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Preparing for exchange in the UK

Case Study: Preparing for exchange

Preparing for exchange in the UK
by Pernille from Denmark

Pernille with friend

Pernille is 16 years old and from Denmark. At the beginning of September she will start her year long exchange in the UK. Pernille will live with her host family in Swansea and attend a local high school. Pernille enjoys singing, drama, playing the clarinet, baking, reading and drawing. She has met many exchange students in Denmark and is excited to start her new life here in the UK. Very kindly, Pernille has taken some time to explain how she feels about her approaching departure for exchange.

How long until you depart for the UK and how are you feeling about the departure date?

​I have 16 days before I will leave Denmark and go to the UK. The departure date is a bit late but that’s because of the school system. And I finished school long before I’m going so there is a lot of time just waiting.

What made you apply for an exchange?

​I know a lot of exchange students who were coming to Denmark but also some that were leaving Denmark. And hearing their stories made me want to take an exchange year myself.

Why did you choose UK?

​I chose the UK because I love being there and the country in general is amazing. I love the language and the nature spots you can find, which is one of the reasons. One other big reason why I chose it is because I’m planning on moving to the UK, so it would be a great opportunity to see how they live there.

How have you found the process preparing for departure?

​There is a lot of work before you’ll get a family but it’s totally worth it. I waited quite a long time but when I got my family everything just went so fast. So it’s just the time before you get a family that can feel like forever.​

Tell us about your host family and how you have built a relationship with them?

​I’m going to live with a mom and her three daughters. I first called the mom to introduce me and we had a little chat about what I expected and about luggage (already on the first phone call). Then I have mailed with them all the time and Skyped. We have told about each other and she is planning some tours for us so we can get time together and I can see UK.

How long have you been learning English and how have you been preparing for your exchange year and your language skills?

​I have been taught English in school for 6 years. I’ve talked to some of the exchange students that came to Denmark about what to expect and other stuff about an exchange year. And by talking to them I was improving my language skills

How have your friends and family and school been about you going away for a year?

Everyone has been very supportive and they think it’s a good opportunity and experience for me. They also know how much I love English, travelling and experiencing new things, so they didn’t even try to talk me out of it. Of course they’ll miss me and so will I, but everyone is so extremely supportive about it.

What are you looking forward to about the exchange? What do you hope to experience?

I’m looking forward to living with my host family and try a lot of new things. I’m looking forward to making new friends and meeting new people. I’m really excited about going to another school where I have to talk English all the time.

I hope to experience a lot of good things I look back on and think of the best year in my life. I always say: exchange isn’t a year in your life, it’s a life in a year.

What advice have you received about the exchange and what do you think will be valuable for you to use?

​I’ve always been told to remember to be open and say if something’s wrong so I won’t end up being mad at my family because I’m sad. I think that’s a really good advice. You need to say if something’s wrong so you can talk about it and try to find a solution.

MyEducation looks forward to welcoming Pernille in just a few days when she arrives in the UK. We wish her the best for the year ahead and look forward to making her experience as wonderful as she expects it to be.

Exchange student with marching band

Become a host family or come to the UK on exchange