I am using this blog to tell everyone what I'm thinking and doing beforehand, during and after my exchange year in Finland for 2011.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My New Blog

Hello everyone! This is the first post in my new blog and to be honest it feels bit strange! 
The closest I've got to blogging is facebook and the limit you to 470 characters! 

Well the main purpose of this blog is to make it easier for people to know where I am with my exchange to Finland in January 2011. I might slip in random blogs every so often. 

Just so this blog becomes like a start to finish journal of my trip, i'm going to just post a quick timeline of all the key events that have happened up till now. 

Early Jan - Became very interested in applying for a rotary exchange so I contacted almost a thousand clubs and representatives until I was, in early February, put on to my district Chairman who sent me a Expression of interest form. 

Mid Feb - My expression of interest was picked up by Glenelg Rotary club, and I went for an interview with my two soon to be counselors Pam and David. I was really nervous but pretty confident when I went to my interview. I was a little disappointed at the end of the interview because they told me that there was very little chance of being sent to America because I had displayed the ability to learn a foreign language. I said I was fine with it, but I was honestly a bit sad, because I really wanted to see the US. 

March - Most of march consisted of putting my application together and changing my country preferences around. I had since gotten over my initial disappointment of missing out on the US and my country choices were now France, Finland, Switzerland and Belgium, but France soon became unavailable as well.

April - In mid may I had my district interview, I was very confident that I would do well, but still nervous. I had my application all in order and it looked very nice all collated together :) My first interview went well, I was asked about my family and school and what sort of hobbies I was involved in. I was very thorough leading up to the interview, trying to read up on all the advice they give students before they go on their exchanges. One comment that one of the interviewers made which made me laugh a little was "how would you feel if you put on weight?" I thought it was such a strange question but she went on to explain that because host families are very hospitable, students sometimes eat a lot more snacks than usual. 

My second interview was harder, they asked a lot of "how would you feel if..." questions and they are hard to answer because you've never actually felt those feeling before. Then I had the last interview, which wasn't really an interview, I just had to sign lots of sheets. After everything had finished my Counselor told me that I was pretty much guaranteed a spot, I just had to find out where I would be going. 

On Tuesday 27th of April, I got a call form my counselor telling me that I was being sent to Finland! At first I didn't know what to think, "Its really cold" and "the language is really hard" were the majority but after only 2 hours I was fully excited and couldn't wait for the 250 days or so until I could go! 

I did a lot of social networking after that, chatting to rotary kids who were in Finland and reading some blogs of people who were in various country's. I have learnt so much already, and I keep learning things everyday! I am going to start learning Finnish soon, I just want to wait for school to calm down a bit, because right now it is hectic! 

Its pretty late now, so I should probably head off, but i'll update regularly on things I've learnt or exciting things that have happened =)


Finland is beautiful! 

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