venerdì 21 agosto 2015

My Exchange experience.
17.08.14 – 17.08.15

Today is exactly one year from my departure for the U.S; it feels ureal, weird.                       
Today at this time I was about to leave my sweet country and all the people that I love to go on the other side of the ocean, leaving them for ten months.                                                                                 
When I first told that I would have left going to an exchange year, people looked at me as I was crazy and asked me why just the new continent, and what I had to answered did not satisfied them. 
Why I did choose the United States? I did of course because we all are affascinated by it, that we admit it or not, we all are dreaming about the Big Apple or the countless bright beach in Florida just from what the media are showing us over and over again; but I did also because I wanted to experience something new knowing that not the whole country is like the big cities.                                                                                                                                                                 
When I told it to my friends  they were almost more excited that me, they were daydreaming for me before I could realise it.                                                                                                                       
For me, I was expecting nothing. I did not want to create fake castle in the air about my upcoming life, I would have take it whenever it would have been presented.                             
Certainly the most hardly thing was that I did not know the state I was going to until the month before my departure.                                                                                                                     
Since is a sort of rule that all the students that apply to partecipate at the program have to wait to know the host family that in the next months will host him or her, and it is a very long process that in some case can take till the week before the departure, or as mine three.              
So, the state I was going to was the state of Arkansas. Most of the people do not know that it was even a state, and I was sort of in the same way when I knew it. The city I was going to was Texarkana, that is a very original name for a city seeing that is right on the state line between Texas and Arkansas.                                                                                                                                        
In that moment, when I knew I was going there, I was feeling extremely high. I knew someone who did not know personally me would have had the pleasure to host me basing only on what I wrote about myself during the past months.                                                                                          
My host family turned to be a very normal family. I had my host mom, dad and even a sister who had my same age. And, even if at the beginning be with her during mostly of the day might have been a problem due to our apparently contrasting attitudes, yet at the sixth month of my year she become the better thing that could have ever happened to me.                           
She always was there for me as a constant point to look at.                                                               
She basically helped me with all; from the tiniest thing that could have been some periods issues at school to the bigger and important ones like times in which I really felt alone.                         
Despite what you can think about the american culture, a part from Thanksgiving some family do not use big celebration during Christmas or Easter, and was during this holidays that the italian culture resurfated.                                                                                                                                    
I missed our long tables with all my relatives sitting around eating Lasagne, meet or chicken, potatoes and all kind of food.  Instead I passed my american Christmas Eve eating in a chinese resturant near the lake house that my host family owned and driving back home on the Christmas Day.                  
To bring the american stereotypes down, even my school was not big as the movies show us. Actually it was smaller than my italian school, so small that everyone knew each other and that in just few days let me know the most part of the ones who have become my friends through the months.                                                                                                                                         My school had just four little hallway and the students could stopped and talk to each other in it, seeing that we had more that five minutes in the between classes and usually the rooms were across each others. Plus the most part of the students did not used lockers, so this helped to manage time. 
I also did not use them; the first day of school I was given one( the number 125) with the right combination, but open it was very complicated so I just carried a bag.    
The school day was very long, we started at 7.50 and we ended at 15.05 and we had just the lunch period at 12.00 to relax ourselves. 
Yes, their lunch is at twelve in the morning, if you’re lucky to get second lunch, otherwise you would have it at eleven o’clock.  
The cafeteria wasn’t big either, and contrary to the round tables on tv shows they were long and near each others. Also they were painted as the school colors, my school represented the Dragons, therefore the colors where green and white.                                                                                                                               
Even if my experience was not as a television show, I am quite satisfied of it. because living in a big city or going to an huge school could have made me truly believe at the american movies, instead this all experience made me think differently about what I thought before my departure; I really know that nothing is how is shown, and every country has problems. Even the United States, a country that all the world think as the perfection.                               
This experience made me revalue my native country, in Italy we have some of the better places in this world and we don’t even realise it because we are too busy planning on doing trips abroad that we don’t even look at what our lands offer us.                                                    
Even so, it made me also think that in this planet there are different parts that I wanted to know and right know I can’t be stuck in one place. I want to travel and live as much lifes as I can, starting on college life that could take me abroad again.                                                         
What I learnt in this ten months will always be part of me from now on, and it surely will helped me find my way for the future.                                                                                                      
And because of that I invite all the students that have the possibilities of leave and take a risk on experience what I had, to do it. 
Do it because it is worth it. It will always be worth; leaving the ones you know, your school, your family, the pain at the beginning of your experience, the cultural shock the first month, the new friends that you made, your new family, the tears, the hugs, the games, the dances, the bonfires, the camping, the airports, the other exchange students that become your best friends or better your family, and the goodbyes.  It’s all worth it.  

soundtrack _
Beyonce - If I were a boy
Enrique Iglesias ft Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona - Bailando 
Jay Z ft JT - Holy Grail
Ellie Goulding - Beating Heart
Cris Cab - Loves me not
Tove Lo - Habits
Goo Goo Dools - Iris
Jeremih ft YG - Don't tell 'em
Nico & Vinz - Am I wrong
Sam Hunt - Leave the night on
Charlie Boy - I look good
Fergie - Fergalicious
Ne-Yo ft Juicy J - She Knows
Lil Mama - Lip Gloss
Fergie ft Ludacris - Glamorous
Jesse McCartney - Beautiful Soul
SoMo - Ride
Jacob Whitesides - Words
Taylor Swift - Blank Space
2 Chainz ft Wiz Khalifa - We own it
K camp - Money baby
Usher - Burn
J. Dash - Wop
The Fray - Never say never
Bruno Mars - Locked out of heaven 
Bruno Mars - Uptown funk
Bruno Mars - When I was your man
M.E - Dance like a stripper
Ellie Goulding - Love me like you do
Sam Smith - I'm not the only one
Chris Daughty - What about now
Migos - Bricks
Hoosier - Take me to church
Jake Owen - What we ain't got
Ed Sheeran - Don't
Ed Sheeran - Thinking out loud
Ed Sheeran - Photograph
David Nail - Whatever she's got
Mario - Let me love you
David Guetta - Hey Mama
Jason Derulo - It girl
Jessie J - Flashlight
Taylor Swift - Bad Blood
Rihanna - Take a bow
T Wayne - Nasty 
Fifth Harmony - Worth it
Betty Wap - Trap Queen
Too Lo - Talking Body
David Archuleta - Crush 
Flo Rida - GDFR
Needtobreathe ft Gavin DeGraw - Brother
Jonas Brothers - Year 3000
T Pain ft Joe Galaxy - Booty Work
Madilyn  Bailey - Titanium


Some bits..

                                                                  Top of the rock.
                                                           Ny, 18.08.14
" bc this picture will always represent my experience. "                                                         

F.L.A.G Camp. 
Michigan, 23.08.14
" bc after three days w\o technology we were kinda done. "

Texarkana, Ar.
Lexie showing her cooking skills 

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