Wow, last semester flew by, and i'm sure this semester will as well. I feel like I just started school and I still have the urge to write 09 on my papers. But, now for a quick recap on whats been going in the past months.
First I had to complete the 20+ page application by mid October. My country ranks were: 1.France, 2.Italy, 3.Spain, 4.Denmark, 5.Germany, and many more(we were required to rank all 43 countries). Then On November 7, 2010 I had my district interviews at Cedarburg Highschool. It consisted of two parts, one with my parents and one without. When I was alone they asked me about why I wanted to do exchange, what activites I did, my accomplishments, ect. Then when my parents came in they asked them about how they felt about my exchange and we went over any questions they had. Overall, I walked out feeling very good and later that night I received an e-mail congratulating me on my acceptance as an outbound candidate for 2010-2011. I was thrilled but still anxious on what country I would recieve, so I started playing the aited game for January when I was told I would hear about my country placement.
On January 11, 2010 I received the letter I had been patiently waiting 3 months for. It read
District 6270 is pleased to announce that Central States Youth Exchange has selected you exchange country for 2010-2011. Never try and guess why this country or that country was selected for you. No matter what country you were selected for, you will have the experience of a lifetime.
You have been selected for an exchange to: FRANCE
Bob and Karen
I was, and still am, beyond excited. I had been told so many times that it would be unlikely that I would receive my first choice country that I was not expecting to get France. Knowing what country I will be going to next year makes the experience seem more real. But, I still don't think the idea of me living in France next year has completely sunk in.
Then, On January 30,2010 I had my first outbound orientation. It was so nice to meet the other 10-11 Outbounds, and the inbound from South Africa. It's amazing how easily fellow exchangers can become friends. The orientation talked a lot about what culture is and went through the different stages of your exchange. We all also received many books and language tapes as well as weekly assignments to help us better prepare for next year. Our next orientation is on March 20,2010
Overall, I still feel a bit overwhelmed. Also, as my classmates and friends make plans for next year I'm starting to realize how hard it is going ot be to leave everything I've every known. But the excitement I have about next year over rides the fears in the back of my mind. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for me and ,as the Exchange Survival Kit would put it, "Living the unimagined dream".