Friday, May 22, 2009


Well, I'm writing to say that I've been shortlisted for the Language Scholarship for Student Exchange Australia!! :)

It's so exciting :) I didn't think that my essay was that great, especially when I reread it a couple of days after I had submitted the essays. I'll get a call in a couple of days, to set up an interview, which will be conducted in Spanish, to see how motivated and skilled I am in Spanish... I'm kinda freaking out about it though- this person interviewing me is a native Spanish speaker, and it will be all on the phone- I won't be able to see her mouth, it will be purely listening... ahh!!

But, if I get accepted, I will receive a $3500 discount, which will bring the whole cost down to $6500...ish.

I've been reading some other blogs of other exchange students... it's been so lovely, reading other people's experiences of what I will soon to be experiencing too! And I realised, that I hadn't said why I wanted to go on exchange, and why I chose Student Exchange Australia.

Why do I want to go on exchange?

I have always always wanted to go to another school, in another country. I always watched movies thinking, I wish I could have gone to that school!! I have also studied Spanish for the past two years, and have loved the language. It's such a beautiful language, and I really want to become fluent in it. I also really want to work and travel overseas, and having a second language is really beneficial! The idea of living with another family, and experiencing another culture from a locals point of view, really appeals to me.

Why did I chose to go with Student Exchange Australia?

I always originally thought that I would go with Rotary, because that's all I knew who did exchange... I never realised that you could go with others!! But when I found out that I would be too old for Rotary, I was really crushed. But, after researching on the internet, I found that there were lots of companies that did exchange. I loved the idea of STS, but it was way too expensive, almost $16, 000 for the year. That left it down to SCCE, and SEA, and I went to both information evenings, and much preffered SEA, as they were more organised, and seemed more.... modern? I don't want that to seem judgemental, but they still used overhead sheets instead of powerpoint, and everything seemed so... dated?

So, that's where I am right now... Waiting for an email, and looking forward to/studying for my phone interview, en español!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Student Exchange Australia Interview

This morning I had my interview with Student Exchange Australia, which I was pretty nervous about!! I had been reading heaps on the interviews at the cultures shocked forum ( and I was surprised by how in depth a lot of the interviews were!

So, pretty much, the interview was fine. I overstressed by a mile. She asked me the following questions:
Why I wanted to go on exchange
what I knew about the country I wanted to go on- geography, politics, culture etc...
what would be the most difficult part of exchange
what would be the easiest on exchange
what my friends are like
how I find making friends- hard, easy
If I've studied the language (Spanish in my case)
How I cope with setbacks
What happens if the family's different to mine
Living with a different religion, standards (few role plays)
If I've had any time overseas, and without parents
My academic hopes and career aspirations

When she asked about Spain, I didn't really know much- but it wasn't bad that I didn't know much about it. I think a really important part of the interview process is being honest with the interviewer. I was so so nervous! But it really was fine, and my interviewer was so lovely :).

So, I find out sometime soon if I am formally accepted, but she said I was a top candidate, which is pretty exciting!

It's quite funny, writing in this blog, because I'm not writing to or for anyone... So hopefully, by the time I'm in Spain, (Woo!) other people will be reading it.

Anyway, until next time :)

Oh, and anyone thinking of going on exchange should definitely look at the cultures shocked website- it's helped me heaps, and connects you to a whole community of exchange students :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's all starting

Well, I got a letter back after applying for exchange with Student Exchange Australia. Apparently my 10 passport photos were damaged in the post, so I have to get them done again.. for the third time!

The things that I do know:

By May 15 2009 :
  1. I will be interviewed and have my application reviewed to assess my eligibility and suitability.
  2. Both essay scholarships I submitted will be read and assessed by Student Exchange Australia (SEA).
By May 29 2009:
  1. A short list of candidates will be drawn up. (I'm guessing for this, it will be for the scholarship rather than the general exchange... Though, I could be wrong.)
By June 12 2009 I:
  1. Will be assessed on my language abilities by a representative of the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA)
By June 26 2009:
  1. Final decision will be made by Student Exchange Australia!
Pretty exciting! I'll keep you posted when I hear something else :)