Hi there! My name is Anja, I’m 16 years old and at the moment I live in Sydney, Australia. Last year I decided to put my life in Germany on hold to go and experience the Australian way of life for 11 months. I applied at a German exchange organisation which then connected me to an Australian partner organisation in OZ. As a part of the Sydney program I had the possibility to choose between three different host families from a list with a description and photos and I could choose the one I liked the most - and they were going to be my new family for the time of my stay. :)
The family I’m living with is great and I wouldn’t want to change for the world. My host mother and father are both really nice and helped me to feel like home for the whole time. My host sister Katie (17 yrs. old) and I got on well from practically the very first day and now we are like real sisters. I think my host family helped me really quite a bit to hardly ever feel homesick and make my year here a full success.
The school here is definitely different to my school in Germany. Here they have a big number of subjects and I could elect five to six out of them. The school is pretty laid back. Also, they don’thave classes but you’re with different people in every course. This made it a bit difficult to make friends, but with a bit of patience I eventually found some awesome friends. On the weekends I sometimes went out with friends or stayed home. Sydney itself is really beautiful and there’s always loads to see and do. Also in the area I live in are quite a few nice beaches, malls, cinemas, etc. Since I’ve never really had homework or many tests (which I really appreciated) I had a lot of free time. Earlier this year I also joined a local soccer club which kept me occupied on Sundays.
During the holidays I had the chance to go to the Blue Mountains for a few days, which was a really nice trip. In the winter holidays my host family took me to the Gold Coast for a week and my hostsister and me could then plan our own program. The last two weeks of my year I’ll also visit the Outback and the Whitsundays. Generally, I really enjoyed my year down under. Australia is such a beautiful country and the people are really nic0,e too. So to anyone who has ever thought about going exchange, I can only say: Do it, you won’t regret it! - Anja