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Exchange student part 2

Exchange student part 2 | Stories |

It was a hot afternoon in the New York City. The temperature was about 90 F and the sun was shining. An airplane from Helsinki had just arrived to the JFK international airport. The airport was full of people and there was very hot inside of the building. There was standing about 40 teenagers from different countries with a yellow backbag waiting to get their passport checked. They all were exchange students.

     Aleksandra was the first one of her group in the line. She was waiting to get her passport checked. The desk opened and a lady shouted: "NEXT, PLEASE." it was Aleksandra's turn. She went to the desk and gave her passport to the lady. Then the lady asked: "Why are you here for?" Aleksandra frozed up and started shaking. "I'm an exchange student." She answered. "Okay, well give me the papers that has your host family information, the visa and put your fingers on that device so I can scan your fingerprints, please." Aleksandra gave the papers what the lady asked for and placed her right hand's fingers on the scanner. The scanner scanned her fingers and then the lady gave her the papers back and said: "Okay, you're all set, have a great time in the USA." Aleksandra took few steps forward and there was a black line on the ground and a sign. "You're in the USA now."

    When the whole group went through the checking, there was 4 adults waiting for them outside of the airport. "Welcome ya'll! Hope your flight was good. Now we are going to our camp. It's at New Rochelle. The bus ride there will take about 30 minutes and its still in the NYC area." One of the adults shouted. All the teenagers hopped on to the bus. Aleksandra was sitting next to the other finnish girl.

    The bus ride took about 30 minutes, like the guy said. The bus arrived to the campus of New Rochelle College. There was many buildings on the campus area and first the exchange student headed to the office f the college. They took a picture of all the teenagers and gave them a visitor card with their own picture. "You have to keep this card around your neck always, when you walk around the campus because here's security guards. They all got a keychain where the card was hanging on.

    The camp was a preparation camp and it was meant to prepare the exchange students for the year. Aleksandra and the all other kids had 3 classes for a day about U.S history, culture in USA and their habits. In the evenings they had games and at the last night theyhad disco.

    Aleksandra was very shy at first but she got friends from the preparation camp and had a lot of fun. At the disco she danced about 4 hours and at 12 o'clock, she headed back to her room and went to sleep.

    It was 4AM. Aleksandra's alarm o'clock went on. She woke up and headed to shower. Luckily, she had packed up her stuff earlier, because she was in a hurry. The bus was leaving at 5AM to the different airports.

    About 6AM, the bus stopped at the LaGuardia's airport.That was where she had to leave the bus. She took her suitcase and her backbag with her and went to the baggage check. Luckily she wasn't alone there, there was also seven other exchange students. They went through the security and sat down close to their gates. After an hour, the monitor went on: "This is the first call for the flight 974b to syracuse. That was her flight. She said goodbye to the other exchange students and went to the desk of her gate. She showed her ticket to the lady and entered to the plane. 3 hours after she was in syracuse and her hostfamily picked her up from the airport. Her adventure in the states started.

    During her exchange year she went to different states. Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Sout Carolina. She flew to Colorado, so she visited at Chigago's and Texa's airports. She drove with her hostfamily to Florida, so she went through all the east coast's states. Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. She joined to the school's sport teams too. In the fall she was on soccer team, in the the winter on volleyball team and in the spring she joined to the softball team. She had a lot of fun and the team mates were great. She had few accidents during the softball season. For example she got an black eye just week before prom because she got hit by a "softball". The softball isn't really a soft, she realized after that. But luckily her bruises in the eye got coverep up with make up. Her hobby had been for 9 years volleyball, so that was also her favorite sport in the US.

        In America, Aleksandra had 10 different classes. The weird part was that she had them whole year, always at the same time. In Finland the school system was different. First class in the morning she had studyhall where they supposed to be doing homework or reading a book. Aleksandra usually just talked with the other kids while she was also doing her homework. Then she had U.S history, which was a difficult subject for her because all the kids had already studied it for about 6-8 years. But Aleksandra survived. Luckily. After U.S history, she had english. The english class was one of her favorites, however most of the time they read Shakespeare. She didn't even understand Shakespeare in Finnish and now she had to study it in English. However, she did good job and she always passed the class with good grades. After english, she had trig math. That was the most difficult class she was in. Aleksandra was ok in math in Finland but suddenly she had do to math in american way and of course, all the problems were written in english. Then she had 30 minutes lunch break, at 11.38 the bell always ringed and it was time to head to the cafeteria for lunch. The american school food was mostly junk food. Pizza on fridays, usually hamburgers, ribs, french fries, chicken fringers, cheese sticks etc. The school lunch did offer a fruit. Chopped fruits in a can with sugar juice. Yum. About 30% of the kids in school brought their own lunch, sometimes Aleksandra did too. After lunch she had again 30 minutes long studyhall, in the library. She usually went on a computer and looked up the news. At 8th period, she had gym or studyhall. That depended on what day it was. On mondays, wednesdays and fridays she had on 8th period studyhall and on tuesdays and thurdays she had gym. After 8th period, she had U.S government and economics. That was her favorite subject in Finland so Aleksandra liked it also in the U.S. On 10th period Aleksandra had world culture. It was a fun class with an great teacher.

