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I’d like to talk about my experience as an exchange student.
When I was 19 I went to Michigan for 10 months. At the beginning, when my dad suggested me to go , I was so excited, but then, when the time came , I realized I wasn’t ready to be so far away from my family and friends too. But at the end I left... I took the plane and I started my new adventure. ..At first it wasn’t easy for me: I didn’t know English well so, every time they told me something that I wasn’t able to understand, I asked them to repeat more slowly, otherwise I would just nod my head without understanding what they were saying. I also changed my first host family because I didn’t feel at ease with them. My first American mom was quite strict and she didn’t let me call home or chat on the internet with my family when I needed to. Every time my parents called me she would say that I wasn’t there even though I was right next to her. She thought that talking or thinking in your own language wasn’t a good way to learn a foreign language!! So we started arguing about it and at the end I decided to move from there even though school had already begun. This problem increased my fear of living in another family, or going to a new place or a new school…But it didn’t take so long to find out that the new family was completely different from the other one.American families are very nice and friendly and they enjoy their life day by day, without thinking too much about the consequences of their choices and my American family was just like that. It was made up of 4 people: my mom Candy, my dad Scott, and my two little sisters Ailie, who was 4, and Emma, who was 8 years old. They were so nice to me and I have always thought that they considered me as their real daughter and I considered them as my real parents too . We got on very well and became very close.I traveled with them a lot. We went to see Scott’s parents in Travel City for the Christmas break .We also visited New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia for the Easter holidays, /and then went with other friends /to Minneapolis too . It was awesome.From a culinary point of view, I was very lucky to live with that family because my dad is a chef so the food was pretty much genuine although it couldn’t be compared to our Mediterranean cooking. In the USA, they don’t care much about eating healthy, in fact they prefer to eat foods like sandwiches, hot dogs, chips and they love butter. They put it everywhere: on pasta, on toast with jam… Sometimes they skipped meals and then replaced them with pop corn, peanuts or chocolate. They also like to drink lots of soft drinks such as Coke, Fanta , Sprite and if someone was on a diet, they would have never thought of drinking water, but preferred diet Coke without thinking that it was bad as well .Those are the reasons why I think that the USA is the country with the highest percentage of obesity in the world, and those are the reasons why I put on 10 pounds during my stay too. If I had been there for other two years, I would have probably become obese too. School was the most interesting part of this adventure as I found out that the American school system is completely different from ours. Our teachers were also involved in helping us out in relating to others and most importantly how to relate to society. In fact, I was in a senior class and our Social Studies teacher taught us how to write a C.V. and we also got to simulate a job interview with the school’s headmaster. It was fu Students don’t usually have any homework to do. If they do have some , they can do it at school during their study hall. There aren’t any oral exams but only multiple choice written ones and they spend a lot of time practicing in laboratories. An advantage of not having homework is that the greatest percentage of American teenagers have a job. They work to earn some money to be independent from their parents. That could be the reason why they don’t waste money to buy designer clothes as Italians do, but dress more casual. It’s also rare to see an American teenager with a new car. They are use d to driving old and sometimes broken cars . Here in Italy, teenagers don’t have time to work as they have a lot of homework to do and in their free time, they usually go out with their friends or they practice sports. So when they need money, they have to ask their parents for it. So… I can say I lived in a fantastic place and I think everybody should have an experience like mine. Firstly, it helps you to grow. Secondly, it gives you the chance to learn a foreign language easily and quickly and gives you the chance to live with another family and meet lots of friends .Finally and most importantly it broadens your social horizons!
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