Van droom naar werkelijkheid

Hi allemaal!

De afgelopen twee jaar kwam de vraag wat ik na de middelbare school zou willen doen vaak voor. Mijn ideeën liepen nogal uiteen. Wilde ik bij de recherche of toch liever de mode wereld in? Misschien toch een tussenjaar om te reizen? Dat leek mij wel wat, want het is altijd al mijn droom geweest om in het buitenland te wonen. Alleen het begrip reizen klonk mij te vaag. Mijn moeder kwam naar mij met het idee om voor een periode au-pair te worden in het buitenland. Ik ging gelijk googelen en kwam er al snel achter dat je daar 18 voor moet zijn. Uiteindelijk sprak ik een vrouw waarvan haar dochter een jaar naar een high school in Amerika gaat en ik was binnen no time verkocht. Uren lang heb ik sites van organisaties doorgezocht naar informatie en verhalen van andere exchange-students. Ik wist gelijk dat dit is wat ik wilde. Ik kon het gewoon niet meer uit mijn hoofd zetten.

De periode daarna ben ik naar zoveel mogelijk informatiedagen van verschillende organisaties gegaan. De organisatie die ik uiteindelijk heb gekozen is STS highschool (student travel schools).  Zij helpen mij bijvoorbeeld met het zoeken van een gastgezin waar ik het gehele jaar blijf, de school, de vliegtickets en de NYC trip voordat ik door vlieg naar het gastgezin, etc.

Het begon met een interview. Een oud-exchange-student voerde een gesprek met mij volledig in het Engels om te kijken of ik goed genoeg de taal sprak. Ze vroeg dingen over mijn leef-stijl en mijn gewoontes binnen- en buitenshuis. Al snel daarna kreeg ik een grote envelop thuis toegestuurd met daarin nog een paar taaltesten (lees- en luistertest). De testen ging mij gemakkelijk af en zo werd ik toegelaten in het programma. Via een digitaal programma moest ik veel informatie over mezelf verzamelen. Een brief over mij geschreven door mezelf en eentje door mijn ouders, foto’s van/over mij, papieren van mijn school over mijn cijfers en wat voor soort leerling ik ben, bevestigingen van de dokter dat ik gezond ben, ik moest papieren ondertekenen, etc. Vervolgens moest ik een aantal vaccinaties halen. Dat was snel en makkelijk geregeld. De laatste prik moet ik nog in Amerika krijgen. Het laatste wat ik zelf moest regelen was het visum. Dat was een redelijk lang proces, maar is ook gelukt.

Nadat ik alles had geregeld kon het wachten op een gastgezin beginnen en is nog steeds niet geëindigd. Ze zijn nog steeds hard op zoek. Omdat ik allergisch ben voor dieren in huis is het een beetje lastig, maar ik moet het uiterlijk voor 31 augustus weten en STS geeft plaatsingsgarantie. Op dit moment weet ik alleen zeker dat ik ga, maar waarheen? Ik zou zo graag antwoord willen geven op al de vragen van mijn vrienden en familie, maar het antwoord weet ik zelf ook niet. In welke staat zal ik komen? Is het daar warm of heel koud? Kom ik op een grote school? In wat voor gastgezin kom ik? De nieuwsgierigheid is bijna niet meer uit te houden.

Nu ik klaar ben met school hier in Nederland, komt het helemaal dichtbij. Ik heb nu weken vrij, maar ik zou niet weten tot wanneer precies. STS heeft bekend gemaakt dat de vertrek datum tussen eind juli en begin september is, maar dat is een best grote periode. Ik kan nog steeds geen goede schatting maken en begin steeds zenuwachtiger te worden. Veel van mijn vrienden en familie gaan binnenkort op vakantie en ik ben bang dat ik ze dan misschien niet meer zie voordat ik vertrek. Het kan namelijk zo zijn dat ik paar dagen nadat ik te horen krijg waar ik terecht kom moet vertrekken. Dat maakt de spanning steeds groter.

Ik heb nog iets meer dan twee weken voordat de eerste paar exchange-students vertrekken, dus ik ga die tijd goed gebruiken om al dingen klaar te maken voor mijn vertrek. Echt al de koffers inpakken is nog niet mogelijk, maar ik ga wel al selecteren wat ik ga meenemen. Laatst vond ik bijvoorbeeld een boekje om vanuit het Nederlands basis Engels te leren. Dat leek mij wel leuk om mee te nemen zodat mijn gastgezin het kan gebruiken op wat Nederlandse woorden en zinnen te leren.

Zodra ik meer weet zal ik jullie gelijk op de hoogte houden via mijn blog!

 

Knuffels,

Britt

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