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Balance

I am a not so old Pie student who went to Australia last year (the kiwi year) with your organisation. I have to say that I was extremely excited by the idea to go and live one year in a foreign country and above all Australia where I had already gone once before. The PIE programme seemed to be exactly what I was looking for…fully immerse in a new culture and living with “real Aussies”. Unfortunately I am sorry to let you know that I am one of the 17 (or a bit more) who haven’t finished their year abroad. I think you should realize that it represents quite a huge number of students. I don’t want to criticized too much as it’s not my job and also because now I am happy with what I lived during my “gap year”. I just want you to be aware that it’s easy to say that us students have to adjust ourselves…but sometimes there are moments in which adaptation is definitely not possible. My stay in a suburb of Melbourne is a good illustration. I won’t tell all the details because there are no points to do so now…but the thing is that I believe you should be more careful of what the organisation in the host countries you work with are doing. In Australia for example, they left me finding a new host family by myself, and when someone from my school offered me to stay a few times at her place, the Organisation completely stopped looking for another one. I also want you to know that when I was not feeling really good, I would have loved to receive a call from PIE France saying they were there, but I received none…The only answer we got was that we had to deal with the Australian organisation…actually PIE France didn’t exist anymore…and I was left alone, without any other French-speakers or even other foreigners who could have been living a similar experience abroad, and far far away from home. After having felt anger and hatred toward you, when I was back to my home country, I started to analyze my stay, and finally I now think that I learned a lot…more than ever during these few months. I learnt how to be more tolerant, how to take people the way they are, how to deal with problems far from home, how to be more responsible and how to overcome my limits. It was hard, but in every not-so-good experience there are a lot to learn and actually even some good things. You just have to find them and I think I did. That’s why I don’t regret anything : the PIE programme just did not fit me (almost 18 and having already finished high school in France I might have been a bit too old). Back home, I finally decided to go in a foreign country again…I am determinated and motivated and want to achieve everything I begin. And what I began that time was to be bilingual. After 4 months I only had a good “everyday English” and I wanted more. I therefore went 6 months to England, in Cambridge with another organisation (I don’t know if I can give the name). With real English lessons I made huge progress… I also don’t regret the all PIE thing and above all the meeting we had from the 6th to the 8th of May 2006 as I met Daniel, my “kiwi” boyfriend there. We have been together (travelling quite a lot) for more than one year now and that’s OUAW! Awesome! So even if you did not achieve all what you had to with me…you were a really good matrimonial agency ! And thanks for that! This meeting was priceless… To conclude I can say that there is not only one way to manage to do what we want to. You just have to find the one which fits you…mine was maybe a bit harder (and more expensive…thanks Mum and Dad.. lol) but I also got love so all that worth it. For you PIE, I can also say that sometimes even if you do your job as good as you can it does not work out. That’s life, I am not spiteful, I had the time of my life !
Wishing you to be more successful with the following prom…

Olivia, Australie 2007,