Cathelle's exchange year in Ireland
Cathelle spent 10 months in Ireland. We asked her a few questions about her experience.
What's your favourite memory?
I went home with so many amazing memories I can't even count them! The last day I spent with all my friends was one of my favourite moment, we played basketball and sucker all day long, even under the rain (because yes I was in Ireland...).Christmas and Easter were also lovely, I had the chance to stay with my host mum, I was part of the family, always well surrounded!
Did you practice any sport while being abroad?
I started kickboxing in October and one week after, I started boxing as well, I went twice a week to kickboxing and once a week to boxing! Sport is so important for exchange students. Firstly because it is easier to practise English and make friends but also because the food is obviously different and if you are like everybody, you'll put on weight! I have to say, it was mostly boys in boxing/kickboxing, but it was fun though. I passed my yellow and my orange belt in one year, I was kind of proud...
What did this experience bring you?
The question should have been, what this experience didn't bring to me! Everything I did was new, I had to stop thinking and just open my mind to new ways of doing stuff. I grew so much thanks to this year, I've learnt how to stop overthinking as I said before but also how to laugh at myself, how to believe in me. I realized that I wasn't as strong as I thought but maybe I've become it. And most of all, this adventure gave me friends and family I will keep forever. Irish guys are amazing; I didn't meet anyone nasty to me or anything like that. I found the country of my heart!
Do you have any advice for future exchange students?
Firstly guys, stop dreaming about the perfect exchange, don't imagine anything, just take it like it comes. One of the best advice I could give to anyone doing an exchange is to stay yourself and please don't compare yourself to any other exchange student, it could be so hurtful, just live your adventure in your own way, it is gonna be amazing anyway! Then keep your mind open and don't give up on going to talk to people, even if you're tired to not feel surrounded by real friends like in your own country, it will come, don't worry!