Studying abroad for a few weeks or even a year can change your life.

Studying abroad for a few weeks or even a year can change your life. Read more about this Australian student's experience: she has been an Australian exchange student in France for 8 weeks during her summer vacation. She was welcomed by a French host family and went to a French high school too. This experience of studying abroad in France had a wonderful impact on her life. 

As an Australian high school student, why did you decide to study abroad in France?

"My French teacher was very inspirational; she always encouraged her students to do an exchange and she actually had a lot of NACEL brochures. So in one class she came to us and said: "You have to do this program, it is phenomenal, you will never regret it!

I had aspirations of working overseas,  perhaps for the United Nations, and I knew French was one of the most universally spoken languages. I just loved the way it sounded."

How did you feel when you left Australia for a 8 week long exchange program in France?

"It was a combination of nervous and excited: I had never been away from home for two months before. I'd never been to Europe before so I really didn't know what to expect.

Sitting on the plane I couldn't breathe! I started thinking this is real I'm actually leaving home for two months. And it was just the most fantastic afternoon when I got there:  they (my French host family) greeted me with hugs and kisses and they were just so excited to meet me !"

From your point of view what were the benefits of your exchange program in France?

"It was just a connection from the very beginning. My French language skills improved dramatically. I felt within the first week of being on exchange in France I was already dreaming in French!

And as soon as I came back to Australia, my grades at school just jumped, they skyrocketed. I felt I could actually have genuine conversations in French. It doesn't matter where you are,  it doesn't matter what your level of French is, it's about the relationships with your host family

And if you just do what you can to spend as much time with them and to build those relationships it's going to be the best experience!"

How do you think that doing a High School Study Abroad in France changed your life?

"It's been quite an amazing journey that I see myself progressed from being a student to being a chaperone, a bit of an ambassador and now an alumni. Four years on I think being part of myself for such a long time now has really made me passionate about what NACEL does and what they represent and I do promote the short-term exchange program in France to as many people as I can.

And I think that every student, every person can benefit from it. No matter what you go through, no matter what the experience is like for you, you are going to come back so much more enriched, so much more mature, so much more confident.

Because this experience is not just about developing your French language skills it's also about learning who you are and what you want out of life!"

Thak you Nicole for your inspiring testimonial! 

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