Exchange with Solebury School

For me, the exchange to America was something special I will never forget. I think that there are a lot of experiences and moments that made this trip worthwhile.

To start off, being able to go on an airplane without my parents was something that I thought was amazing. It gave me a great sense of responsibility and more confidence in myself. Then when you arrive in a whole new country, things are going to be a lot different of course.

I learned to adapt to a new place when I was staying with my host family. For example, they had a different style of living to ours. Thus you learn to adapt and are able to get along really well with a variety of people with different opinions. Furthermore, I had a lot of fun with my host family and friends that I made going to Solebury School. One of my favorite parts of the week was being able to go and spend time with my friends at the tree swing on campus where we would talk and climb the tree.

One of the memories that will forever stick with me is Halloween. My host (Anna) and Jasmijn and her host (Izzy) dressed up and went out that evening. We received so much candy after trick-or-treating around town and of course had the fun of sorting our sweets afterward.

It was a truly everyday that I saw something different than to life in Switzerland. I also loved going to the town on the weekend and just seeing things that I had never seen before, such as one-of-a-kind art-craft boutiques and even an old church transformed into a restaurant. There were little towns that we could go visit very easily and have lunch or dinner on the weekend. We even walked on the campus of the famous Princeton University in New Jersey!

At school, I had some amazing moments of the day or week as well. For example, I loved relaxing and playing tennis, a sport I love, as my after-school club. Additionally, going to New York was a memorable experience as all the buildings were enormous!

Finally, going to school everyday and seeing friends that I felt like I had known forever was the most amazing part. The atmosphere at the school was unique; the way that you are so warmly accepted as a member of the community was extraordinary. It was very difficult to say goodbye. I will always miss, but never forget my exchange to Solebury School.

Kaj Westendorp