Exchange in Australia
For me the Debutant Ball was one of the best experiences I’ve had while being in Australia. I am truly grateful that my school let me be a part of such an special tradition, and for all the fun I have had in the process with my host family and friends.
When I first heard about the Debutant Ball I wasn’t sure what it was, I faintly remembered how I had seen it on the television before and soon my friends at school explained what it was and I was immediately desperate to be a part of it. My friends was so excited for me and as soon as I got permission from the school to attend, we quickly tried to find a partner for me. One of my closest friends brother agreed to be my partner, and we soon became friends.
In the beginning of March the whole process started, all the times we had deb practice on school nights just made my relationship closer to all the other students. How I got to see everyone dressed with their own clothes really made them shine with their personality, I felt I knew them in a different way since i’ve always only seen them in their school uniform. Seeing people out of school really make it go to a new level. I had so much fun at practice.
Through the way I had some struggles with my tight budget and couldn’t afford getting my nails, hair or make-up done professionally for the day. I had already spent a load on my beautiful dress, which I had purchased from the internet, my shoes and gloves. I planned to do my own hair and make-up but I was really nervous because i’m not too good with that kind of stuff. My lovely friend Kaitlin from the school heard this news and she assured me not to worry about it, and that I should come to her house on the day and so I did. When I arrived we went out to the hairdresser and she had arranged with her own friend to do my hair, and later she did my makeup and I couldn’t have been more grateful. This really moved me, that she took her shift off from her job to help me, a girl from Denmark she only had known for 3 months and she was willing to do all this just for me.
A Ball at a castle, never had I been to a real Ball and yet to dress like a princess. When I arrived the very first thing I did was taking pictures, lots of them with everyone I knew. As the day went it was almost time to begin the ceremony and my partner came and gave me a gift which contained beautiful earrings from Pandora. When I walked into the hall, down the red carpet while they called out my name the best they could, I shook hands and did my bows and put on my brightest smile. As I was walking I spotted my host family and two of the french exchange students and I got that feeling inside of me that you get when you are truly happy. We continued with the three dances and after we all sat down for dinner. The food was delicious and I made time to quickly go over and say hello to my host parents and my exchange friends. I was so happy that they all came to support me on my special day. There was some lovely speeches, very motivating and right after dessert all the students went to line up for the fun dance! After the fun dance it was the father-daughter dance which made me slightly shy because I needed to dance with my host dad, but everything was great and I had so much fun. I was really surprised that everyone was dancing the whole evening right until the night ended around 11. I even took some professional photos with my host parents and the french girls, and I introduced the french girls to all my friends at school.
Exchange in Australia
We were all meeting up at Wynyard station at 12 o’clock. Remi (french), Joy (french), Sebastian (chilean) and me were the exchange students that participated in the walk. Shawn and another AFS volunteer were hosting the walk and led us to where the walk began. We got to the starting point around 13 o’clock and we then began the walk. The walk was about 10 km, and took us around 4 hours. Through the walk we all chatted with each other and we had lots of fun. We stopped lots of times because of the incredible views of breathtaking nature and of course pictures! We stopped at the second beach we reached, to each the lunch we had brought and after we all went in the water for a quick swim.
The weather was lovely, Joy and me found a starfish on the beach which was very exciting.
After another hour we reached Manly Wharf, and we were planning on leaving since it was getting late, but we were dying to see Manly beach. We soon convinced them to catch the ferry later and we went to Manly Esplanade to buy ice cream from a shop called ‘Copenhagen’ and watch the sunset. Manly beach was stunning and my favorite beach in Australia out of all the beaches I’ve seen so far. We all thought it was a really nice AFS event, but we suggest that next time they do a walk that’s a bit shorter because we found it really long and tiring. But all together we are super grateful that we got the opportunity to do this walk and spend the afternoon together.
Exchange in Australia
My host family had for a while ago told me that they had a surprise for me in the Easter holidays and it was a trip to Cairns! I really looked forward to it as I have heard that Cairns is such a beautiful place. We left saturday the 15th of april for a 5 day trip. The flight to Cairns took around 2-3 hours and when we arrived I could already feel that the climate was way different than it is in Sydney. It felt warmer and really tropical. We had rented a car we picked up and on our way to the resort we were staying at we made a quick stop to Coles, and Australian supermarket.
We drove into the city of Cairns as we were living in a town called Palm springs around 30 min away from Cairns. There wasn’t heaps to see in Cairns, there was an esplanade with lots of small shops and this public pool with the fish that represents the city. For lunch we had sushi and after we did some shopping. Later on we went to this old train station were we did a small bush walk. We got fish ‘n chips for dinner.
This was the most exciting day out of all of them, because we were going to The Great Barrier Reef. We needed to wake up early in the morning to drive into Cairns harbor where we were departing. It was a bit stressful because I was so desperate to find a shop where I could hire a GoPro camera. There was a really long queue in the shop and when it finally was my turn there was no GoPro’s left. Luckily I got this other underwater camera. After we went on this pretty big ship that tool us out to 2 different stop points. As we were sailing I got really sick at first and then I laid down on my back but ended up falling asleep. When we arrived at the first point we got out wetsuits on, snorkeling gear and we were ready to jump in the sea! My biggest wish was to see a turtle and when I didn’t see one I got really disappointed. The reef wasn’t as colorful as I expected but either way I was so happy and grateful. There was plenty of cute fish in the sea and I got to take lots of photos and videos underwater.
After we arrived to the second stop I was a bit lazy and didn’t want to get into the water again, but luckily I did. Not long after I jumped in I saw my first turtle, I was so excited and kept following it around with my camera. As I was swimming with my host mom we saw a second turtle and again I was determined to follow it. Soon we had lunch on the boat, which was really delicious since we had been swimming heaps and I was really really hungry! We did some sunbathing on the top of the deck while we were heading towards Cairns harbor.
This day we almost didn’t leave the resort at all since we were all super tired from our big day yesterday. I got to be at the pool all day which was absolute stunning, and for the afternoon we had a quick trip to K-mart and saw the movie ‘finding Dory’.
It was our last day here in Cairns and we were going to Daintree rainforest for a bush walk. The forest was really pretty and I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of small waterfalls and really tall and old trees. For dinner we had made a reservation at this restaurant near where we were staying and I had a really delicious seafood spaghetti.
We headed back to Sydney where we picked Klara (danish exchange student) up from the airport, and we all went back home to my house in Jordan Springs.