I actually did it!

Authored by:
Karelia E.

Karelia E.

Okay, so where do I start…

Dear exchange students and parents I want to share with you my experience of living here in the United States. My name is Karelia E., and I am 15 years old. I arrived in the United States in august. The first goodbye was to my school teachers and especially the good food, but I didn’t know that till now. The next step saying bye to my after-school activities, and right after that my friends. It got hard the night before my trip, saying goodbye to my brother. Then the big day at 3:00 am is saying goodbye to my parents. It seemed so unreal. 

Anyways my first destination wasn´t my host family but New York. The city that never sleeps. Those were my three orientation days with other exchange students from CIEE. Flying with other exchange students was great. I made so many memories in three days. I remember when we were sitting on the bus that was driving us to our hotel in Newark and you could see the high buildings of New York City in the distance. Of course, all phones were out taking pictures and selfies! The next days we went sightseeing in all those dream places. Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Chinatown, Ground zero, and of course Time square. We visited many other places and went a bit shopping. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I can promise it was an experience I wish everybody could have. 

Now to my first day at my placement. Washington State was my next destination. Ufff yeah, the seconds before meeting my host family was nerve-racking. I didn’t know what would happen it was a bit scary, to be honest. But the second I was with them it was like a million stones fell from my shoulders. It was the moment when I thought “You actually made it”. 

Many people ask me what something is you immediately noticed about America. May sound weird but all the people here are super friendly. It is totally different from my home country Germany, so many people are giving you compliments out of the blue or talking about their lives with you. Also, they ask about your day. 

Excitement, nervousness, curiosity, pride, scared, and happiness were emotions I felt during this whole trip to fulfill my dreams. It is crazy and overwhelming, but life would be boring if everything was always normal right? Do I miss my friends and family? Yes. Would I change anything about my situation? Never! 

Dear exchange students out there in the world, do it now it´s the time to live! 

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