Our current outbound Youth Exchange student George is almost half way through his 12 month exchange in Vienna, Austria. George writes: 
I’m fast approaching the halfway point on my exchange and going through the emotional experience of farewelling my homebound oldies. I’ve made some great friends in the group and I look forward to meeting the newbies in August. Over the last couple of months it’s been getting much hotter and the weather is now consistently in the low 30s - not the most pleasant heat in a built-up city like Vienna. Other than lots of swimming and a switch in host families I don’t have too much to report. I did a farewell camping trip with the other exchange students to present the completion certificates to the oldies and formally say goodbye. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes but enjoyed the beautiful village of Mattsee, in Salzburg state. A highlight of the last two months for me was travelling to Salzburg and staying with a friend’s host family with 5 other exchange students, volunteering a helping hand to build a new deck for the family. We got our hands dirty in sweltering heat and later a thunderstorm but we got the job done and were rewarded with amazing food and hospitality. We got along so well with the family that they invited us back two weeks later to do a free canyoning trip with the host dad, who is a trained canyoning guide. It was so much fun and I gained a lot of confidence by free-falling 14 metres into a narrow canyon with no ropes - had to check some of the fine print on my insurance for that one. Looking forward to the rest of Summer and the second half of my exchange!