How Can One Describe The Feeling Of Living Abroad?

“How does it feels like to live in a foreign country for a year?¨

“I don’t know, can you tell me”, is my answer because, as much as I want to see everyone what an exchange year is like, I just can’t describe what it feels like.

On one side, I feel really loved from my host family, that treated me like their daughter from the first day on.
The same I could say about my friends, that in this first months showed me that I belong to them and that they already don’t want me to go anymore.
Further, there is the joy about the little things I feel – sentences like ” It feels like you’ve always been here”, gestures like hugs or also when my friends are annoying me, because it shows to me, that they treat me like every other of their lifetime friends.

Of course, the excitement when I do something for the first time or get to know all the new things.
The proud, when I have to present something in school and they tell I did it well, when the people are surprised by me in a positive way or when I do something I before not even dared to dream about, like singing in French in front of the whole school, alone.


But to all of this, there are of course also the bad feelings.

The desperation, when I repeat something again and again and just can’t understand it, because of the language.
The listlessness, when just everything is growing over my head.
Of course, the homesickness and the thought, how it would be at home now, what I would be doing there, What my friends are doing, my family and if they miss me at all.

The lack of understanding when I just can’t comprehend the actions, that for the people here are normal.
All this I am feeling at the same time, but also sometimes more, some less, and to this, there belongs a much more, which is coming up in little moments and maybe also is affecting me.
Every day is different and every day I am feeling different, every day shows me another side of me and with that everday is a new experience I learn to appreciate.

I can’t really explain what it feels like doing an exchange year, living a year in a foreign country, leaving his family, getting to learn a new culture and all the other hundreds of things that belong to this, because this experience – and already now I am sure of this – is definitely unique and unexplainable.


This is a guest post written by Ronja Hildebrandt, a 16 year old German girl who did her exchange in Argentina

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