Just thought I’d check in! I’ve been home for almost 3 months now (crazy!) and my whole exchange year feels like it was a dream. It’s crazy how I spent an entire year in a different country and it feels like it never even happened.
It was so incredibly heartbreaking to leave Norway and my host families, but it was nice to come home and settle back into my normal routines. Summer was crazy busy, but I needed it while I overcame the shock of ending the best year of my life.
I worked a bit this summer, went on my family boat, and hung out with friends. I also camp counselled girls’ camp for a week in August at Joy Bible Camp, and my family went on an RV trip to newfoundland.
I still find myself thinking about Norway everyday. I stay in touch with a few of my friends from my year, even though it’s a lot harder than I expected it to be because of the time zones. I know I’ll always have my exchange friends though, and I’m literally counting down the seconds until I can catch my next flight to go see some of them, or go back to Norway.
Exchange truly did change my life, and there’s almost nothing I don’t see in a different way now. Looking back at who I was last August when I left, I don’t even recognize myself. I’m so thankful for how exchange has taught me about the world, given me an international family, and even for all the little practical things I picked up along the way, like learning how to spend time alone and how to take the bus and the train. I gained so much confidence in who I am over my exchange year, and words can’t explain how grateful I am for that.
I experienced so much in a year, and it ultimately shaped who I am. People always ask me if I’d go back to Norway, and to me that kind of question is a no brainer- of course I’ll go back, I have a second home and a second life in Norway now, friends and people who are like family to me that I care so much about. This year was 100% the hardest thing I’ve ever done and of course there were times I wanted to make the call to hop on the next flight home, but it’s the things that are difficult that are the most rewarding in life. I’m so proud of my year on exchange and I don’t think there’s a single person on earth who wouldn’t grow or benefit from living abroad.
I hope this blog showed you guys a little bit about what it’s like to be an exchange student this year, or at least kept you updated on what I was up to! This blog was one of the most important parts of my year, and I grew to truly love working on it and using it as an outlet to share my pictures and practice my english a bit. Anyways, thanks for giving it a read and if you get nothing else from it, I hope it inspires you to travel a bit- even if it’s just a roadtrip to the coast- and gives you the desire to experience the world & new cultures and gain global understanding.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch and send me a message if you have any questions at all for me! xx