“One thing that has fascinated me very much in Australia and that I will always carry with me is the memory of losing me in admiring the sky…”
When you choose to host an exchange student, you are opening your doors to another family member. It can be very amazing to see your country and lifestyle through another person’s eyes. It is even more wonderful to hear back from them about their experiences and take pride in the fact that you’ve helped them to grow and learn about the world.
Italian student, Lorenzo, recently spent a year in Mildura. He wrote a reflection piece upon his return to his home country, which has been roughly translated below. It is a very special share and we’ve kept the translation as is, as it helps to imagine these words coming straight from Lorenzo himself.
Both going on exchange and hosting an exchange student comes with its challenges. If you push through these challenges, the personal growth can be very rewarding.
Take a moment to read Lorenzo’s story. It is wonderful.
And THANK YOU to everyone who made Lorenzo’s life experiences so incredible.
“My name is Lorenzo. I’m 17 years old and I attend scientific high school at the institute of my city.
For my year of exchange, I chose to leave for Australia, and I lived my experience in a town in the desert: Mildura, about 6 hours of car from Adelaide.
I left not without some fear; I had no idea what my life would be like over there, but now I can count myself very lucky and proud for being able to bring to termire this company.
During my experience I lived in two different families. The first one, lived in full campaign on a ranch and there I learned that everything can be achieved with hard work. My homework was to look after chickens, 8 sheep and sometimes even to the two house dogs, plus I helped cook because “I’m Italian” and during the weekend I helped my father in all sorts of work. But I did it with pleasure and during this time spent with him we met better. I used to cut wood with him, help him fix the tools, accompany him in deliveries that sometimes lasted a whole day. In the car we were talking about so many things and actually those days I miss a lot, even now that I’ve come home to my life ever.
I had a way of living these early months appreciating loneliness too, yes, apart from the hours that I went to school, I didn’t have many human contacts, the ranch was very isolated and there was no way to reach the city. To go to school my mother accompanied me.. at this time I managed to fortify my character very much and I learned to know myself better. I am sure that this experience I have experienced will also serve me to address the future challenges that life will hold me.
In my first family Bored. With my mother I found a very good understanding and with her I made a very good report. My Dad was always at work and he was spending the weekend with us. My school was one of the most prestigious in Australia. My tutor immediately told me it was a very strict school and teachers were more demanding than those of my exchange friends school living in town. My school was called ” Mildura Senior College ” but everyone called her ” Senior “. Australian school treats her students as extremely mature people, to understand it is very close to our university system. At School I met my closest friends and my best German friend Felix also he exchange like me. The first period of holiday I spent almost full of it at the river that along the city, it was a great way to counter Australian summer afosissima; it was there that with my friends spend almost every afternoon.. in the fiune you could Wet, luckily it was a safe place without crocodiles and piranha.
First of January I changed family and moved to town. Unlike the first family here I only had mom, a brother of my age and a Swedish exchange that they’ve been hosting for 5 months. In this family I was taught teamwork; in the house together all but it was very little to compare the work I did at the ranch. I can say that during my experience in Australia I had no problem of adaptation…. I also learned that sacrifice pays off, and life at the ranch has made me appreciate a lot more aspects of my experience. With This I do not want to suggest that I was forced to work hard… it was I who wanted to cooperate especially to make my life more varied and intense without having a chance to bore me.
Australia, even in the middle of the desert is a fascinating land and rich in a thousand things to do and to see. This experience has taught me to make myself feel more responsible and more conscious of my abilities and also of my limits. I feel very grown up and much more mature and independent than when I left.
One thing that has fascinated me very much in Australia and that I will always carry with me is the memory of losing me in admiring the sky; the sky that I mean can only be found in the middle of the desert and in such a little contaminated country. I loved sitting at night but also morning at dawn watching the colors of the sky changing, and in the evening watching the stars. It was a always different show and sitting there with this show over my head made me feel good.
If I had to decide now to leave for my exchange of exchange, I would choose Australia again; it was not a walk and sometimes I was put to hard test by the various difficulties they presented but it was enough patience and the Reward was richer than I could imagine”.