In April 2023 I went to France for six weeks. When I chose to do Transition Year I knew that an exchange was definitely something that I was interested in doing. After talking to my French teacher she suggested looking at TY Europe. Soon enough I was put in contact with Jane, a kind woman who sent me plenty of information and matched me with a French girl who matched my interests and hobbies.

Initially, I was a bit nervous about the idea of travelling alone and being away from home for so long but once I arrived in France I quickly adapted to my new life. Although it was very different compared to Ireland, I found it quite easy to get settled in, especially with my exchange student, Coline, helping me find my way around the area and make friends. I attended school with Coline and was even in the same class as her. The classes were very long but I tried my best to participate when I could. The students were very nice and Coline’s friends were also very friendly.

Over the six weeks we went on a lot of day trips and even stayed in Paris for a week. I really enjoyed Paris and loved seeing the different parts of France. We also went to an amusement park and some beautiful towns. Each day trip was something different and new. I'm glad
Coline’s family were very generous and had many outings planned for me.

I remained in contact with Jane and Margit who gave me advice and helped me along the way. Their guidance definitely eased any worries I had, Coline was also very helpful and made sure I felt comfortable and content.

Most days after school I would take advantage of the beautiful location and walk to the beach that was only a few minutes walk away from the house. The beach was a great way to make the most of the warm weather, we often went together to swim in the water or have a picnic with
Coline’s friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in France, I feel as though my comprehension skills have increased significantly and I have made life long friends and memories that will stay with me forever. I feel more capable and independent as a person. I was put out of my comfort zone
and can confidently say that the exchange improved much more than just my French.

I will definitely stay in contact with my exchange student and her friends and hopefully see them all again soon either on another exchange or even just a short visit. I would strongly recommend to anyone who wants to improve their language skills, confidence or even just experience a new lifestyle to look into doing an exchange. Thank you to TY Europe for all their help in organising this exchange for me!

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