To sum up my exchange experience so far with AFS in only a short article really is a difficult task. I have been in my host country (Uruguay) for less than three months, but already feel I could write a whole book about everything I’ve learned and experienced. It has been an absolutely amazing opportunity. I’ve learnt so much about the my host country and its culture, and of course, a bit of Spanish.
It’s a pretty special feeling to be able to converse in an entirely different language, and to see my grasp of the language improve from very basic sentences and words, to the ability to have full in-depth conversations as I’ve progressed. I’ve also made some great friends over here, and had some amazing new experiences that never would have been possible had I forgone this opportunity. I really can’t express how valuable that is, the vast range of things I’ve done, seen, or tried, things that, to me, are different in ways I never conceived of.
To any fence sitters who are currently undecided about whether or not to pull the trigger and commit to the exchange, I’ve been there. In fact, when I first signed up for AFS, I did so without being entirely sure of my decision, and was prepared to pull out if I changed my mind. It’s a big thing to consider, a significant period of time in a completely different place, with completely different customs and language, away from everything you’re used to. However, I can say without a doubt that the choice to do this exchange has been one of the best decisions of my life. I do not regret it for a second, and despite its ups and downs, it has been absolutely and completely worthwhile. I hope this has provided a bit of insight into how an exchange can be, and helped guide anyone reading this towards a decision.
Thanks for sharing your story Callum and congratulations on taking this big step, immersing yourself in a new culture and learning a new language. Enjoy the rest of your time in Uruguay, and keep us updated!