I stay in Florida and almost 6 months have passed since I came here.
I faced many difficulties and differences. But also I got experience which I couldn’t do that if I didn’t come to the USA. For examples, I dated on homecoming day with Jiawen who is from China as an international student. Also I hung out with other foreign exchange students around the small island in Miami. Those are great experiences for me. I would never forget such wonderful memories.
I have host parents, Heather and Paul. They are so nice to me also they have two dogs and three cats. They take me a lot of places such as We went to the Disney world for New Year’s Eve. I really appreciate it.
When I first got to their house and went to new school, I felt so tired because of I couldn’t even know what they talked about, also jet lag made me exhausted. Especially it was hard time for me to spend first one month at the school. Of course there was no friend who I knew; also I couldn’t even talk to someone in English.
Fortunately some students are so kindly, so I made friends gradually.
The turning point was when I joined the cross country team. I made good friends during the practice. We went to a lot of places for its meets and practices. Having time with my friends is very worth it, I’ll never forget about it. A friend of mine who I met in cross country said to me I’m a part of family. I’m so glad that I met those good friends.
Next I joined the soccer team. Our team is not so good at playing it, but I like my teammates. First I joined Junior Varsity team, which means I couldn’t make to join the best team called Varsity, but I practiced soccer a lot and I was getting better to play join it. I made friends in both Varsity and JV team.
So now, I have lots of friends who eat lunch together, and hang out together. To be honest it’s hard for me to have to say “good bye” to my friends someday.
Let me introduce about why studying abroad affects you so much.
You could make friends not only American, Japanese people but also people who are from other countries. It’s because we are AFS students. I have bunch of friends who are from Germany, Thailand, Finland and so on. Its worth to talk about each country and you would know how difference the other countries are!
Also you would know how Japan is a wonderful country and how Japanese mothers work hard for their children at home. You would have to be an independent person after getting back Japan.
Lastly I really appreciate for giving me an opportunity to come to America, Japan society which gave me scholarship, my family in Japan and AFS volunteers.
I couldn’t go to Florida without their help. And I’m so glad to meet my host family. That is the most grateful thing for me! I would never forget all people who support me every moment.
No word can describe how much studying abroad is worthy experience for me and you who are going to be a foreign exchange student in the future. You have to get experience. The studying abroad is not only for one year. You can have one more family, one more language and one more home country. It changes your life.
AFS60期生／ジャパン・ソサエティーみちのく応援奨学生 安藤 諒
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