Hi Guys my name is Vasco and I`ve stayed in Sydney for half a year and I absolutely loved it! Leaving Switzerland and my normal live behind me to start a new one in Australia was one of the best choices I`ve made so far! Being on exchange in Sydney was heaps of fun, there was always something to do and it never got bored. As well as improving your language skills, widening your boundaries and experiencing a completely new culture. I can clearly say now that Australia is my home such as Switzerland.
At the beginning I was so nervous about starting in a new school where I didn’t know anyone and living with completely strangers on the other side of the world. But as soon as I arrived I really liked my host family, they were so nice and welcoming and I quickly felt part of the family. I had an amazing time with them including learning how to surf or water-ski or just simple things such as trying to eat vegemite (which tastes absolutely gross) but which is part of the Australian culture. Furthermore my two older host brothers Ben and Nick took me to the beach or on boat trips up the river which were heaps of fun!
One week after my arrival in Sydney it was time for the first day of school, and once again I was so nervous! But as it turned out I had nothing to worry about. Everyone was super friendly, welcoming and wanted to be friends. That’s why Australia is such a good place to go on a cultural exchange , because everyone here is so open and talkative and extremely friendly. Fitting into the new school wasn’t hard at all (only the uniform was weird at the beginning but that will change after wearing it every day). My school was just great because it was right next to the beach which gave me the opportunity to surf almost every day and take it as a school subject! Having the beach so close and basically having a school full of surfers was great because everyone was just relaxed and chilled and lived after the Aussie motto she`ll be fine (which basically means everything`s gonna be alright in the end) which made them great friends to hang out with.
Being on exchange in Sydney was just amazing! I completely fell in love with this city and the people living her! For me living in the northern beaches was a trek getting there as Australia is so big, but it was totally worth it going to the city so I almost went every weekend. There is so much stuff to do from climbing the harbour bridge to just sit in Hyde Park with some friends and have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view over the skyline of Sydney but u will figure it out by yourself believe me!
Having Jennifer my local INTO coordinator here in Sydney has been very nice and helpful as I knew she would always be there for help and support if anything would happen or go wrong which wasn’t the case for other exchange student other program, as some had hard times and they had to manage them all by themselves. My coordinator was local, she checking in with me regularly and was always very caring and concerned about how I was going just to make sure everything was alright, which it fortunately always was! So again, thanks Jennifer for always being there for me!!