When I came to Taiwan, I had two aims. The first of which is pretty obvious, to learn more about the music that I love and to immerse myself in the music culture. The second however, was to prove to everyone that this place was GOOD for me. That it would make me into a better person, and put all the doubters to shame.
And it's really something that I've found while I've been here. I've become more independent, more intelligent, and (I like to believe) more beautiful on the inside and the outside. I have a better idea of who I want to be and what I want to do with my life. Although there are still huge gaps in my formula, I really do believe that I understand myself so much better than I did before I got here.
Before I got here, I was pretty much a mess. I didn't know who I was and there were too many everyday things that were getting in the way of me finding out more about myself. I wasted pretty much all my high school years in seclusion : learning more about music and studying was my whole world. And I couldn't find anyone who could give me answers to who I was and what I should do to follow the path that was mine in life. I think it's pretty young to be stuck in a rut in life, but I think that's pretty much what it was. Everything was stagnant, unchanging; the things which were moving under the surface and trying to get out to enact change were forever being suppressed by fear and anxiety.
With so many things going on around me, there was no buffer time for me to try things out, to figure out what worked for me and what didn't. But being here and having all this time to myself and immersing myself in an environment with the things that I love the most, it's done nothing but good for me.
Everyone's exchange experience is different; but the best advice I can give you is to choose wisely, and to make the best of every minute, every second of it. Have no regrets and I promise you the time of your life.