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"So much is said about being an exchange student, but
only when you experience it. Things make sense. It is
definitely not easy and whether you want it or not,
you'll end up changing and growing. Once your exchange
is done .YOU finally realize that you can handle way
more than you could and would ever imagine. You need
to appreciate things you have because they might be
gone sooner than you think. Life is not easy. True
friendships are really forever. The best part
about being an exchange student is not about the
parties or places. You get to go. Not the independence
and life experience, but the 'friendships' I'm not
talking about the friends you made from your host
country but about the other exchange-student friends.
For most of us, they were the very first "friends" we
had in this new experience. We met them in orientation
meetings or trips, etc. They were the first people we
actually talked to without having the fear
of speaking in a different language. No matter what,
there's a big difference between "host country
friends" and "exchange student friends". Exchange
students have a special bond. Despite language and
cultural differences, you'll understand one another
because you experience similar situations. The hardest
part of facing the end of your exchange year is to
accept the fact that it's gonna take a while until you
have the chance to travel the world to see your
friends again. Because once you leave your host
country, deep down inside, you know that sooner or
later you'll be back, but when are you going to have
enough money and time to travel the world again???
Some of us became friends because we were placed in
the same schools, lived in the town nearby each other.
Others we met along the year, during trips and
meetings... The trips... first ay nobody knows each
other, everyone is shy... By the end of the trip
everybody knows everybody and says good bye in the
last day is as sad as when we left our friends and
family in our home countries... How many lifetime
friendships and romances started with. "How can I say
this in your language?" It's hard to believe that so
much can start from such a simple sentence! Does this
story sound familiar to you??? Just wait, it gets
worse... The very first trip, when it is time to leave
is not so terrible because you have the whole year
ahead of you, so the chances of meeting everyone again
are very big. Time goes by and your year is slowly
getting to an end. You have your last trip... Probably
it will be the very last time you'll see most of your
exchange friends for "God-knows-how-many-years"...
And this feeling is just horrible!!! It's when you
wish things would never end. When you wish you could
turn back time and do everything again, and maybe do
what you want but never had the guts to, like kissing
that girl/boy or spending more time with A, B and C...
And there you are, saying good-bye, fighting the tears
and making promises to people that you could never
imagine you would meet in your life... Unfortunately
things don't always work as we want and not that
everything is possible... Once your year is done, it
is when you realize who you will ALWAYS miss the most.
Your exchange friends spread all over the world. And
one day you're gonna be at a Geography or History
class and as some countries are mentioned, you'll
think about your friends that are half way around the
world away from you, and you'll have to fight the
tears again... Their occasional letters, phone calls
and emails are going to be of unbelievable value and
will bring joy to your bad day/week.
And this is what this email is about. Most of us never
thanked these 'friends' and never said how much they
mean to us. So here it is 'THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK
YOU'. You are all wonderful, special and unique, and
I've been made a better person just by knowing you.
You've made my year unforgettable. And I don't think
I'll ever forget the time we spent together! Hopefully
we will meet again someday! Doesn't matter how many
miles keep us apart. I'll always be here for you. The
end of our exchange year doesn't mean the end of
friendships. As said before 'true friendships are
forever'. "As we go on, we remember all the times we
had together. And as our lives change, come whatever.
We will still be friends forever". Send this to all
your exchange friends and exchange students you know!"

~unknown author
2.5.07 00:41

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