Key’s Diary: Life in America as an Exchange Student

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Entry 1
January 06, 2004

Taegu airport…Waiting silently for my flight to depart. Everyone started crying, my mom and all the friends that came along. I was thinking to myself” America, a country with such a large territory and freedom, but I’m still very nervous. After saying goodbye to my mom in the Taegue airport, I got on the plane heading to Incheon airport. The route only took about 40 minutes, but it felt like 3 or 4 hours long.

What happen if I won’t make any friends when I get there? What happen if I don’t get along with my host family? But all of these don’t matter anymore. I caught the 9 hours flight from Incheon airport, the person who sat next to me was also going to live in a hosted family, and therefore we became friends. Time went by really slow; it felt like it was twice as long as the 9 hours.

I impatiently waited for the fly to land, as I was still sitting in the cabin.

Entry 2

After we got off the plane, we saw a signed that told us to leave the airport as soon as we can. We sat in a bus and left, then we arrived at Simi Valley. After we ate some Ramen, 8 people from the group stayed, and the rest went to CVC Tulare. Because we didn’t sleep too well on the plane, plus the time differences, we passed out for the two hours we were on the bus. Professor Lori greeted us very friendly after we arrived in CVC, and said to each one of us: “Welcome to America”, she also helped us to find our host from the hosted family. For some reason I couldn’t find my host. The dad from my hosted family is a basketball coach, the mom is a bus driver, and so I have to wait a bit longer. The first person I met from the hosted family was a guy named Pete, he happily welcomed me to their house. After that I met with the hosted dad, who was extremely tall because he is a basketball coach. Then I went to watch a basketball game with the dad (the owner): there was a guy named Jon, who is the owner’s brother, but I don’t think he was a basketball coach. I said hi to the hosted family’s mom and brother, we had some food at taco bell. Even though I don’t like the taste of it I still pretended that I do.

Entry 3

The hosted family’s house was not really big, and I wasn’t too happy about the fact that I have to share a room with Pete. Even though I really want a room by myself, but I think there are many benefits this way too.

My English got better as I go to school and communicate with Pete more and more. I had some formal classes at school with a guy named Chris, in class 6-B. A lot of students gave us warm welcomes. I wasn’t paying too much attention to their introductions as I was just focusing on how I should introduce myself. After the introduction everyone got really close.

I used to like Art classes a lot. Since I got to America, I have been playing with papers in Art classes, but it was still fun. Maybe it was because of the time differences, I felt really sleepy all day on my first day of class.

Entry 4

On Thursday we went on a field trip (the family), this was my first time going somewhere! I can’t remember anymore, but we went somewhere like a adventure part, it was fun to drive around some cars, and also, the Magic Mountain was unbelievable, I can’t describe it with words.

I sat in “X”, the whole ride only took three minutes even though I waited for an hour. That was one of the scariest thing I have ever done. The most memorable ride was the “Viper”, I wanted to ride it again but didn’t get a chance to.

After that I went to see a movie with my hosted family, somehow I understood the movie, maybe my English is getting a lot better! I was happy about it. We didn’t go to the field trip planed for the next day because of fog. I didn’t want to go back to school, but I still went at around 11:30, I was 10 minutes late.

I bought two outfits from a discounted store, they were the only things I bought. I spent the rest of my exchange program at school, but compared with the field trip, I think the classes at school were more interesting. When it was time for all the friends to leave, I didn’t even realized it but I started crying.

Entry 5

It was a bit far from my hotel to the Disney land, but I thought no matter what I have to go there at least once. I started crying when I thought I will never see this again. The next day after we woke up we went to the Disney Land.

I was disappointed at the Disney Land, I thought it would be fun but a lot of the equipments and riders were for little kids, nothing I would like to do, so we just took some pictures and left.

The Universal Studio was very interesting, the thing I remember the most was bunch of water spilled out from the Jurassic Park. We were betting on thing like whoever screams has to pay the others one dollar, or if you don’t get caught on the camera from the ride you will get a dollar.

Entry 6

On the day I left, I rode a plane to the LA airport, then capture a plane to Korean, I spent around 12 hours on the way, but I didn’t feel it was long because I slept most of the time.

I got on the flight to Taegu from Incheon airport, went to sleep after I greeted with my parents, and that was my day.

This was a very great opportunity for me. Even though 6 weeks was not really long, but I experienced and felt many different things, and realized how valuable this time was.

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credits: shineechina + loripowell (translation)

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