Anna's stay in city unforgettable
Wednesday, 10th December, 2008
Written by work experience student Anna Bach, on exchange from Denmark
When I first chose to be an exchange student I had no idea what I was going to experience, but my year in Broken Hill ended up being the best year of my life.
I set my feet on Australian ground for the first time in Sydney airport ten months ago. On the plane to Broken Hill I could look out the window and see the enormous areas of red desert. It was fantastic. Nothing similar exist in Denmark where I grew up.
I arrived in the small airport, on a very hot day, excited but very nervous about meeting my new family. The airport was full of people, and it took a while before I realized they were all there because of me.
They made me feel welcome, home and relaxed from the beginning. That is one of the many good characteristics of the people in Broken Hill; they make you feel like a good old friend from the first time you meet them.
In the beginning my biggest problem was the language. I had English in school for almost eight years, but now I had to get used to the Australian accent and slang. I started in year 10 at Broken Hill High which was very different, but I slowly got used to lining up in front of the classes and dressing in school uniform.
I will never forget the dust storms. One time I was standing under the shelter in school and there was mud and water everywhere. Never had I seen an orange sky and so much dust in the air. It was amazing and my family at home did not believe me when I told them.
The 13th of December is the time for me to return to Denmark. Looking back at my year I remember having hard times, when I missed my family or maybe just felt alone. But my host family and friends supported me, and I know I could never gone through this without them.
I know now that it is the hardest times that taught me the most. This year has brought more tears than any other year, but I also laughed, smiled and experienced so much more than ever before. Choosing to go on exchange is the best thing that ever happened to me.
During the year I met many people, made many friends and got a whole new family. I can not thank any of them enough for all the support and all the good times I have had. Also the local AFS group have been a great support. They all made my year unforgettable.
Last I want to thank the people of Broken Hill for being so friendly, helpful and understanding. I love the relaxing culture, the slang and the red dirt. I am sure that one day I will be back. When I go on the plane in a couple of weeks I am not saying goodbye, I am saying see you later.