Exchanging Perspectives Part 2


In Australia I lived right by Lake Albert so the front of my house was all glass making it easy to admire the view. I recall sitting at the table eating Weet-Bix for breakfast when all of a sudden a group of five kangaroos go hopping by, one with a joey in its pouch. I would always take my time admiring this as school started at 8:55 a.m. Now when I wake up and get ready for school I don’t even have time for breakfast as I have to be at school before 7 a.m. for dance practice. I really love dance team, however, I struggle getting up so early. I used to think my school started way too early, but now I am really looking forward to the sleep-ins when I get home.

I have learned so much being here in Texas as a foreign exchange student. I have grown as a person and learned a great amount about the American culture. Although I come from Australia, a free country where we speak English, there are still countless differences from America. This experience has changed me for the better and allowed me to gain a greater understanding for how others live.

It has been nine and a half months since I have seen any of my family or friends and that has brought me to a rapid maturity. I have transitioned from living in Meningie, a small town in Rural South Australia with 900 people, give or take a few, to Wichita Falls that has almost 100,000 residents. Let’s put this in perspective; Rider High School is almost twice the size of my entire town! It was a huge shock going from being familiar in my everyday routine to not knowing anyone.

Moving halfway around the world and living with a host family has changed my perspective on how my parents. I am now realizing that I wasn’t always the kindest to them but from the moment I arrive home, I will be. They put a lot on the line and worked extremely hard for me to have this amazing opportunity, and I will be forever greatful for this.

I highly recommend going on an exchange to anyone even remotely considering it. It will change your life and present you with so many once in a lifetime opportunities. Even though I have had some ups and downs during my exchange year, I would not change anything for the world.