To finish my trip I went to Hawaii and spent a week in a yurt by the sea with no phone reception or wifi, just to get my thoughts into order (much needed after all the personal growth not to mention the partying). What I concluded was that my time on exchange was undeniably worth the visa complications and horrid exchange rates. I had seen more than I had ever hoped and met incredible people who changed my understanding of the world all whilst making me laugh to tears. That is not to say it was easy: I felt discomfort, frustration and alienation and even a year later I still feel all those things writing my experiences down. However, most of all I feel a sense of accomplishment because my exchange did exactly what it is meant to – it challenged me to think.

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