There were many things I was worried and unsure about before my study abroad,
but as I learned more and more things about America my anxiety slowly but surely
transformed into excitement.The staff who coordinated everything for me were
also amazing, and I always looked forward to speaking with them.
Upon my arrival, I was happy to learn that were many events and orientations
were held at the office, and even then there many other things they would let
me know about or announce, so all my anxiety faded away instantly. I also must
say that the staff are always more than happy to answer any question you may
have, no matter how small or curious it is! They even took me shopping before
I went to meet my host family, so I was able to have a great first supermarket
From there, my study abroad experience only got better. The staff invited me
to many pizza parties, where they would check on me and make sure I wasn't
having any problems. And even then, they often would e-mail me to make sure
I was doing well and having a perfect experience. I definitely think that
overall the support was fantastic!
As for the homestay itself, honestly, it was the number one thing at the very
top of my list of worries. Often, I had heard that homestays "weren't good",
but despite this my own experience turned out to be amazing time for me. My
host family took me to Venice Beach, their church, and even invited me to
celebrate the 4th of July with them! There were also times were I borrowed
the kitchen to make Japanese food, and my host family was very kind in this
regard. However, my host mother's cooking was delicious, and often she taught
me the recipes to her best dishes.
The main thing I learned from my homestay is that it is super important for
me to be enthusiastic and find the courage within me to start communicating
with those around me. At first, I was nervous speaking English, with so many
questions coming at me from everywhere at once ("Where do you want to go? What
do you want to do? What should we do today?") but since my host family had
often hosted international students in the past, they understood me pretty
well. I never was alone in myself, worrying about my situation, but rather
I was often in the living room with my host family watching TV, eating dinner,
and just making many good memories while spending time together. After a short
time, all my anxiety and embarrassment about my English ability disappeared.
My original plan was to only stay for one month, but I had become so close
to and came to love my host family so much that I extended my stay to three
months! I am so thankful to have been introduced to such an amazing host family,
and therefore able to have an unforgettable and fantastic study abroad
Thank you so much!