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My American Experience: Svitlana Shostak, Ukraine

This summer, CHI invited its USA Work & Travel participants to take part in a contest to help show off their program spirit. Participants were asked to submit an essay, video or photo slideshow that best demonstrated their personal ‘American Experience’.  In their own words and images, here is what this year’s CHI USA Work & Travel alumni have experienced during their summer in America.

Essay by Svitlana Shostak, Ukraine, worked in Tabernash, CO

My American Experience: Colorado

Some years ago reading an article I came across wise quotation by St. Augustine:

My American Experience: Svitlana Shostak, Ukraine 1“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” I want to read my book till the end, that’s the reason I started travelling.

Before coming to the USA I visited Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, and Turkey. America was the next in my list. At first it seemed impossible for me to cross the ocean, to fly more than 9000 km but those who makes some efforts usually achieves success. Now I’m here, working, enjoying my summer holidays, meeting new people.

My American Experience: Svitlana Shostak, Ukraine 2Looking back I understand that the most difficult thing was to recollect courage and break the ice, make the first step. Now I’m happy I registered in the cultural exchange program “Work and travel” and received an opportunity to come here.

I remember everything as if it were yesterday: applying for job offer, visa interview, transatlantic flight. I worried a lot about everything and it’s clear: new country, other language. At that time I just wanted that all my expectations would come true and now, at the end of the summer I can say that they did even more than I expected.

My American Experience: Svitlana Shostak, Ukraine 3I remember the day when we received e-mail with the request of sharing our USA experience with other people. I immediately started typing something. Next morning I deleted everything I had written before: it would not be fair to tell about my summer in July. Now when only few days are left before my coming home I have a   full impression about the USA.

In the  USA I celebrated my 20th birthday and it was one of the best birthdays in my life. I was going to America alone, all my friend are left at home, the same was with my family. But here in Colorado I met a lot of new people and we turned out to be a real family. I will never forget anybody because they are always in my heart. Of course everybody missed their parents, sisters, brothers but people who were with you  here, who worked with you, who shared room with you, always helped and encouraged. I hope I will meet them at least one more time in my life and I’m really thankful for them.

I have a lot of other recollections about this summer: awe- inspiring nature, fascinating sun sets and admirable mountains.

My American Experience: Svitlana Shostak, