Jessicas Eltern

Hello, We are the parents of Jessica who spent 11 months in Sydney, Australia. We chose INTO and their partner organisation to realise this exchange year because we were mostly interested in the Sydney Programme that they offer. This way it was guaranteed that Jessica would definitely be placed close to Sydney and we had greater support with choosing a host family and school. We have to admit that it was a strange feeling when we brought Jessica to the airport and knowing that we won’t see her again for almost a year. But we think for people her age it is an enormous opportunity and challenge to experience people’s way of living in a foreign country and to cope with a different language. We have both made this experience ourselves and still tell about it today. After her arrival in Sydney, she gave us a quick call, saying that her host family had picked her up from the airport and that everything was fine. After a couple of hours sleep, her great adventure began. School hadn’t started yet because the summer holidays went on for another week after her arrival. This was good, so she had enough time to get used to her new surroundings. Her host family made a great effort in showing Jessica her new home and also helped her handling things like catching the bus, opening her bank account and getting the school uniform. There was so much new to discover, that she hardly found the time to call home. We never really had the impression that she was very homesick or so. She had some trouble settling in at school, especially the first couple of weeks. But after a while she got used to everything and had made friends. Jennifer from Campus Education Australia CEA (partner organisation of INTO, based in Sydney) gave her the needed support. Jessica was glad she had a person she could always contact in case something was wrong or she wasn’t happy. Jennifer also recommended to her, to join a soccer club, getting involved into sport, free activities, etc. That way she was also busy after school and made many more friends. She didn’t seem to find it difficult to adapt to a new household. It seemed to work out for both sides. Perhaps did the sometimes long discussions over dinner help to understand each other and maybe to solve problems straight away. We are happy to have her back home now. She needs some time to get used to her Swiss everyday life again. We didn’t take it personally when she said jokingly (after being home for two days): “I’ve had enough of Switzerland again, I wanna go back to Sydney now!” We’ve made very good experiences with Campus Education Australia and their partner organisation INTO Switzerland and they have been there for Jessica during the whole 12 months. It has allowed us to feel relief knowing she was in capable and caring hands. And the partner organisation in Germany has been wonderful also. Whenever there were problems or questions, we could address them anytime to either people in Switzerland or directly to Australia and it was fixed and assess immediately. Now that is what you want for your child when they are on the other side of the world. It is important to talk about concerns and get them sorted out. Also from Jessica’s side we have the feeling that she was being looked after very well and that she enjoyed the time she had overseas – thank  you CEA and INTO