Going on exchange in Chengdu, China, was an amazing experience! I plan on doing international studies at university so my AFS exchange experience has really prepared me for it.

“I improved my language skills by going to a Chinese school and living with a host family.”

I chose China as I’m learning Chinese in school and I wanted to improve my language skills by going to a Chinese school and living with a host family. I had Chinese classes at school each day for four hours and the classes helped me so much because I learnt many new words and sentence structures. After I learnt a new word or sentence structure I would go home and practice the words with my host family.

My favourite memory from exchange was the first weekend outing with my host family. On the weekend outing we went to the markets, climbed the Chengdu Great Wall, ate hot pot, played monopoly and did car karaoke. It was my favourite memory as I hadn’t lived with my family for 24 hours but already they had accepted me as one of their family members. The whole day, everyone was smiling, laughing and we were all united and happy.

 

My host mum and dad treated me as if I were their child; they were caring, loving, funny and great cooks. I became best friends with my host sister. To this day, I’m still in contact with my host family, messaging them every week and we hope to meet again in either China or Australia.

“If I had the opportunity I would love to go on another exchange!”

My AFS experience has transformed me by making me more confident and it has made me embrace new activities and challenges that come my way. Since returning, I have become more confident and I’m less shy.

Sofia, student from Australia to China

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