My whole life changed when I received the email from EIL Ireland to say that I had won a scholarship to go abroad to Switzerland for three months.

There is nothing like living in another country. I feel like I have grown so much throughout my experience. I could say the experience has made me who I am today.

My exchange went by so fast it seemed like a whirlwind of good times and emotions. So, I would like to pinpoint some of the best moments from my time abroad.

On arrival, I met my host mother at the airport. Having not done that much research into my host family before I left Ireland, I was overwhelmed by how welcomed I felt!

On the way home, I was talking to my host mother in German because my host sister was still in school and I must admit I was struggling at the start. However, my host family were so patient with me in allowing me to find my feet with the language.

Here Is a picture of my host family. This is a special memory for me as we had a “fondue ceremony” just for me in our house and invited over a load of guests. It was one of the best nights of my life and I distinctly remember understanding everything and getting the jokes for once!!

My host family has an annual family trip to the Mainau Flower Island in Germany. It became one of my favorite places during my time abroad. In fact, I loved it so much that we visited it twice during my time with my host family!

This picture captures my whole exchange. It was taken at the AFS introductory weekend, where I met the other exchange students for the first time. I felt such a strong connection with the other students because we were all essentially in the same boat!

I’ll never forget the friends I made during my time in Switzerland. Looking back on this photo I am filled with pride. While I was away I grew to appreciate my own culture a lot more. None of this could have been made possible without EIL Ireland and AFS.