Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Exchange Year 2012


The highlight of my 2012 was definitely my exchange year to America. I was hosted in Washburn, Wisconsin with the See family for 6 months. It was a life-changing experience. It's difficult for me to describe it here because for me to talk about my exchange year, it deserves more than just one post. I'm so happy I had kept a journal the entire time I was there. I had written down my days in this hipster journal I bought from Typo before I left to the States. When people ask me, "So, how was your exchange year in America?", I would never have the precise answer to that. Of course, one might think being in another country without the guidance of anyone familiar to you is like starting back all over again and building a new life. Yes indeed, it was. But have they ever thought how one could also experience the hardship while being there? Have they ever indeed seen it through my point of view, what was it like being away from your loved ones, having to explain a different culture to a society? They didn't. They just assume being in another country was exciting, was fun. Well one thing I can say is, it was different and I learned a lot. I learned like I've never learned before. It was totally hands-on. No guidance through a book but see it through your eyes, yourself. 

I would never trade anything else for this opportunity to go for this program. One thing for sure was, I was able to improve on my social skills. I also learned that even though people are different, be it race or religion, they are all in the end still the same. Just humans with different personalities and characteristics. I met a lot of people during my exchange and it was exciting trying to get to know everyone. Washburn was just a small town up north in Wisconsin. When I was in Washburn High, I had taken up World Geography, Choir, Psychology and English 11. My favourite subject of them all would definitely be English 11 because that class was the most challenging ever but my teacher, Mrs Radtke was an interesting woman who made the class a lot of fun! I was also in the Girls' Soccer Team. Truth be told, I thought I might regret joining it but what do you know, after months of intense training, I finally knew how to handle the soccer ball. There were a lot of techniques to it. My teammates were rather supportive because they all cheer for one another during practices and also games. Not only that, I was also involved in the Forensics Speech Contest which thankfully, I managed to go through until the State Level in Madison and had gotten a bronze medal. 

Reminiscing back to my exchange days, I'll definitely put on a smile on my face. There were times I got homesick and had problems that were to be dealt by my own but I'm definitely happy I was given the chance to live with my host family, to go to the high school over there and to meet with interesting people who each thought me different things. With each passing day, I learned many new interesting things and it was so much of fun! Even the littlest thing got me excited. I'm thankful meeting everyone who I have crossed paths with during my exchange year. I would also like to thank my host family for taking me into their home, wanting to learn about my culture and I. It sure was something, the experience I had and I will forever cherish it. :)

Yours truly,

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