The journey from one country to another


Caitlin Kellermeyer

From Jan 7-18 australian exchange students stayed with american families to experience what it is like to be an american.

Georgiana Gilbe, staff writer

Here at Carlsbad High we all know that time of year: the time when the Aussies are coming.  Those who get to be a part of this opportunity, on either end, American or an Australian, know just how unique and wonderful experience this is.

One of the most rewarding aspects of hosting an Australian is exposure to unique culture. They bring with them a different outlook on ways to live life, ranging from interests to habits to food tastes.

“It’s really fun we both have different perspectives and different experiences so we are always talking about the different ways we say things, but at the same time we are really similar too,” senior and Australian host Adoley Swaniker said. “I think that’s so amazing and cool that we can be from opposite sides of the earth and still be able to relate to each other so much.”

The Australians get to fully learn what it is to be a day in the life of a high school student at Carlsbad.

“Most people think its weird to have someone shadow you but I think its fun and exciting,” Swaniker said. “I’ve learned that it’s not that hard to relate to someone even when they are from somewhere so different. We’re still teenagers and I think that’s really cool that no matter where you go we are all growing up and going through the same types of things. I would definitely recommend for other students to do this.”

Australians come to the United States with different expectations, some more extreme than others. The transition from Australia to Carlsbad was not so shocking for Australian Alex Palmer.

“I’ve actually been to America twice before,” Palmer said. “It was the home stay that really made me want to come, I wanted to experience a different culture and what it’s like to live in a different country.  In a sense it was something really different that I haven’t gotten to do yet so I really wanted to take the opportunity.”

While there are so many exiting things to come with this opportunity, it can also be nerve-racking for the newcomers. Visiting another country without your family and meeting new people seems very overwhelming, but that’s just all a part of the experience.

“I was super nervous, I was also slightly intimidated at first because her family is super gorgeous and amazing,” Palmer said. “But they were really nice and welcoming so I relaxed quite quickly, then we found a lot in common and the nerves went away.”

Though we may have a different culture here in America, the people and values still remain. How Californians live is very common to Australians especially because there are no language barriers or major contrasting cultures.

“Everybody was super friendly right off the bat and I don’t know if that’s because everybody was thinking ‘oh cool an Australian!’ but I have a good feeling that everybody is super nice in general,” Palmer said. “I haven’t had any bad introductions at all since I’ve been here, and I’ve had a lot of introductions which has been very overwhelming at times, but everybody is very willing and excited to talk with me.”