I went on an exchange to Innsbruck, Austria. Innsbruck is situated in the Alps in Europe and there are mountains in all directions. During my stay there I got to travel to Italy, Germany and to the Swiss Alps, across Austria, to visit Vienna twice and to visit my cousins in Saalfelden. I also visited friends who had been exchange students at my school in Vancouver and I got to live the European lifestyle. Surprisingly, I believe that I came back having learned more outside of school than I did inside school. I learned that I had practically no appreciation for the place or the people around me where I had lived almost my entire life. I also found out after being away from family for four months how important they are to me. It turns out my exchange was not about school, but life experience and learning more about myself. I now appreciate everything that I have always taken for granted, especially the ocean and the clean air.
Saying that I gained appreciation for everything here doesn’t mean I had a miserable time, because I definitely had fun. I met some really cool people and I was snowboarding the Alps in September! I now have quite a few friends in Europe and I became close with my host family. I am glad I did this exchange and would not change it. There were some challenging times, but they made me learn things I wouldn’t have learned by staying at home. I would highly recommend that other students go on an exchange because on mine I had some of the best times of my life.