Adolescence is a transitional period that can be complicated for many. Feelings of being misunderstood, fear about the future or, simply feeling lost, are common for teenagers from 13 to 18 years of age.
Did you know that an exchange can be a decisive experience for teens? Teenagers have the opportunity to feel useful and gain tools that they’ll carry with themselves throughout their lives. Do you want to know the impact exchanges can have on adolescents? We’ll tell you all about it in this post.
Benefits of experiencing an exchange as a teen
Doing an exchange during adolescence is the ideal experience to get out in the world: it pushes the person to ground themselves, be practical and live for themselves. This allows for them to gain a new perspective and understand that day-to-day problems aren’t so bad, something we all tend to amplify.
Why does this happen? The main reason is that generally, it’s the first time an adolescent is away from their family for an extended period of time. This creates the need to take initiative like never before, but also to take responsibility for tasks that were typically taken care of for them.
People who do exchanges as this age learn to value the safety of their family and home, reexamining what they take for granted. And for this same reason, many teens discover how excited life is and the future that awaits them.
On a broader level, an exchange allows them to embrace other cultural norms. This goes above and beyond learning a new language in the exchange destination, that is if they travel abroad. It means learning that the world is much bigger than originally thought and learning to respect people who are different.
An adolescent student gains a new perspective of the world, seeing it in a more open-minded way. As a result, the teen will develop different ways of learning to broaden their understanding and even discover an interest for international matters.
Another impact exchanges tend to have on teens, even if it’s not an exchange focused on a particular discipline, is that adolescents begin to take note of which studies and professional careers they’d like to focus on. This is due to the various factors, the main one being that they gain a more realistic point of view, as well as a proactive problem-solving attitude.
Once they return home, they might experience some reverse cultural shock, because they’ve gained confidence and self-esteem. The teen becomes more mature after having overcome such a significant challenge and more responsible for their tasks: both household chores as well as school-related tasks and projects.
If that wasn’t enough, on a personal level adolescents make lifelong friends, friends they’ve had life changing experiences with. What’s more, on a professional level, those who have done exchanges abroad are highly valued by companies, especially now when work environments are becoming eminently multi-cultural.
As you can see, experiencing exchanges as an adolescent offers huge value: it can be the decisive step towards maturity and a way to find oneself. Moreover, teens channel energy and excitement to discover the world, something vital since they may often feel tied down to their usual environment.
What do you think? Did you do any exchanges when you were a teen? If you can offer an experience like this and let others enjoy it, register and upload your cultural exchange proposal.