My American Experience (by: M. Nur Hakim)

Life is a journey. That is what I think and that’s exactly what I have been working on. Make my life as amazing as I could by doing some interesting stuffs that I could do. Being an exchange student is part of them. Being a young man who gallantly go overseas, study in here, representing my country and many things else, who does not want it? Personally, it’s a pleasure for me. I’m proud of myself for what I am doing and so does my family I believe. It takes a special person to do all these things and I’m so happy that I could have been being part of them.

Many people think that being an exchange student just wasting the time, lose your study year, away from your folks, being a minority and blank, you don’t know anything there. Those are correct. Culture shock, language gap, home sick and so on. Those are things that I felt when first time I came here until probably the first two months. But, apparently you could handle those and so do I. It is just takes a while but eventually I could get over it.

A little bit story about what I have been doing here, many things definitely. Generally, I have  been staying with a host family, going to school, having many quality times with family and friends, pretty much like running my life and so for it but with many different kinds of experiences for sure. Here I live inMinnesotaStatehere.Minnesotais one of a state located in north ofUnited States, as it is located up north it is really cold in winter time, windy and a lot of snow. Guess what? We had the highest snow this year inMinnesotaduring approximately 10 years!

Like other exchange students, here I am staying with a host family. I am staying with a single family named Mr. Roberts. He is a retired teacher in my school. 72 years old but honestly he still looks so young. He is a great man and really wise person. I am happy that I could get a chance staying with him and spend many leisure times with him. Especially when he had his seizure and not be able to drive for a while I really have a great quality time with him.

Study inUnited Statesis other thing that I have been doing as a foreign exchange student. Here I go to school atSouthlandHigh School. It is not really a big school but officially I really love my school here. I meet many awesome kids and teachers who are really friendly to me. I also got a chance to know more about American school’s system. And from my little observation, school here is much easier thanIndonesia’s schools. You could take some classes that you want to attend in and for me I’m taking advantage by picking a several classes that I don’t have inIndonesia. It is really cool; honestly I seem like just having some experiences in new classes and don’t have to be stressful with school. School is joyful here!

Anyhow, briefly I came here in August last year and by the time I came it was still Ramadan. My experience about Ramadan was tough. The fasting was longer than it used to inIndonesiabecause it was still summer. It was hard for me especially during that time; I and my host dad had some trip for our summer vacation but I still had a good time though.

I just had a lot of experience during Ramadan and Eid Mubarak. I still remember when I was trying to find a mosque and Muslim community. Eventually I still celebrated those well, though it was still different when I away from my family and became a minority for me to celebrated here. I got over it and I told myself I could have been barely more appreciate this year that I’m lucky I actually always could spend those things together with my family and friends because now I know how does it feel for people who doesn’t have anyone to celebrate those with.

I had some trips during summer until finally I started school. Excited!! My first impressed when I started school that it was fun, join some sports and get in touch with kids. I had pretty much different experience about school and I extremely love my school here. Making friends with American teens and had some variety fun activities at school for instance: homecoming, prom and so for it.

Outside the school I also was enjoying numerous of activities like Halloween, my surprise birthday party, gain weight in thanksgiving, and had some gifts in Christmas and etc. I also went to some states such as:WashingtonDC,Tennessee,Arkansasand also some other trips coming up. I saw many interesting places and stuffs to explore with. I had also experience about the weather, a great summer, chilly fall, snow of winter and beautiful spring coming up.  Nothing more fun than enjoying all these cool experiences.

Now I am about counting day by day until I return toIndonesia. It is so pathetic to realize about that but now I am just trying to get as many experiences as I could. I tend to have fun here because I know that I am going to be so sad to leave when I already got used to live here until by the time I need to go back I could share many stories that I really have a real unforgettable American experience here.

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