Det her er min speech, som jeg selv har skrevet.
Have you ever been a foreign exchange student or do you know someone who has? According to www.migrationpolicy.org, “Nearly one million international students were enrolled in colleges and universities across the United States in school year 2014-15.” (20 quoted words) I am an exchange student from Denmark and am currently living with host parents in Tipton, Oklahoma. Today I would like to take this opportunity to tell you what a foreign exchange student is, how to become one, why you should be one, and my own personal experience.
First of all being a foreign exchange student is one of the most challenging and best things you can ever do. But what exactly is an exchange student? The Urbandictionary.com defines a foreign exchange student as quote, “Most awesome person you will ever meet. Exchange students willingly decide to leave their home country, and go see the world. For that reason, they should be given a lot of credit. Usually, a foreign exchange student will have a funny accent and not speak your language very well. This is all the more reason to hang out with them, because everything will suddenly become that much more hilarious. Also, they are generally young people, and have the tendency to be extremely good looking. (WINK). So basically, mad props to all exchange students out there.” (94 words quoted)
Second, you have to be sure that you want to be an exchange student. Find out why exactly you want to be an exchange student. Then you start researching the different organizations. For example, I am with a Danish organization called Explorius. I have always known that I wanted to study abroad in USA, but you can choose almost any country. It takes quite a lot of work to make the application, but I promise you it is worth it. I was lucky and got my host family in March 2016, but it is not unusual to get it just a couple of months before you leave. I went to four “get ready” meetings, where they tried to prepare me as much as possible. But you can never really get prepared, just take things at it comes.
So you may be asking, “Why America?” It has always been a dream of mine. You may imagine going to New York or California, but America has so much more to offer than that. Oklahoma, that’s where I ended up and I did not know very much about Oklahoma before. I have experienced Oklahoma's landscape and met all kinds of amazing people. Everybody has opened up their homes, lives, and hearts to me. It is not a year of vacation, but a year of life. Try to expect as little as possible so you don’t get disappointed. Things will be so different from what you are expecting. Be open minded and trust me the people you meet are very curious to find out more about you. Get involved as much as possible in school and stay busy. Your exchange year is going be what you make it, so do not hide in your room. Be open to everything, even though some of it can seem a little weird or scary but always be yourself no matter what.
Thirdly, my personal experience. Let's be honest, being an exchange student has it’s ups and downs. It is the best and hardest thing I have ever done. I have had some of the best moments and experiences in my life, but also some really hard days were all I wanted was to take the first plane home to Denmark. I was very confident before I came here that I was not going be homesick, I have been away from my parents before and this would not be a problem. However, I started out being sick and having a lot of homesickness. I was kind of embarrassed about it and felt bad for my host family that I came and then I was just ill and had homesickness. But I learned and now I know that homesickness is a natural thing! It is totally normal to get culture shock, it is a part of the experience. It has always been my dream to be an exchange student, and so far it has been the best year of my life. I never thought a year could go this fast, months pass by like weeks. Enjoy every second of it, before it is over. Nobody will take your hand and lead you through it, you gotta do it yourself and always say “Yes” to everything. Take action and do not be afraid to ask questions. You can always say “I am foreign” and they will understand. If you don’t put effort into it, it won’t happen. Don’t be scared and just jump right into it. Of course it won’t always be easy and everything won’t be fun, but it will all be worth it in the end. You will become more independent and get personal development.
I have a “second family” and a new beginning/start. My host family is not just a host family for me, they are like my real family or you can call them my extra family. I could not be more happy about where in the I ended up in the United States. I have also got some of the best friends you could ever imagine. I have always been a dreamer and wanted to explore the whole world. I have got to be a local and see things you wouldn't see if you were here for just a two week vacation. I am experiencing the world from a totally different standpoint. Additionally, being a foreign exchange student is good for your education and career.
I have around four months left, until I have to leave my new life, I can’t wait to give my mom the biggest hug ever but I don’t wanna leave at all. I can cry just about the thought of leaving, I wish I could relive this all over again. So future foreign exchange students, enjoy every moment both the small and big because I wish I could take your place. In four months I will never get to be a Tipton High School student ever again, of course I can come back and visit but it will never be the same. I wish I could stop time just for a minute or two, but instead I’ll just sit back and enjoy the journey of life. Being an exchange student changes you, the way you see the world, the way you think and just overall your personality.
Today, I have told you guys a little bit about how to become a foreign exchange student, why you should become one, and my own personal experience. I cannot recommend it enough, I think everybody should be a foreigner at least one time in their life, either in college or high school. It will change your life!