Hello dear readers. My name is Thiago Twidale, I am from Brazil, in the region of São Paulo and I am back here to tell you a little more about my experience of how it is to do an exchange program to Australia at the age of 17. I am already here for about 4 months and many new and wonderful things happened to me.
In the beginning of my trip one of my biggest fears was how I would make friends and how I would find things to do. I believe that this is the fear of many of you when you think about doing an exchange program. I can’t lie that in the first week it is a little bit lonely. I was very lucky to have a German guy living in the same house as me and today he is one of my best friends. But it was not only him who welcomed me here in Australia but the other exchange students as well as the Aussies. I like to say that the beginning of my trip was like going to college where no one in your year has friends and everyone is wanting to form a group, and this is exactly the situation between the exchange students that allowed me make a very good group of friends. Today I have friends from Chile, Italy, Germany, and even Australia (even though they are a little closed, with time you find good friends here in Oz).
In relation to school which, compared to Brazil, is a bit easier, but I found history was a little complicated for me to memorize and understand the names in English. But I am already preparing myself to study more to pass this next term. But in terms of the development of my English, even though sometimes I suffer some difficulties, I noticed a great evolution. For example, in the beginning of my trip it was impossible to watch movies without subtitles, but now I can watch and understand 90% of the movie and I feel that this is a great advance. I encourage everyone who has a fear of English to do an exchange to improve a lot in practice.
Obviously after commenting on good things I can’t help but comment on some situations that everyone who does an exchange has to go through, and that is when one of your friends goes back to their home country. Unfortunately, one of my friends had to say goodbye to go back to Italy to finish school and after we had spent many months together and sharing our moments and creating new moments together, when the time came to say goodbye it was very difficult. I don’t want to not think about how it will be when it’s my turn to go back to Brazil, where for as much as I miss Brazil very much, I will miss Australia even more. I can easily say that it was one of the best times of my life, helping me mature, making new friends and having a lot of fun. But goodbyes are part of life.
I cannot forget to comment about surfing, which was one of the reasons that I decided to come to Australia. I was very lucky because my school has a program for surfing where I can surf every day and as the waves of the Sunshine Coast are getting better and better, I can surf a lot and improve my surfing. Unfortunately I ended up breaking my board, but as we all know it is not difficult to find a board here in Australia.
With all this I am still planning at the end of my trip to explore a little bit of Australia. I will make a trip to Melbourne and stay around 4 days in the house of my German friend’s family, going to several different streets and beaches. And with this trip I was able to realize that exchange has a super positive side in that when we make friends from different countries, it makes it easier to travel around the world. For example when I want to go to Germany I can stay at my friend’s house speaking English and having a lot of fun.
To conclude I would like to share with you all that each day that passes is a new learning experience and very important for my personal growth. I say this to everyone who asks me if I am having fun and yes I am having fun and I recommend a trip like this for all teenagers or even adults who have ever thought of making a trip to the Sunshine Coast or even an exchange program. I would like to thank my father for helping me to choose this wonderful and beautiful place that Australia is.