My feature highlight for this week is Nationality Unknown, a blog and Facebook page focusing on the feelings and emotions faced by exchange students, long-term travelers, and expats. Amarens describes herself as “a 19-year-old Dutch girl with a passion for traveling, photography and languages.” She did an exchange when she was 16 and wants to help people understand the experience of living and traveling abroad. In her words:
´Nationality Unknown´ is for the people who do not identify themselves with only one ‘nationality.’
An apt description of how so many of our students feel after their exchange!
I felt compelled to let readers know about this particular blog after reading one of Amarens’ recent posts, How to Get the Most Out of Your Exchange (According to Returnees). There’s no “rocket science” in the post. Program coordinators and experienced host parents will read it and say “we tell the students all of this every year.” But students may listen more to their peers than to the adults around them. I shared the post with our group’s current students in the hopes that the ones having adjustment struggles will see themselves — and stop and pay attention.