We are now at week three here in Charlotte. We have just returned from New York, which was unforgettable. At this point, the home sickness starts to settle in for me. Even through it has only been two weeks gone, I just seem to be stuck in the funk. Don’t get me wrong, I have some great friends here surrounding me; they’re just not my family. Early on in the week, I spend most of my nights after school winding down with a chat to some family members and close friends. This makes me feel refreshed, reminding me that I am in bloody America living out a dream of mine. This is just the motivation I needed to hear from my loved ones to keep on going, as we had major assignments due and only a few days to go. I was pretty confident with all my work and results so far, however there was one assignment left that I was definitely nervous about; the speech presentation. No matter how much I practised all my public speeches in the past, there is nothing like the feeling of going up there and presenting it for real. The day of the speeches came, and I was actually proud of myself, and wish I hadn’t overthought it so much.
Now that the hard part was over, we all started to get sad as we realised how much we had all been through together in these last few weeks. Going from spending every minute together to maybe never seeing each other again was a strange feeling. we were presented with graduation certificates and watched a slide show of all of our memories here since we arrived. Much emotion filled the room and we all realised that we all cared about each other and going to miss this experience we shared. We decided to throw a little pizza party at the end of the day to say our final goodbyes.
I took this time to reflect back on everything I had learned on this trip about myself. In just three weeks, I feel like I have grown so much more mentally. This was my first time away from my family for this long, first time travelling to America, first time travelling alone and first time having a roommate. Those things were all accomplishments for me, life lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. The knowledge I have gained from those around me and the leadership and business skills I now have; I am returning home a better version of myself ready to take on 2018.
This is definitely an experience I will never forget and one I will keep close to my heart. The most valuable part of this experience for me would have to be the self-learning you discover on this trip. It is something you come into completely alone, knowing nothing about what you’re about to see, learn or who you are going to meet. I am leaving America a different Sarah; a better Sarah, a person I would not have become without undergoing this journey.
"I absolutely loved my time in the Czech Republic. Our weekend trips to Vienna, Budapest and Prague were truly one of the highlights for me, especially Budapest! The weekend trips really reinforced what we learnt during the week as well as allowed us to experience the true culture of the places we visited."
"I loved how passionate the teachers were, because it really encouraged us and keep on improving and get better. Also it was great going out on excursions and being able to draw landmarks on the spot. "