|finally a photo of me on my blog. taken by Sam, in her parka.|
Many people are surprised when they hear that it's a youth exchange programme. I always get lots of questions related to the programme when I mention it. So here is it, it's an international youth exchange programme under a service organisation called Lions Club. Malaysians should be familiar with it because we have Leo Club in most of the schools. (Leo Club is only for youth while Lions Club are for the adults) Sadly they don't have Lions Club in Singapore, or do they? I have never heard anyone who came Singapore for the exchange programme. It just so happened that both my parents are very active Lions Club members, so 2 years ago my mom encouraged me to take part in this programme since I would be having a half-year holidays after my SPM. I did and I loved it.
I think some people might be interested to know more about the programme, so here you go:
- It's only for youths from 16-22 years old. That's why I'm planning to take part again before I reach 22, because after that I wouldn't be able to join anymore! Italy would most probably be my next choice :)
- You'll be having a test and interview, you need to be selected to be able to take part. But it's not very hard to get in, especially if any of your parents is Lions Club member, they do prioritise Lions Club members' family, unless you choose countries other than Japan, Japan is the most famous choice among the Malaysians and they have limited slots, so it's harder to get in.
- You'll be staying with a few host families when you're in the selected country. The families are usually Lions Club members, they have to apply to host an exchangee too, so no worries it's not some random families that would be hosting you!
- The host families would be taking care of you, bringing you out, cooking for you, etc. Basically you just do whatever they do and follow them wherever they go. Most of the time they're very nice people, they'll always take time to plan before the exchangees reach and bring them to some famous attractions nearby.
- All you need to pay if the flight tickets, insurance and medical fee. But of course you might need to pay for some tickets or entrance fees when you're in the other countries, you can't expect them to pay everything for you! But I was extremely lucky that my host parents back in New Zealand were nice enough to pay most the things for me, buy me christmas presents and treat me like one of their daughters. I miss them so much.
- The price varies depending on which country you choose. The cheapest one from Malaysia is Japan, it costs RM2k-3k if I'm not mistaken. New Zealand is more expensive - around RM7k, while for South Africa, it'll be around RM8k if I'm not mistaken. It may sound expensive, but remember that you'll be there for a month! You learn and see things you can never get from books, it's totally worth it to me.
- Other countries that are famous among the Malaysians include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, Finland...
- More informations of the programme, here's the official page of it.
So many people might be curious - Why South Africa?
|cannot find the source, please let me know if you know whose image is this.|
It's interesting how people react when they know I'm going to South Africa this December. Some might turn "Really? Kahying? South Africa?" To people who don't know much about the country, you might be surprised to hear that some cities in South Africa are as developed as Kuala Lumpur.
While the activities and weather might not look so appealing to some of us, I insist on visiting the country at least once in my life. I believe there are some trips that would really open your eyes and change the way you see your country, and I believe this would be one of them. And so there are lessons that you can't get out of a book at the other end of the flight. Enough gorgeous views and only gorgeous views of nature, it's time to see something different, eat different food and experience different cultures. Plus, I like animals, wild animals. My sister and I often wished we were like Tarzan, staying in a jungle with all the animals that somehow won't harm us (which is not possible...)
Anyway, I haven't got the full details of the trip yet. What I know is I'll be traveling from Johannesburg (largest city in South Africa) to one of the east coast town (Port Elizabeth or Durban) and then to Cape Town! Honestly, I can't wait for it already. I'll make sure I take lots of photos and share with all of you about the trip!
Didn't expect this post so be so words-heavy. Not sure if anyone would actually finish reading it, but if you do, thank you! :)