After spending 5 months in Chile I have definaitely achieved my goal of becoming more fluent in Spanish. However, there’s so much more that you can get out of an exchange. I loved being absorbed by the culture of my host country in the way that isn’t possible as a tourist, and being able to compare it with New Zealand’s culture. I felt that family and generosity were more valued in my host country, whereas in New Zealand we focus on our “professional” lives and aren’t as open to strangers.
Some of the most memorable aspects of any exchange are the unexpected things, the things that you might not have know about prior to departure. Things like the national holiday being celebrated for an entire week, plus the traditions of getting your face pushed into your birthday cake and staying up until midnight on Christmas Eve to open presents!
Year 13 Prefect