Student Blogger Vitoria is from Brazil! Vitoria is a junior at Waukesha High School and lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with her host family on the Academic Year Program. You can read her other posts here, here, here, and here.
By Student Blogger Vitoria
Part of my preparation for this year was watching YouTube videos and reading blogs of people who had been foreign exchange students previously. That helped me a lot with learning more about their host country cultures, about the exchange student life, and of course, preparing myself to live my dream experience. By the way, I think that was what made me want to share my experiences with you guys, because those were the videos and articles I would appreciate the most.
But I had to tell myself that each experience is unique. I couldn’t have my year all “planned” in my head based on someone else's experience. What do I mean by that?
I am not saying that you can’t be looking forward to having your prom moment just like in the movies, for example. I am telling you to not create “The Perfect Prom” picture in your head based on someone’s else experience, to not be disappointed in case it does not go as planned.
I’ve decided to write this reflection because I have seen so many people, even on the comments of the videos I used to watch, complaining about how their experiences were disappointing compared to someone else, because they wanted it to be the exact same. And honestly? How boring would it be if we all had host families and teachers with same personalities? I don’t think it's worth it not making the most of our exchange program just because we've got someone else's idea of an exchange year stuck with us.
Your friend’s school is not better than yours. Their host family is not better than yours just because they act differently. It is different, that is all. We are not clones, no matter what country we are from, so there is no way everything is going to be the same. Instead of wishing for having an exchange year just like someone else had or is having, wish for having a unique experience you’ll forever be proud of. Just focus on having an awesome year just like you are.
Come prepared to surprise yourself by the unexpected. Go for your own experiences. Do your best to have the best year of your life. This is your year. In the end, looking behind and being glad for having your own story that you will tell your family and friends back home is what matters. You will realize that your unforgettable year is made of the little moments and things that nobody else but you is living. Make it count.