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And it was the worst of times
Topic Started: Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:26 pm (877 Views)
Matsunoki
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The low points from exchange.

Mine: I turned 18 in Japan and the morning of my birthday I got horribly homesick. Everyone was gone from the house, my host sisters were at school (where I'd been deemed "too distracting" to attend until exams were over), and no one had said a thing to me about my birthday. I cried a lot and just felt awful. My day actually did a complete 180 after the morning, but man was that morning bad.
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NicoleH
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Christmas was hard, but the hardest was when I was told I had to change families because of everything going on and had to move that weekend. I moved in with my area representative for a week and nearly died since her husband was a chain smoker (literally almost did because I have asthma).

I got terrible homesickness whenever I sat on the couch in front of the fireplace and read. Not sure why but I did. My host mom would never let me read there by myself.
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mourinho
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The very worst was leaving Portugal. There was so much pain, so many loose ends, just... horrible. Then the fact that we found out that morning (we being me and my friend's host family, because I spent the last night with them since they were closer to the airport) that I had to be there an hour earlier than what I'd been told for months. My friend's (Brazilian) host mom kept yelling about how "This is why Portugal is Europe's ass" (she was mad at the coordinator, not me).

Before that, the worst was definitely changing host cities. And changing cities meant I never really explored the country like I might have, because I took every opportunity to travel back to my first host city since it meant so much to me. I was more homesick for my first city than I was for my "home" in the US.

There were other terrible moments with two host families that didn't work out, but leaving the city, then leaving the country... thinking about it still hurts.
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heidi

Leaving was also my worst, by far. There were plenty of down moments, but I have kind of forgotten them/don't remember that clearly just because they tended to be dull, and are outshined by the amazing moments. But leaving just stands out because, well, it was at the end, and very miserable. I was extremely stressed. I got about 3 hours of sleep the night before, my best friend showed up two hours late in the morning (I had to send two other friends to wake him up), I had to find something to do with all of the stuff I couldn't fit in my suitcase, and I argued with my host father (we were both very stressed/exhausted - we apologized that day and later through email, but at the time it was very stressful)! And then I had the fourteen hour bus ride to Buenos Aires - I finally told two other exchange students to stop talking so loudly and rudely at about 2 in the morning (I was quite unhappy and probably a little rude, but the entire bus was pretty pleased with me at the time - nobody was sleeping). I then spent almost twelve hours wandering around the airport in Buenos Aires with about 6 hours of sleep in the past two days and my backpack (which contained everything I was terrified of losing - gifts from family, friends, relatively delicate things) split upon as I was going down a flight of stairs at the airport. Then, once I finally got back into Miami, I got held up by customs because I looked nothing like my passport picture...and to top it off, airport security managed to "lose" the most precious object I had (a necklace, a family heirloom given to me by my Argentinian boyfriend - I only had to take it off because I was selected for extra screening, and they went through all of my stuff) and I had to wait over a half an hour for them to "find" it; I was not a happy camper at all, hehe. I really couldn't catch a break throughout the entire process.

Besides that, I'd say my worst moment was when my best exchange friend and one of my best friends both left for Italy (one was Italian, the other was going on exchange there) at the same time in January - I found myself suddenly lonely, because I'd spent time with those friends nearly every day and they were (and still are) some of my closest friends. It was a challenging time, but it turned out well, because I really had to put myself out there to make new friends (it was during the summer, so I wasn't in school with classmates). It worked out really well, but I had a challenging couple of weeks.
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