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Exchange Regrets/Do-overs
Topic Started: Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:15 pm (1,156 Views)
heidi

Is there anything you regret about your exchange or would want to do over? Anything that is still kicking you 1/3/5 years later?

The only thing I kick myself about is not taking more video. I took a lot of pictures, but I wish I would have filmed my bike ride to school, my walk home from the bus stop, my landing in Buenos Aires, etc. I always see these awesome, super artsy videos exchange students make post-exchange, and all I really have are pictures. Oh well. When I go back to Argentina, I'll take a ton of video (and in the mean time, I keep having my friends do silly things for me, like filming the insides of supermarkets and sending them to me). In Germany/wherever I am next year, I'll definitely take a ton of video!
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mourinho
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Oh man, so many things.

I would have talked to my coordinator more about my problems so he wouldn't just hear my host family's side of things.
I would have found my own host family in my first host city, so I wouldn't have had to switch cities (though then I would have missed out on my awesome third host family, so I don't know)
I wouldn't have deleted the files I used to make a video for a (GROUP) presentation (it was a school presentation, but it was at night so parents and everyone could come) so that I could have recreated it when the final video file didn't work. Alternatively, I would have just shut up during the presentation so I didn't make the remarks to some of my groupmates that were supposed to be gentle ribbing (since it was because of them that we had recorded voices to make a video instead of doing a live performance for our presentation about THEATER in Portugal haha) but ended up seeming mean. I totally humiliated myself and made people think pretty poorly of me, including a teacher I really liked.
I would have stayed at the coffee shop where I was waiting to meet a friend the day before I went home, even when the other friend who was with me went home, so I could get my Rocky Horror DVD back from him, haha. I also just wanted to say goodbye because he was one of my very first friends in Portugal.

I wish I had taken more pictures. I would have, but I couldn't find my camera charger for a long time. I wish I had some more video, too. I have video of my friends from my first school singing a class song at their graduation/prom-like celebration, so that was fun at least.

I also wish I'd been more confident in my Portuguese abilities sooner, and maybe done more reading. I don't regret the time I spent with my Norwegian friend, even when we spoke in English, because she was an amazing support when I was going through a really crappy host family situation.

I also would have applied for college while I was abroad.

I wish I had a way to at least see how all of these things would have played out, you know? So frustrating.
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mburucuja

I regret only going for a semester, and wasting so much time on the computer/reading/writing/being alone.

I regret not changing schools or classes. I really hated school and probably could have made it a little more tolerable with a different mindset, but I honest to god hated it. Even on return trips, going there just served to remind me how awful it was for me.
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Matsunoki
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I wish I'd been less shy about getting language learning help from my host parents in Japan. I wasn't there long enough to have any of my difficulties become a major issue though.

Also, part of me wishes I'd done a year-long exchange, but due to my high school my only option would have been a gap year and then I probably wouldn't have met my husband in college so in the long-run, it was a good thing I didn't.
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NicoleH
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I wish I was more outgoing and that I played on the soccer team my host dad found for me to play on instead of going to language school.
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nostos

Well, I wish I had stayed the whole year.
(I'm not sure it would have been good for me, but I wish I could have.)

I wish I had taken MORE photos and videos. I have lots but I still feel like things are missing.

I wish I had tried more in school.

I wish I had tried harder to accept my classmates as friends, even though they were younger than me.

I wish I had been more helpful and thoughtful to my host parents.

I'm sure there's more.
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incorinco

I wish I had tried reaching out my friends in school sooner.

My classmates and I were not a good match at all but there was this one girl in my class and this one boy in a different class that I got along really well with and I didn't really push to befriend them until it was almost time for me to leave :/

I really wish I had put more effort to learn Chinese. It was so hard though when everyone around me was able to speak fluent English. It's my fault in the end though since it was my goal to learn Chinese.

I just really wish I had a do-over with my high school exchange. I feel like knowing what I know now, I could have made my exchange so much easier on myself.

I wish that I had the courage to speak up to my host family when they were doing something wrong. They didn't realize that they should give me money/groceries for food* and I was quiet about it for so long and lead to so much tension among other things. They were so understanding about it when I talked to them about issues, I don't know why I was so afraid :/

*all they provided me during the week was breakfast, I would have been fine with paying for my lunch everyday if I wasn't also paying or buying groceries my own dinner too.

I wish I had continued going to my host mother's kindergarten. Not everyday but at least a few times a week after school.

I really want to return to Taiwan someday. Maybe after studying 1-2 years of Chinese in college I'll stay for a semester. It'd be really nice to see my host family again.
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