Why You Should Use Your Exchange To Get Independent

Your exchange year is all about growing as a person and for some people it is harder than for others. Some open up like a flower but others close and have a really hard time opening up. For me it was all about gaining independence, because when you arrive in your host country you are all alone. I know that you have your family but even they are strangers, so if you can´t make decisions by yourself, who is going to do it. But if you are having a hard time getting used to the independence you better read this article!

When I arrived to my host family almost 10 months ago I realized I had never fully understood the concept of being independent, yes I had lived alone for one year in Iceland but that was different I had always had people around me that I knew and I trusted. Then when I arrived it felt like they (AFS, my family but mostly myself) threw me into the swimming pool to learn how to swim. So that is when I really starting understanding what it felt to grow up and get independence! I did it really well (in my opinion at least) But why do we need to get independent? Why can’t we just relay on our parents all our lives, it would diffidently be easier? But life isn’t easy, so here is why you really should use your year away to get independent.

It´s easier for the people around you

Your family at home worries less, your host-family will trust you better and you will find it easier to be one your own. Of course everyone gets homesick but if you use your independence and just take one day at a time you will finish your year like a hero.

Everything gets easier

That kind of says it self. If you are independent it is easier to take decisions about everything you do! You will think clearer and make better decisions. Also it gets easier learning the language and acting like a native. By the way that is the best feeling in the world, when you kind of feel like
you fit in because you feel confident about yourself

Yu will enjoy your stay better

When you get the hang of acting like a native and learning the language you really enjoy everything to the fullest. and if you have everything under control you will adapt to your new routines like a champion.

You will be happier when you go back home

I know this might be stupid but if you enjoy your year you will not have any regrets when you go back home. I know you will never feel like you are home again but at least you can be proud of yourself!

But you shouldn’t hang yourself on anyone

I have seen this a few times, the kids come and are really insecure and they find safety in other exchange students or their siblings. Then it turns bad, they stop getting along or ignorant.
I know it is hard to start letting go of your safety net but don’t turn into a glue that is a stuck to a person! everyone will get tired and that can end up in a disaster so just try doing the things on your own! You will survive


Last but not least a quote I really like that fits so well!

“Believe in yourself or no one does”


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This guest blog was written by Erla Salome Ólafsdóttir, an 18 year old girl from Iceland who spent her exchange year in Jujuy, Argentina.

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