Becoming an exchange student. But why?


So this article is all about becoming an exchange student and why you should or should not do it. Since you stumbled upon this blog, you are interested in becoming an exchange student.

I want to tell you my story before we go into the details of why or why not you should become an exchange student. And if you want to know a little more about me, you can check out the about me page. So let me tell you how I got interested in this topic.

When I had my “initiation”, in other words – the first step to become a man in Germany – I got a gift from my parents. This gift was a trip to the US East Coast. So we traveled all the from New York to Miami in about three weeks. At that point in my life, I have not been to the US. The way people interacted with each other and with me felt really “easy”. I felt like people were completely different from what I was used to in Germany. After we got back from the US my parents had placed the idea of becoming an exchange student in my had and from that point on I wanted to become an exchange student.

So because of my trip, the people in the US, and the great things I had seen I wanted to become an exchange student. Even though that meant being away from my family and friends for a good year.

But why would you want to become an exchange student? Well here are some pros and cons.

learning how to speak Englishbeing away from your family and friends
making lifetime friends in the USrepeating a high school year (maybe)
learning how to be an independentbeing homesick
learning how to handle your moneyyou may not want to go back
learning about a different culture

Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons

Pro – Well let me start with the most obvious answer for becoming an exchange student. I think learning the language – being able to say you are a fluent speaker – is probably one of the best things about going to the US. But that’s just the first look because after coming back you have made dozens of friends (hopefully) which you are still in contact with, you have learned to handle things on your own without mom or dad stepping in for you. Basically, you have become a man.

And believe me when you put that year of experience abroad in your resume, people in HR (human resource) – a department that takes care of hiring people for a company. And even if you start working with a headhunter that is not a bad thing to have on your resume. Even though you might have repeated a year of high school.

Cons – But although everything is great what you just read there is a downside to that as well. Being away from friends and family is not always easy and will probably affect on you in one form or another.

I think if you have no problem staying away from your family and friends for an extended period being homesick is not that big of a deal. If you look at the technical ways of communicating with your friends and family I do not think that should not be an excuse that holds you back on becoming an exchange student.

It Could be both – Repeating a high school year might seem like a bad thing but if you consider having the freedom to choose classes you couldn’t otherwise and having the freedom to meet friends and do other things while you are in the US. Repeating a high school year back home might not be that bad after all.

Do I think everybody should become an exchange student? 

No, I understand this is not something everybody wants to do. And that is fine but if you have a slight feeling that you would like to go. Then I would say just do it and try it out. Having a little knot in your stomach beforehand is normal and I was feeling the anxiety, too.

Do I think the person that is reading this article should become an exchange student?

If I were you I would do it. See here is the thing if you don’t do it you are going to bite yourself in the bud at some point in your life!

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