I would've stayed in the Netherlands, I would do my senior year right now. Back then, it didn't seem realistic to go between two years of school. I thought I would never be brave enough to do it. I was scared of losing friends, failing my subjects, missing out... But now I realize that I didn't had to worry about it. I'm here now and so far nothing's gone wrong. I'm surviving without my family and friends, and I'm doing pretty fine at it.

7. What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Definitely homesickness. I've never been away from home such a long time, and it's hard to think about the next 9 months, when I won't be at home as well. Luckily my parents & sister will visit me during Spring Break, so I don't have to wait 9 months to see them. And I'm also really happy with my host family and what they do for me! They can always cheer me up.

Some of the awesome people I met!
8. How do you like the school in your host country?
I love school here! It's so nice to see how proud people are of their school and how much they support their school. The subjects you can choose from are a lot more fun and the tests are easier than what I'm used to. It's also really nice that there are so many after school activities and clubs to join. Spirit week is coming up soon and I'm so so excited! I think it's going to be one of the most amazing experiences of my exchange year.

9. If your exchange year was a song, what would it be?
I think it would be 'I lived' by OneRepublic. That song is about living your life to the fullest and enjoying it. There will be hard times, but those are just a sign that you lived. If you don't know the song you should really listen to it because it's great!

Chick-fil-a is the best! 
10. How do you imagine the day you are going home?
As a really hard day. I've already met so many nice people and I can't imagine saying goodbye to them. It's going to be really hard to say goodbye to my host family as well. I've lived with them for 10 months then, and I don't know when I'll see them again. I'm also going to miss the American food (especially Chick-fil-A) and my High School. Of course I will also be happy to go back to the Netherlands, because I can finally see my friends and family again. But luckily I still have 9 months to go and the end of my exchange year is very far away!

That was the end of the tag! If you're an exchange student and you're doing this tag as well, let me know because I'd love to read your answers. Don't forget to subscribe for email updates on the right, and to follow me on instagram if you want to see more pictures: @sarahgulien

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