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May 30, 2013

Local Voices From Around the Globe: Exchange has taught me to love my flaws

Hello from Germany! I’m currently on my second Euro Tour visiting and exploring most of Europe.

Some very memorable things I’ve done so far was climb the Eiffel Tower in a downpour, get lost while riding a bike in Amsterdam, a gondola ride in Venice, and seeing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum. These trips are sort of a last hurrah for us exchange students; I may never see some of them ever again. This thought is very sad for me because its very final, in a little more than a month I will be an “oldie.” If I was given the choice to do this year all over again I wouldn’t hesitate. I’ve learned so much during this time, about myself, different cultures and how to deal with certain situations. My exchange forced me to face my demons and learn how to love my flaws.

There was no way to predict what exchange would be like. We hear stories and are told about what to expect, but when it actually comes to doing it, there is no real explanation. I am very lucky to have spent this year in Hungary, but I’m ready to go home. I find that most of my fellow exchange students feel the same way. We had an amazing year, but its time.

It is frustrating that I didn’t become fluent in a language. On this trip we were accompanied by a few exchange students living in Italy and they all learned Italian in under four months. To us who are living in Hungary, this idea seems somewhat impossible. I did develop the mindset to learn another language, so I’m excited to try again.

I will miss many things from Hungary like my friends, other exchange students, my host families, Milka Chocolate, Budapest, public transport, bread and the sense of adventure. I may have mixed feelings about my host country, but I regret nothing. Things I’m excited for when I come home are swimming, school, friends, my family, English, my dog, T.J. Maxx and getting a driving permit.

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