Monday, February 14, 2011

Host Family!

Yesterday I finally got my host family information! Im going to be staying in Glarus which has a population of about 3000 people. My host family seems really nice - I have a host mum, a host dad and 2 younger host brothers! They love skiing and lots of other sports so im sure ill be able to do some skiing and training over there.

I also have my flight information and will be leaving on the 24th of Feb (9 days away) and arrive in Zurich the next morning.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Still No Host Family!

Its now less than 3 and a 1/2 weeks (23 days) untill I leave, and I still dont have a placement / host family. I emailed AFS but they said AFS switzerland is doing thier best to look for a suitable family for me. So hopefully soon, as it would be nice to know exactly where abouts ill be living for the next year

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Not Long Now

Only 39 days left in Australia! The time is going too fast, but at the same time it still feels like ages untill i will arrive in Switzerland. Ive just come back from 3 weeks in Japan with my family and friends - It was so much fun, and felt so good to be skiing again - but coming back to Perth and the 35 - 40 degree heat made me realise how much I am going to miss everyone back home.
Anyway still no news of host family but I do know that I will be going to the german speaking part of Switzerland. In Japan, my skiing instructor was from the german part of switzerland so it was great talking to him!!
And AFS Switzerland sent me an email and a link to an online learning course (Babbel). Its a great course and is actually quite fun, so I definately recommend it!


Sunday, December 19, 2010


After weeks of worrying about getting my visa in time for my departure date (apparently the swiss visa takes 4 months to process, and i have about 2 months before I depart), AFS Switzerland sent me a recomendation letter so I could apply for my visa despite not having a host family. This was such good news as I had been stressing over when I would get my host family and if I would be able to apply for my visa in time.

Anyway I sent my visa application off on thursday last week, and today the guy from the visa office in Sydney rang to say my visa has been accepted and is ready to put in my passport!! It took 3 days to process my visa! I was expecting 2 - 3 months but 3 days is great! I seriously thought that I would end up having to postpone my departure date because I wouldnt get my visa in time!

Still no news about host family though :( but at least visa is sorted!

Anyway, 5 days till christmas, and then 6 days untill I go to Japan for skiing with my family!!!! and finally 67 days untill I depart for Switzerland!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Summer Holidays and... Waiting


I still haven't heard anything from AFS, about my visa or host family, so am still waiting on that information, but its now summer holidays which is great, as I can now just relax and prepare for Switzerland! I leave in less than 3 months time!!

As most people are curious, as to why I decided to go back to school in a foreign country rather than go straight on to university, I have decided to explain how I found out about AFS, and why I am choosing this oppurtunity:

Before AFS came to talk at my school, I had no idea as to what a student exchange was, and at that time I was planning on going straight to university, and continue my triathlons and training. After AFS spoke to us, I looked into the program, and applied about 1 week before the application date closed, so I was really lucky to be accepted to my first and only preference of Switzerland!! (I initially wanted to go to Italy, but AFS Australia doesnt offer year programs to Italy) - Theres also about 6 other girls from my school going on exchange with AFS, but no one is going to Switzerland. I am also the only person from Western Australia that has chosen Switzerland (I dont know if that is a good thing or a bad thing)!

I am so glad I was offered this amazing oppurtunity, and am looking forward to learning a new language, going to school again, and living in a new culture. AFS has told me to start learning the language of my host country, but as Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh, I dont know what to learn!!

Auf Wiedersehen,

Friday, November 12, 2010

104 days...

Hallo Everyone,

I am setting up this blog, so family, friends, other exchange students or anyone else, can follow my experiences in Switzerland during 2011.

I'm Ella, and am 17 years old. I currently live in Perth, Western Australia, and have decided to take a gap year next year. In my gap year I will be travelling to Switzerland through AFS to participate in a student exchange program for a year. This means that I will be living in a new culture, learning a new language (either german, french or italian, depending on which part of Switzerland I get placed in), and going to school again in Switzerland.

I haven't found out my host family yet, so I do not know which part of Switzerland I will be living in, but I do know that I depart on the 25th of Febuary 2011, and return to Perth on the 19th of January!

Only 104 days left untill I depart!!

auf Wiedersehen,