          At 2.33 pm. the school ended and everyone headed to after school sports or to the school bus. It took about 40 minutes for Aleksandra to get home with the bus. In the morning, the bus picked her up at 7 o'clock and she was at school about 7.40 am.

         She made a lot of new friends in the US and the year was more than she could have ever expected. It was perfect. In the Aleksandra's school were about 150 students from the 7th grade to 12th grade. It was a small school compered to her school in Finland, where was about 700-800 students just in the grades 10th to 12th. There was also two other exchange students in her school. They were both from Germany and after few months, Aleksandra became bestfriends with the other one.

          Aleksandra had fun time in the states. The day when she had to leave, was horrible. She didn't want to leave her friends. However, Aleksandra knew it was time to go back to home. She promised to her friends that she will come for a visit on next summer and it helped her a lot. She could always come back. It was the best year of her life and it wasn't the end. It was the beginnin.



americangirl's insight:

This is story is my own story about my exchange year in the USA. It'd take weeks to write down the whole story , but this is basically it.  :)

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Exchange student part 1

Few years ago, at the schools yard, was a big truck full of people handing out ads. In the window, was a girl, looking out of it. She was wondering what the ads were about. 

   Suddenly, out of nowhere, the girl's friend walked down the hallway to the girl and said "Look,  they're handing out these cool ads of summer exchange and exchange years on abroad! I want to go to Malta for this summer! You should come too!" The girl answered: "Yeah? That's so cool but I'm not very interested going on some few week trip." Her friend grabbed her hand and started walking to the frontdoor.

   When they were outside, her friend still hold her hand and kept walking towards to the truck. "C'mon, these trips are good for your language skills and they're a lot of fun" The girl's friend said. "Okay, okay! I'll take few papers and read them" At the truck, her friend loosened the grip . One guy from the truck came to this girls and handed few papers. "Oh I already got one! But my friend didn't." Her friend said. "Oh okay, what's your name?" The guy asked. "My name is Aleksandra." The girl answered and the guy smiled and said: "Okay Aleksandra! Well, here's a little bit about exchange trips! I was an exchange student couple years ago and I had a lot of fun! Give it a shot!" She just smiled and took the paper and shoved it to her bag. The bell ringed. It was time to go back to inside. Aleksandra and her friend headed back to classroom.

   When the school ended, Aleksandra headed to home. She did her homework, and watched TV. At 6 pm. she was bored and remembered the paper in her bag. She pulled her schoolbag on her bed and searched for the paper. The paper was a little bit wrinkled. She started to reading it. "The exchange year will be the best year of your life". That was a sentence which got her attention. She put the paper back to her bag.

   At the 10 pm, she was tired. She switched off her lights and tried to sleep. But she couln't fall asleep. She was cozy and tired but she didn't fell asleep. "... The best year of your life." She couldn't stop thinking about the paper. She decided to search for more information tomorrow.

   Aleksandra woke up at 9 am. It was a beautiful and sunny saturday morning. She opened her laptop and googled "exchange year on abroad". She found a lot of information about the exchange. Suddenly, her mom opened her door and said: "Good morning! What are you looking up from the internet?" Aleksandra showed to her mom the page where she was on. "Oh, exchange! That sounds good! Would you like to do an exchange?" Then Aleksandra really started thinking about it. It was a great opportunity. She kind of could start a new life in the other country. In a different enviroment with new people.

   1 year and 7 months later, Aleksandra was standing at the airport. She had one suitcase and a yeallow backbag. It was 5 am in the morning. The sun had just got up. "This is a call for flight 928b to london."  That was aleksandra's flight.

   Aleksandra had a dream. To be an exchange student. Her dream started 1 year and 7 months ago, when her mom asked from her a question. "Would you like to do an exchange?". YES. Aleksandra was pumped. When she entered to the plane and had sat down, for the first time she really thought about the whole thing. She was sad a little bit, because she had to say goodbye to her family. But she knew, that she's going to see them after a year.

   1 year, 7 months and 1 day ago, she didn't even know about exchange student opportunity. And now, she was going to live on abroad for a year. In the upstate New York. It had been her biggest dream for 1 year and 7 months and now it was really going to happen. She was ready for an adventure.


americangirl's insight:

This is a story. It's actually my own story. I was an exchange student in the USA last year. The beginnin of my trip was really like this what I wrote here. It was really amazing opportunity and I would do it again, anytime. Im really thankful for my parents for this opportunity and I wish everyone could have a chance to do an exchange. It really grows you as a person. Well, I'll continue my story later in a new scoop!

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