Everytime I thought about studying in America, I became filled with the excitement. I couldn´t help smiling and sometimes people found me skipping through the park and singing random English songs.
Two years ago, when I told everyone that I wanted to study in the USA, people laughed at me and told me that my dreams would stay just dreams. But I never lost a belief that dreams do come true and went to the agency for students who want to study abroad. I asked them about the possbility of studying in America. They gave me tons of papers to fill, tests to prove that I would be able to live abroad surrounded by people speaking in different language, but I have managed to do it and get here.I have become an exchange student.
When I first saw skyscrapers touching the skies, people rushing who knows where, huge advertisements everywhere, I was so overwhelmed that I almost screamed. I was jumping , laughing and taking pictures with tourists from Asia. My reactions might have seemed a little too much for all the people around, but when you consider the fact that I left a village with two thousand inhabitants surrounded by mountains whose tops are covered with snow almost year round, and a village in which while walking to school you have to be very careful not because of the cars, but because of the cows wandering through the street, you begin to understand that it was a lot to take for me. If we see five cars traveling down the street in a row, we usually say: “What crazy traffic today!”
On that day, I was sitting in the bus in New York City counting the cars as fast as I can ... impossibe.
Everything seems so different. In my opinion most exchange students are amazed by things that are totally normal for Americans. Like grocery shopping. A trip to the grocery store is like entering Willy Wonka´s chocolate factory. I was walking through aisles with my mouth wide open. The stores are enormous.
“My American high school is enormous too!” that´s what I had on my mind when I first saw Matoaca High School, where I´ve become an 11th grader. My first intent was to become a senior so I could continue with studies at an American college, but that was not possible. In order to get a high school diploma, I have to finish my high school in Slovakia. I still hold on to my desire to come back to America though.
The toughest part about being an exchange student is to assimilate to the new culture, new people and be more responsible and independent. An exchange student has to learn a lot and sometimes it´s very hard for us. We have to deal with lot of things at the same time such as time difference, which causes us to fall asleep anytime and anywhere. Everything is different- the food, the language, the environment, the rules. Not only that, you start to behave more like an adult with all the responsibilities but you start to value your own country more as well, because you know that there, over the Atlantic Ocean, your family is supporting you, is excited with you and waiting for you to come back. That makes your home the most valuable place in the world, the place where the heart is.
America has a lot to offer, there´s always something to do, which is great because there´s not enough time for being homesick. Although thoughts about my family tug at my heartstrings, I am enjoying my time here and I am very excited for the two months left of my visit.