The five people you'll meet on exchange
Exchange is often the highlight of your degree. A few months to a year in a foreign country where no one knows you is really amazing. As you settle down in your new stage of your life, you’ll find that there are often certain types of people you’ll inevitably meet overseas, no matter where you go. They range from that one party animal to that yeti that everyone has heard of but never met.
The party animal
On any exchange, you will defs know this person (or you could be that person), going on the pub crawl every other night and somehow turning up to class. Although most of the time they’ll be sleeping off their big hangover, they seriously know the good clubs to go to and which ones to avoid. They are your biggest guide to how to party in the country and do it in style (and possibly on a budget if they’re doing it every single night).
While everyone forgets that classes overseas will get you credit back home, the nerd won’t forget it. They still think that they are back in their home country and will get all the HDs. This person will plan when homework or assessments are due, never miss a class, take hardcore notes and will never take that cheeky nap at the back of the classroom. While this might be strange to you, this is the person who you want to be friends with. The nerd will help you pass your subjects and will help you with travel plans because they know their research, and as well they could be totes amazing friend if you gave them a chance.
This is the one that everyone has heard of, but never met. Maybe they’re real, or maybe they’re an urban myth passed down from exchange student to exchange student. You will question whether they’re actually real person or whether someone made up this person. As soon as you meet the yeti, you don’t believe at first they’re actually real. Usually the yeti will be the person who has done something really crazy or hard to believe, life some crazy stunt that nearly got him/her sent back home.
This person isn’t necessarily someone you’ll be with forevs, but it could be someone who either changes your life or a friend that you never thought you’ll have (#blessed). From the first week of exchange, you two will go together like vegemite on toast and become inseparable. This is the soulmate that you don’t want to lose and even after your time overseas comes to an end, you two carry on this long after you fly back home. You two will share in jokes, don’t mind the cultural or language barrier, talk about anything and everything and travel around your host country.
The almost-local person
This is the person who you could have sworn was born and raised in your host country. Not only they are insanely knowledgeable in the culture and fluent in the language, but they act as if they are raised here as well. But surprise, surprise, they are an exchange student like you. When you find this out, you’ll be surprised but as well as a little bit uncomfortable that you are a novice in your host country. Usually, the almost-local person is considering moving there after graduation, either with plans to get citizenship or scheming to marry someone from your host country…
Sinead studies Master of Arts at University of New England. When she is not studying she is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter.
Image: E4 Gap Year