Mon 16 Jul 2012
Hi I‘m Richard and I have von Willebrand disorder. In 2010 I had the incredible fortune to win a Vision and Leadership Award as well as a grant from the Damon Courtney Memorial Endowment Fund to go on a school exchange trip to France for 5 weeks. The trip was a way for me to work on my French conversational skills as well as advance my passion for the theatre by attending a performing arts school.
So on the 25th of September 2011 I jumped on a plane to Melbourne (from Tassie) and took the longest and loneliest trip of my life all the way to France. When I got there I was greeted by my host family and was taken all the way to a suburb called Belleville translated to ‘beautiful town’ – which is near the centre of France.
As I arrived a week before the start of the school year I had the chance to do almost every well-known tourist attraction in Paris. This included going to the Louvre, the Champs-Elysees and of course the amazing Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triumph.
Once my vacation week was over it was time to get stuck into school. I attended all the same classes as my exchange student, the hardest of which was learning Spanish and their own French class however; I seemed to excel in English class! I made lots of new friends, learnt a lot about the French culture and also had a great time learning dance in a different language, especially ballet, as most ballet terms are French.
I am extremely grateful for winning the Vision and Leadership Award as it has changed my life by providing me with an opportunity I would otherwise have not had. Even better is that now my exchange student is in Australia attending all of my classes!
Submit your story to Factored In
You can also upload a video and a photo, just make sure you look over and understand ‘read me first’!
Search Stories by Category