Hear From Autumn in Norway - "Why she's an exchange student"  -  Outbound 2018-19
I am a foreign exchange student from the United States of America and foreign exchange has positively impacted my life in so many ways. Even though I have only been in Norway for 5 months, I have been part of the process for over a year and I am grateful for every second of this experience. Not everyone wants to be an exchange student, and not everyone can be. However, today I want to talk about why it is important, what is needed to know before hand, and what I have learned. If more people understood how empowering or possible foreign exchange was, I believe more students would work for the opportunity to do so.
Foreign exchange is important because in a developing world, we need to learn to understand each other. The skills needed for working with people internationally, benefits every day communication and worth ethic. People get ideas and creativity, strategies, opportunities, and understanding when they are influenced by one another. Exchange students, not only gain benefits for themselves, but bring in different ideas and perspectives to business, education, society, etc.  People need to become more aware of different cultures, world issues, communication, and internationally connected, and being an exchange student does just that.
Already, I have learned so much by being an exchange student. I have been studying and learning to speak a new language, the cultural normalities, learning to make some Norwegian food, ski, and how to approach different types of people. I have learned that, what is normal for me, is not necessarily normal for the next person. Honestly, I think that it comes down to understanding and perspective. The process before and during my exchange, I have met and have had amazing experiences with people from all around the world
I have grown so much as a person, seen extraordinary places, bonded with diverse groups of people, and I have learned to think in a more positive and understanding way. I am responsible for myself, the decisions I make, how I handle and take opportunity, and this has made me more a more independent and a confident individual.
Anything you tell yourself you cannot give up for a year abroad, I promise that you can. If I have learned anything, I have learned how important it is to take risks. This was possibly one of the scariest things I have had to do. But even if it is not going on exchange, trust yourself to take risks because beautiful things can grow from it. I do not regret anything. If anything goes wrong along the way, there are always people around you to help you, and you just have to ask.
Take a chance, I did.