So this is my first post to my first blog. I’m never really good at keeping up with these sorts of things but I’m definitely going to try much harder with this one. After all, once I leave it’ll be one of the only ways people back home will be able to know what’s going on with me, and I hope to inspire some more people to become an exchange student.
Now, I haven’t actually left yet, and I won’t be leaving for eleven long months, but I’ve already been in this process for the past 7 months or so. It all started with the actual researching stuff; I have a gap year between high school and college because I skipped 2nd grade, and I always wanted to do something with it. At some point it shifted to foreign exchange, and at some point after that it shifted to high school rather than after high school. I typed up emails to the entire rotary district in my town, and after someone answered it went uphill from there. I met with the local rotary, and they agreed to sponsor me. I also met with the youth exchange coordinator for my district multiple times. In July, I had my local interview, which went very well, and they recommended me to the district. On September 11th, I had my district interview, which also went very well. They told me they would get back to me later in the week, but the call came a lot sooner than I thought!
It was around 9pm and I was in the middle of washing my face in my bathroom upstairs, so I was a little confused when my mom came up with her cellphone in hand, and I answered the door with my face soaking wet and not quite washed yet. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me until I figured out that it was something with rotary and, oh my gosh, I was going to be an exchange student! I wandered around my house saying “oh my god” for a while, called my grandparents, alerted all my friends, and generally just couldn’t believe what was happening. It definitely brought better connotations to 9/11.
Now, my biggest challenge is the slightly daunting 15 page form. Luckily, my mom and I have already written our letters to the host family, which is the bulk of the work, but there are still pictures to crop, medical forms to secure, a teacher recommendation to get mailed in (although luckily my teacher has already agreed to do it), signatures to get, and tons of proofreading to make sure everything is perfect before we send it in. I won’t know what country I’m going to until December or January, but I’ll keep you all posted on my choices and how my forms and meeting are going. If you have any questions, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.