The night before the departure I felt doubt for the first time. I wondered why I even did this. I forgot all reasons to spend an exchange year in Estonia or an exchange year at all. It was the first time of doubt, but soon I was able calm myself again and remember the advantages of an exchange year:
- Being able to pause your everyday life
- The possibility to get to know a completely different kind of life
- Seeing a new culture
- Finding out about yourself
- Getting to know another family’s way of life
- Learning a new language
- Visiting another country most detailed
- Becoming acquainted with a different school
- Meeting new people
- And last but almost the opposite of least you will be able to act completely different and nobody will be surprised, because this is how they met you. What I mean is that you will be able to be how you always wanted to because no one will wonder about how fast you changed, nobody will tell you that you are not yourself (I hope you understand what I am trying to explain)
The next day all doubts vanished at the latest when I met another girl at the airport – I already knew her – who will also spend a year in Estonia. We shared our excitement and some moments later five students in YFU T-shirts sat in the plane to Frankfurt.
In Frankfurt we were about 20 students who after two enjoyable hours of waiting finally departed in the plane to Tallinn.
Note: do not change your seat reservation when flying to an exchange with YFU. YFU reasonably booked seats that were placed next to each other. I had changed my seat, because I wanted to sit by the window but during my flight to Tallinn none of the YFU students sat next to me. I was lucky because the two seats next to me were not booked and I could use all three of them, but that might not be the case every time.
The airport in Tallinn is proportionally small and so we had no problem finding our way to the baggage claim area. There we had to wait for over half an hour before all our suitcases arrived but the volunteers from YFU Estonia welcomed us anyways.
About the arrival orientation camp I am not going to write too much because it was similar to our YFU orientation camp before the exchange year and there we were told not to tell other students too much about it. Anyways here is a small summary:
We had language lessons to learn Estonian, once a day. We had workshops where we were told how to solve problems and other things. Both the lessons and the workshops were led by very nice YFU volunteers. One disadvantage was that the majority of exchange students were German, so many of those started to speak in German. It was hard to keep speaking English in order not to suspend the other students. All in all it left a very positive impression. All people participating were kind. With everyone I spoke with I was able to have a good conversation and it was not hard to find someone to talk to. Also it was the first time in my life that I actually danced (there I dance just freestyle but it was the first time in general I danced). It was the last night before leaving to our host families and most people danced to the music that played constantly. Usually I do not like that kind of music and I never really danced before. There I danced to music I did not know (which is not hard because I just usually do not know any music) and with people I had met only few days before. I really enjoyed it.