Wry Exchange

Dear Wry – I’m Miserable
09-18-08, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Depression, Exchange Students, Outbounds Outbounds | Tags: , ,

 Dear Wry,
Im an exchange student in my second month of a year long exchange in Sweden.
i googled homesickness and look at this, a the second link site about homesickness for exchange students, and you even write about the 3 month slump, where you settle back into what seems to be inevitable, repetitive an boring day to day life. you nailed it with – “the family sometimes annoys them, school is boring, and their lives are almost what it would be if they didn’t go on exchange. Except they’d be back home with their friends, families, and pets.”
I actively hate my host parents, but luckily, because im with rotary ill switch in 4 months to a reallylovely host family. but for now im stuck with these people i hate, a mother who i think is kind on some levels but is rude, tactless, and controlling, and a father who creeps me out, and it super annoying. Ive realized that highschool is highschool everywhere, and the people are still 16-18 year olds, my town is small, people here are super shy and its hard to make friends, esp with the language boundary. Even if were easy, is super difficult too find people who really interests me.
but going home is not an option, and i know i need to stick it out, and it will improve, it has for everyone else and i am a social creature so i know i will make friends, but for now im incredibly lonely and im startíng to feel homesick. and i know that ill need to keep active to keep it at bay, but my school offers no clubs or extracurricular activities.i guess i dont really have a straight question you could answer im just pretty desperate for something to make me feel less like how i feel right now.

Dear Rose,

if you ‘actively hate’ your host family, MOVE NOW.  Tell your Rotary counselor.  If you don’t get help from him/her, tell your Rotary counselor back in the states.  Rotary has very strict rules in place.  If your host father gives you the creeps, that’s a huge sign it’s time to get out.  This is YOUR year, ½ of it shouldn’t be with people who make you miserable.   This is unacceptable in a Rotary program.

Are other exchange students near you?  Are any former exchange students around?  Does your Rotary program have meetings, language lessons, or trips available to you?  It’s normal for European schools not to have extracurriculars, but is there a nearby gym you can join?  Are there any sports clubs?  If your town is small, can you take public transportation to a different town to explore?  What do students in your school do for fun?  Find one kid a day, and try to talk to him or her.  They’re probably intimidated by you. 

 I added you to my MSN Messenger list, if you use it, we can chat later.  Keep in touch.


4 Comments so far
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I’m also with rotary! I’ve been in Narbonne, France for about 1 1/2 months. And Rose, I swear to god I am in the exact same position as you. I hate my family and they hate me I think. Just this morning my mom and dad cornered me b/c “i sleep too much, i dont eat enough, i forgot to go to the pool (i didnt even agree to go to a pool), and i’m not french enough.” My town is also devastatingly small, and everyone just does homework and sleeps. I dont have any fun and all i do is wallow in self pity and think about how i could be out buying my homecoming dress if i was still in the states. My school doesnt have any sports teams or clubs either. And i have to admit, the friends i’ve made aren’t very nice all the time. They call me stupid and tell me to shut up a lot. They think i cant understand them but i do. I cried over skype to my mother in the states today for a good hour. That is how i found this sight, i was “googling” normal emotions for an exchange student. It’s really good to know that at least one other girl feels the same as me. I mean the feelings a horrible i know, but at least i’m not the only one who’s begged their parents to let her go home…

Comment by sarah wilson

Sarah, It sounds like you weren’t given much information or training before your exchange. Most exchange students in France end up in small villages, schools don’t have extra-curriculars, and kids have tons of homework and cram for their ‘bacs.’ I totally understand the ‘not French enough.’ Poor girl! Please try to tough it out. Your friends at home probably think you’re so lucky to be living a glamorous life in France.

Comment by Wry

I’ve been on exchange in pau France for the past 7 months. Honestly, this is not the last time you will feel depressed but also you have great times when you can’t imagin leaving and never want to go. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. The language IS difficult but I came here knowing ‘bonjour’ and 6 months after I speak with my friends like normal. But while I was in classes I understood nothing in I studied my ass off and had other girls in my class help me with my accent which later had us become really good friends. I changed host families about 2 months ago and I must say – I regret not doing it earlier. I feel it was a shame my first months were wasted with them. Just remeber EVERY exchange student hates thief family some days and calling their mom crying saying the want to go home. Were young and doing something people as old as our parents would dare to do. You learn to deal with your emotions and become so much stronger! Also remeber: life was perfect in your home country and you fought with parents and friends too.

Comment by Chloé

Hi, im a former exchange student in the usa, and i have a lot of problems with my host family and the agency doesnt want to move me to another family, this family that im living now fights a lot, i never had a day without fighting and screaming, and this things make me feel bad once my host sister alreAdy mention that she doesnt want me here, but the agency thinks this is not harmful for me, so they told my host parents i didnt want to be here but they let me here, and now they are treating me bad, and i dont know what to do, help me pleaseee

Comment by Malu

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