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Argentina Bound

Post Date: 20 Jun 16       Category - Student Spotlight

Chloe Yates will be sharing her experience while in Argentina through a regular column she will be writing in the Horowhenua Chronicle to share with readers.  We wish her well and look forward to her  reports of life experiencing another culture.

I have always wanted to travel and see the world.  I grew up listening to my Aunty's stories of travelling, first as an exchange student, and then as the wife of a diplomat.  My cousins are always checking in on Facebook from some new exotic place in the world - Dubai, Apia, Copenhagen.  So early last year I applied for a Ministry of Education scholarship to go on an AFS student exchange.  I really didn't know if I stood a chance.

Filling out the application form was overwhelming.  It was about 20 pages long.  I needed references, school reports, photos, a long personal statement and a full medical.  I just about gave up!  Luckily I didn't because four months later I received an email and I had been shortlisted.

I paced the house for a week waiting for my interview.  I wrote in my diary - worried I wouldn't get in.  I worried more that I would.  I started to wonder if this was really what I wanted.  Could I actually get on a plane and leave my family to live on the opposite side of the world, speaking a language that I didn't fully understand?

The night before my interview I was so nervous I couldn't sleep.  This was my dream and it was about to come true - or not.

The interview went well but the weeks of waiting dragged on.  I kept myself busy with school work and spent weekends with friends trying to think about other things.  Finally on my 17th birthday I received an email from AFS.  I couldn't believe it, I had been awarded a six month AFS study award to Argentina on an inter-cultural programme, leaving in August.

As I start the preparations to leave, making contact with my host family in Argentina, learning about the city of Cordoba that will be my new Levin, I feel excited, but also a little scared.  It is not the first time I have travelled but it is the first time I have travelled alone.

Recently as I was cleaning my room I found something that made me smile.  It was a bucket list I had written when I was 12 years old.  Scrawled in messy handwriting at the top were the words:  #1 Be an exchange student.  I got out my pen.  Bucklet list item #1 - tick.

Article courtesy of Horowhenua Chronicle