Trabalhar com Educação Internacional tem dessas coisas…. Sim, exige-se muita responsabilidade e muita paixão (mas acho que isso é comum a todas as áreas!) Porém, acredito que assim como um Engenheiro tem alegria de ver sua obra pronta ou um médico de ver o seu paciente finalmente curado, para quem trabalha com Educação Internacional o grande momento é mesmo quando temos a consciência de que o jovem alcançou seus objetivos em seu intercâmbio. Amadureceu, tornou-se mais seguro, mais fluente e mais independente! Ou seja, o intercâmbio foi bem sucedido! Esta semana, recebi da organização parceira no Canadá, um depoimento de uma intercambista de Recife chamada Luiza (sim, outra Luiza que estava no Canadá) e que acaba de concluir 1 semestre de High School na pequena Stratford (cidade próxima a Toronto onde, por sinal, nasceu Justin Bieber…) A carta está toda em inglês e ficamos maravilhados com as palavras dela, por isso, achei que não poderia haver melhor post para comemorar o Dia do Canadá que será neste 01 de Julho do que este depoimento:
Being an exchange student – By Luisa Ribeiro
I’m sure each one of you have once felt you didn’t fit anywhere. I’m sure you have once wondered how everything was going to be if you could do things on your own way. I’m sure you have once wondered how life would be somewhere else, how everything would be if you could start all over again, if you could be somebody else. That’s normal for us, teenagers, to wonder. That’s exactly what happened to me, 5 months ago.
5 months ago, I had no idea what was going to happen to me in the next few months. I was going to be in a different country, living with a different family, eating a different food, hanging out with different friends. All of those differences for what? To speak another language? Was it really worth it? To leave my beloved country, leave my family, leave all my friends. Well, 5 months from that time, the time I was mostly afraid and also the most excited in my entire life, I can say for sure: being an exchange student was the best thing that ever happened in my life!
When people ask me to talk about what the best things are about this experience, so many things come to my mind. But I think that for any international student, the highlights of the whole experience is learning and respecting different cultures, solving problems on your own and last but not least realizing the value of what you have at home.
I can’t say it’s an easy experience. I imagine that you might think would be impossible to go away from everybody, everywhere and everything you love for such a long time. But I’m telling you, it is worth it, very worth it. As the time passes, quickly you get used to the new routine, make a lot of new friends, become part of a new family. Which feels so good, because you know you conquered all that love and reliance of people who didn’t know you on your own. When you got on the new country, nobody knew anything about you, you did everything on your own to get what you wanted, you did not have anyone to help you.
You spend so much time away from ‘home’, actually I don’t even know anymore what to call home anymore. As they say: Home is where the heart is. And the heart of any exchange student gets divided between their original family and their host family. Between their hometown friends and their new friends. Between their home city and their new city. Between their old home and their new home. By the end of those 5 months, you realize that doesn’t matter where you are in the world, everybody is the same and everybody has the same feelings.
5 months later, I am able to realize that being an exchange student is a lot more than learning another language. Being an exchange student is learning that many amazing things are out there in the world, which you had no idea even existed. Being and exchange student is learning how to live in a different environment from the one you are used to and to realize that no culture is better or worse than others, they are just different.
I hope you all have the opportunity to be an exchange student one day, I promise you will never regret it. I finish with a quotation by Saint Augustine: “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”Thank you.