My 14-year old daughter, Grace, recently participated in a homestay program organised through Exchange Me. This was her first time to be overseas without her family, and her first time to do a homestay. From the moment we contacted Exchange Me, as her parents, we felt confident in the organisation of the program and could see that all aspects of the trip were covered. The professionalism of Exchange Me was very comforting and impressive; from flights, transfers, and insurance, to SIM cards for use in Italy and necessary COVID documentation for flights - everything was perfectly organised.
Since arriving back in Australia, Grace has been ‘homesick’ for Italy and misses her family there. They have stayed in contact and she is looking forward to returning to Italy at the next opportunity. This wonderful experience is to the credit of Exchange Me, and we are grateful that Grace came away from this with a greater passion for all things Italy and that the experience has made her determined to learn more Italian and, indeed, see more of the world.
We cannot thank Exchange Me enough, and highly recommend this homestay program!
My Italian homestay experience was quite unique and unforgettable; it was something special that I’ve never done before and certainly hope to do again. It was amazing to experience first-hand what it was like to live in Italy as part of a family that was so welcoming, because it was so diverse and different to what I’m used to in Sydney. We visited many beautiful places in Rome, including the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and so many more iconic and historic locations. Staying with my host family included going to school with the host student, discovering the local area and taking part in the true Italian culture. The immersion experience was truly a memorable and once in a lifetime opportunity, and I can’t wait to do it again!
Our trip took student learning beyond the classroom, linguistically, culturally and spiritually, We were able to
see first hand experience of the many characteristics of Italian society. Such as, school life, the importance of the piazza, how religion and culture are intrinsic, how everything revolves around food, the coffee culture, and visits to many historic and religious sacred shrines and tourist attractions.
Special thanks to Laura from Exchange Me and our tour manager Fausto for their expert organization and advice.
The Christmas period was one of the highlights because I got to see a different side to the society. The reception I got from the grandparents and all the extended family was incredible.
I learned more about what family is in the Italian culture; from the feasts over Christmas to the conversations with my host parents which made me feel safe and at home.
In November last year, I was given the great privilege to travel to Rome, Italy to participate in a six week long exchange program. I had dreamt of being apart of program like this and being able to live with an authentic Italian family and have the chance to totally immerse myself in the culture. Not only did this program give me the opportunity to extend my language skills but also to learn about my Italian heritage and develop international relationships. This cultural and lingual experience has left me with memories that I will forever treasure and relish upon and a sister who will always be in my heart no matter how distant we may be.
I owe this all to Laura and Fausto from Exchange Me, as without their hard work my dream would not have been made a reality. Can’t wait to return!
The European trip was a whole new experience for me. Everything we did was interesting and breathtaking. The whole journey was a whole new experience and I would highly recommend for anyone. Throughout the trip we visited numerous churches and basilicas, each one different and unique. St Peters was an amazing experience. The Sistine Chappell was incredible. Touring through the catacombs was eye-opening. The colosseum was amazing.
We got a train to Pompeii and stayed there for one night.
In Pompeii we walked around the streets that had once been covered in volcanic ash. These streets were so different to what we would see at home. Each night we went to a different restaurant with the teachers which was one of the highlights of the trip.
My stay in the host family was life changing. It was nice to experience the culture and taste the Italian food. One of the memorable experiences was the cow intestines which I ate. My host family told me what it was after I ate it! During this week I made life-long friendships. Alex Georges, Marcellin College Randwick
I enjoyed experiencing the differences in their culture. I enjoyed meeting lots of new people and the best part was exploring Rome at night and seeing the unbelievable sights. Marc Pizzinato, Marcellin College Randwick
I had a great time with my host family. My favourite part was going to school and meeting the other kids there.
Firstly, to our Italian ‘host’ Fausto Ferazzoli. Your warmth and hospitality has made our time in Italy truly memorable. Your care and organisation, particulary with the ‘homestays’ ensured an unforgettable experience for our language students. You have treated us like family. Mille grazie per tutti!
To Laura Kostouros and the Exchange Me team, sincere thanks for all your hard work and attention to detail in putting our trip together. Your choice of accommodation for our group was suberb. Your flexible approach and patience with our countless requests and questions was very much appreciated. You ensured that our trip was an experience of a lifetime.