I have a question for those who are planning an exchange in English-speaking countries: Which English-speaking country attracts you most?
Certainly, America is the most one we are most familiar with, and it has the most up-to-date know-how and technique to offer. The one of the advantages of the UK is the distance. It is much easier to travel to the UK than US. The views in Canada and Australia are also very tempting.
For me it is real hard to decide, so Id appreciate it if you can share some of your thoughts.
One of the most decisive points are the financial opportunities of your family. Canada and Australia will be definitely more expensive than the USA. England or Ireland too. I was quite surprised when I learned about the prices. We agreed to send our son to New Zealand. I am not sure it was the right decision.
I’m also looking for a place to go, and I searched for a lot of details to the different countries:
USA: It’s a really interesting and the people are pretty friendly and funny
Canada: The nature in Canada is awesome and the people are very interested in different cultures!
Australia: I met an australian guy some days ago, and asked him, why australia could be good for an exchange: He said that the people are really friendly, and very interested in nature, etc. He also told me that swimming and shopping in Sydney or Melbourne is great!
New Zeeland: Watch “The Lord of the rings” and you will know what I mean with AWESOME nature!! New Zeeland is also famous for its nice cities and good Schools
I don’t want to tell you not to chose those countries. But the reasons you mentioned aren’t really the things I would point out. Since, really: Everyone who came back from an exchange year will tell you that the people in his host country are awesome and friendly. If that’s the most important thing for you (which would be cool, it would make you a true open-minded person), why not go to a less popular country? Learning a language that not everyone else speaks is by the way a really wise move if it comes to your future
And I take it that your parents could afford an exchange to the countries you list? Because you should keep in mind that an exchange to Canada, Australia or New Zealand in most cases is much much more expensive than an exchange to the US or almost every other country.
So think about it. YFU for example offers about 40 different countries to choose from.
I just wanted to tell that most of the people in those countries are very interested in new cultures and in other countries, and that they are always happy when somebody is kind to learn their language…
Well, maybe. But then again: If you want to meet people who are amazed that you learn their language: Better to go to every other country than the english-speaking ones. Because they are most used to speaking english to everyone and they are used to the fact that every exchange student speaks english already in the beginning and every tourist speaks english…
And I’m quite sure most of them know that you have not chosen to learn english in the first place, but you are in fact forced to, in school.
On the contrary:
I can tell you from my own experiences: Many Finns can’t even believe it when you just say one finnish word to them. And they are so happy that someone is interested in their “unimportant” country with it’s “unimportant” language. (They are so modest, it’s really cute. Nothing compared to what is said about many Americans…) And they are so helpful and glad, and they overlook all of your mistakes, if you just say ANYTHING in finnish.
Again: It’s okay for me that you want to go to an english-speaking country. But your arguments are just so shallow and easy to turn around…