Jasmine absolutely loves to experience her world!
In Year 7 she continually expressed a desire to do a student exchange. In Year 8 she applied. In Year 9, at the age of 14 years and 3 months, Jasmine got on a plane for a year in Italy where she lived with 2 separate families. Jasmine spent just a few weeks back at home in Australia before jetting off once again for her Year 10 in Germany, where she currently resides. Prior to leaving, she even inquired about the possibility of doing Years 11 and 12 in England and Canada before going to University to become a lawyer. Her story is incredible and inspiring.
Jasmine says, “Travelling is everything. It’s all I’ve wanted to do. I love meeting new people, learning new things, experiencing life in other places”, and with wisdom beyond her years, “You should see the world while you’re not working and while you have time. See it now because you can always come back home when you’re done”.
Jasmine has always had a “curious mind” according to her mother, Fiona. She has never seen different cultures as a barrier, if anything, she sees differences as an opportunity to learn more. “Student exchange has made me so much wiser about the world. I’ve engaged with all sorts of people and I’ve seen the good side and bad side of so many. It’s a great way to learn about the world and understand different people and their way of thinking”.
While Jasmine lived overseas, Fiona and Ben hosted an International exchange student in their home on the Mornington Peninsula, and they have learned that hosting truly generates a network of extended family all over the world. “When Jasmine finished her year in Italy we flew over to travel the country together. Her host family took such good care of us and even held a huge birthday party for our son, really welcoming all of us as a part of their family. The grandparents couldn’t speak a word of English but Jasmine translated for us the entire time. While travelling we even caught up with our exchange student and her family, which was just a wonderful experience”.
Jasmine had no experience with the Italian language when she left, but studied for 2 months before leaving and took it upon herself to learn it quickly when she arrived, “I would watch a Netflix show in Italian with the subtitles on. I’d watch it again without the subtitles, and then a week later I would watch it again without the subtitles. I also had a tutor and listened to a lot of music sung in Italian, and over time the language got easier and easier”. She plans on doing the same in Germany.
When asked what she looks forward to the most in Germany, her answer is wonderfully simple, “I can’t wait to just experience their life. Go to school. Go to the local bakery. See what they get up to on the weekends. I just want to see what it’s like to live a daily life in Germany”.
Good on you Jasmine.
You are an inspiration.