" Exchange is change: Rapid, brutal, beautiful, hurtful, colorful, amazing, unexpected, overwhelming and most of all a constant change. Change in yourself, lifestyle, country, language, friends, parents, houses, school, simply everything.
Exchange is realizing that everything they told you beforehand is wrong, but also right in a way.
Exchange is going from thinking you know who you are, to having no idea who you are. You know how it feels like to be on your own. Away from home, with no one you really know. And you find out that you can actually do it.
Exchange is thinking. All the time. About everything. Thinking about those strange costumes, the strange food, the strange language. About why you are here and not back home. About how it's going to be like once you come back home. How your friends is going to react when they see you again. About how everyone home is doing. About how stupid this while time-zone thing is. It's about thinking what's right and wrong. About how stupid or rude you just were to someone without meaning to be. And about when that English essay is due, even though you're marks doesn't count.
Exchange is people. Those incredibly strange people, who look at you like you're an alien. Those people who are too afraid to talk to you. And those people who know your name, even though you never met them. Those people who tell you who to stay away from. Those people who talk about you behind your back, those people who makes fun of your country. All those people, who aren't worth your giving a damn. Those people you ignore. And those people who invite you to their homes, who keep you safe and become your friends.
Exchange is exchange students. The most amazing people in the whole wide world. Those people from everywhere who knows exactly how you feel and those people who become your absolute best friends even though you only see them 3 or 4 times during your year. The people, who take almost an hour to say their final goodbyes to each other. Those people with the jackets full of pins. All over the world.
Exchange is being uncomfortable. It's feeling out of place, like a fifth wheel. It's talking to people you don't like. It's trying to be nice all the time. It's cold, freezing cold. It's homesickness, it's awkward silence and it's feeling guilty because you didn't talk to someone at home. Or feeling guilty because you missed something because you were talking on Skype with someone from your home country.
Exchange is great. It's feeling the connection between you and your host parents grow. It's meeting people from all over the world. It's having a place to stay in almost every country of the world. It's cooking food from your home country and not messing up. It's seeing beautiful landscapes that you never knew existed.
Exchange is falling in love with this amazing, wild, beautiful country. And with your home country.
Exchange is frustrating. Things you can't do, things you don't understand. Things you say, that mean the exact opposite of what you meant to say. Or even worse.
Exchange is understanding. Exchange is unbelievable. Exchange is not a year in a life. It's a life in a year. Exchange is nothing like you expected it to be and everything you wanted it to be.
Exchange is the best year in your life so far. Without a doubt. And it's also the worst. Without a doubt. It's something no one back home will ever truly understand.
Exchange is growing up, realizing that everybody is the same, no matter where they're from. That there is great people and douche bags everywhere. And that it only depends on you, how good or bad your day is going to be. Or the whole year. And it's about realizing that you can be on your own and it's about trying to explain that to your parents back home.
Exchange is dancing in the rain for no reason, crying without a reason and laughing at the same time. It's a turmoil of every emotion possible.
Exchange is so hard to define. It's something that nobody can take away from you. Something that no one will ever truly understand. Something that you can't just show in pictures. Something that you have to live. Exchange is something you will never forget, something that will always be a part of you and your life.
Exchange is everything. And exchange is something that you can't understand unless you've been through it! "