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I had to start this article off with this exact picture. Some of you out there might have been an exchange student, maybe you are one right now or you want to be one.

In 2014, my year as an exchange student began and it is probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. My year was filled with happiness, laughter, friendships, tears (both happy and sad), experiences, families and most of all memories. Memories that I'll hold on to forever!

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I'll definitely write an article about my experience as an exchange student, but for now I wanted to try and inspire and help the ones out there who's dreaming about studying abroad.

Tip number one: DO IT!
And I really cannot stress this enough. I know it seems scary, it might be a bit pricey or way out of your comfort zone. But I promise you, it will all be worth it in the end!

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As an exchange student you will experience more than you can ever imagine. You leave your family and loved ones behind for a year, and you have the opportunity to create a new life in one year. This year will be filled with so many emotions and feelings, so many memories. You meet so many new people, build friendships and last but not least you will grow. You'll grow as a person, learn how to be independent and you'll find out more about who you really are. You will have to trust yourself, believe in yourself, be strong and stay positive.

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Imagine being able to experience a new and different culture, maybe learning and speaking another language, trying out new foods and traditions. The world has so much to offer, and no one is stopping you but yourself.

I'd say the most important thing as an exchange student is to say yes. Say yes to new activities, say yes to hang out with new people, say yes if your host family wants to take you somewhere. Just say yes. It will make you feel comfortable, safe and like you belong there.

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I'll be honest and say that not every day is gonna be easy. You'll most likely be homesick. You'll miss your family back home and the safety of where you grew up, but remember why you started. Remember that the ones at home are living their normal every day lives, while you're out there in the world doing something for yourself. You're in a new place, with new people and able to create memories they'll be jealous of. It's okay to feel sad, that's when it's important for you to surround yourself with people who makes you feel good. Go on new adventures and make the most of out every day. Because trust me when I say, the year will fly by faster than you could ever imagine. And you'll miss it more than anything when it's over!!

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There is so much to say and so little time. I'm not very good with words (this is also my first article), but I hope this can help someone out there. I miss being an exchange student every single day. Every time I look back, I just can't help but smile. I feel so incredibly lucky having two families, two homes and friends from all over the world. So for all of you out there who is thinking about studying abroad, do it.

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I have a collection full of quotes and pictures that helped me through my year as an exchange student, maybe it will help you as well?

Thank you for your time, I wish you the best of luck in life xx.