Sunday, July 18, 2010


Is there any way to explain the bond between exchange students to someone who has never gone through the journey of being a high schooler and leaving your family, friends, language, food, and nation for an entire year to take on a new life?

Just like at the moment I can't understand what it is like to have your own child, cancer, or to have lost a parent, the rest of the world can't understand in full.

July is when the exchange students go home. This can be one of the most emotional, difficult moments in their lives. For some, the change doesn't come to hard, but for others it is an oppressive depressing switch from their new lives back to the old ones.

When I had first come back to America after living a year in Switzerland, I didn't want to eat and I started having panic attacks. A lot of panic attacks. It affected me all through my senior school year. I would have to go to the school nurse as they would last throughout the day. I skipped all assemblies because those are what got the biggest reaction out of me. My first instincts were to run when I saw my friends for the first time in a year, not hug them. My instincts were to hide and crawl into a box.

As you can tell, I've come a ways since July 2008.

But it is always hard to let exchange students go. I've gotten better at good byes, but it can be rough. Many of these good byes are forever. Not all, but many; perhaps most.

I can only imagine them feeling the way about Seattle as I did about Sachseln and Giswil.

Oh - to be an exchange student.


  1. what an amazing experience you must have had!

    when i was in high school we (my stepdad actually) housed an exchange student from france. he didnt live with me... but i learned so much from him... such a cool little dude

    Arwen68 swapbot

  2. Sounds like you had such a life changing experience - and to be so young and out in the world like that is truly inspiring!

    following you from swapbot

    emmanem handmade

  3. The pics you take are great! I especially like the "Life Shots".

    LesleyKnitsPretty @ Swapbot


Your words make me grin.

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