Exchange Student Program (Utah)

Tacoma Community College

“To live in a homestay, never expect they will have enough food for you or the host parent will become exactly like your mummy and daddy. Talking about my first host parent, they gave me only a potato for dinner. This is something I didn’t expect. I am a growing teenager, how will I get satisfied with having only a baked potato for dinner every night? In Hong Kong, I don’t have to worry about food supply, but now I do. I feel really sad about this and disappointed. I really wish I can go back to Hong Kong at that moment. But I knew, the cost of being an exchange student is not cheap. I will waste that amount of money if I just buy a ticket to go home the next day. I am 17, I need to be independent. So, to solve this problem, I went to Wal-Mart almost every day to buy enough extra food, to make sure I won’t be starving after dinner. There is also another problem with this host. Their children want me to play with them every second. If not, they yell at me and cry. But I got my homework to do. So I haven’t done much homework in the first month of school. Anyway, I can not live like this for a whole year. I have to look for another host by myself.

When I’m in my second host parent, everything starts getting better. I have enough food and I’m no longer living in a small bed at night. I have a desk for doing my homework. The new host parent treated me so well. My hosts will help me with everything you can think of, even my schoolwork. They treat me as their son. And they even brought me to lots of trips, such as San Francisco, Disneyland, Universal Studio, Sea World, and Grand Canyon. Those are the places I wish to visit when I was little. I was so lucky to have a host parent like this. Although sometimes my host mum will argue with me about little things, but after we both calmed down, we apologize and forgive each other. It makes us more feel like a real family. We all love each other with all our passion no matter what.

About the school, it’s kind of different from Hong Kong traditional school. Unlike in Hong Kong, we have to go to the teacher’s classroom. In Hong Kong, we just sit there and wait for the teachers to come to our room. The teachers in the high school were so patient, they will make sure we understand what he/she teaching about no matter how long it takes. So I usually get good grades. Talking about friends in school, you cannot have no friends in the entire school year, right? To solve this, I speak to the people actively. Because I knew no one will speak to you unless you speak to someone. People in the United States were so nice and polite. So I am never afraid that they don’t answer me back. I also joined the sports team and school clubs. That really helped me to made lots of friends. That’s a reason why I am so popular and famous in my high school.

Those are just some of my experiences from this year. There are still more things that I haven’t mentioned here because it takes forever to write it all down. To conclude this exchange student year, I became more independent, tougher, and more handsome. Also now I can speak English confidently.

There is a quote that I’ve learned from this year. “When you suffer from hardship, don’t give up, go through it bravely, and you will notice that’s not really difficult.” Because you are actually tougher than you think. I always remember these deep in my heart to help me get through all the difficulties.”