DISCLAIMER; ALL DISTRICTS AND EXCHANGES ARE DIFFERENT! THIS IS JUST A ROUGH OUTLINE! @ THE ONE PERSON WHO GOES FROM 9685 TO DENMARK THESE ARE LIKE THE 10 COMMANDMENTS THOUGH! JUST SAYING!
Advice for to-be Rotary Youth Exchange Students, in a rough order of occurrence:
- Talk to your parents before applying, don’t be stupid.
- Also you can pull out at any point in your application journey. Don’t feel like your signing away your soul.
- Don’t freak out before your information night. They’re not going to decide whether or not you’re ready to go at that time. Be yourself and get super hyped by the talks. Also talk to people. They’re not judging you but it leaves an impression.
- Start learning all the words to Fergalicious and The Real Slim Shady, you’ll need it.
- Find a sponsor club and be really, really persistent.
- Don’t talk to your friends about exchange to the point where it’s super annoying. They’ll be angry.
- Reply to emails straight away!!
- Don’t freak out during the interviews. Beforehand make sure you mingle with the other kids, my friends and I legit just sat together after first meeting and flat out told each other we were only doing it to look good in front of the Rotarians. Must have worked.
- Talk to some of the Rotarians before the interview!! Some of them will be on your interview panel! (@ district 9685, Laura is the coolest find her and she’ll calm your nerves)
- During your interview, don’t freak out. Answer the questions truthfully and smile a lot.
- Pick your choices wisely, and with an open mind. You may not get your number one choice and that’s okay, they’ll send you where you’re meant to be.
- For my district, the acceptance email came that night. Scream, cry do whatever you want! You’ve worked hard for it.
- Do not ask when you’re going to find out where you’re going. That is so annoying for them. They have to wait for rotary in the chosen country to sort stuff out so they can’t even help how long it takes.
- Also don’t freak out when people find out before you where they’re going. It’s not a race.
- At the briefing days have fun, and don’t feel like you’re not good enough. You’re all there for a reason.
- Swap instagrams and snapchats!! These people are going to literally be the only people that know what you’re going through that are from the same area as you. They’re not your competition they’re your emotional crutch.
- If you can find our who your oldies are going to be! Your oldies are the students that arrived there 6 months before you and hold all the wisdom in the universe and become your best friends.
- If you’re going to a cold country do not spend 3 thousand dollars on winter jackets. Buy them there. (If you’re going to Denmark though it’s okay it doesn’t get that cold go to Kathmandu and buy yourself a nice winter coat thing).
- Another Denmark point, wait until you get there to buy sweaters. The ones from Australia do NOTHING and the Danish are super super stylish so just buy them as soon as you get there.
- We get it you’re leaving in three weeks you don’t have to put it all over your snapchat story.
- Don’t wear doc martens on the trip there otherwise you’ll spend the entire time barefoot. I know I know weight and stuff ‘I only have 20kg’. Here’s a little secret for all my international flight/s only kiddos. You have 30kg. (Terra Australis is gonna kill me sorry Tim)
- Don’t be embarrassed by your mum bawling at the airport. She’s about to lose her baby for a year.
- Make friends with the other exchange students on the plane. This trip is going to be HELL and the only thing you can do about is make sure that you can complain to the person next to you.
- Bring eclipse mints. I had a sore throat on the 12 hour flight and I was waking up like every half an hour from the worst nap ever to down those things because they numb your throat. What a life saver.
- When you get there it may be 5 in the morning and you may not have slept for 30 hours but gosh dammit you stay awake til 3 because not having jetlag is like the coolest thing ever.
I’ll update in 5 months with tips on the first six months. Hope I live that’d be great.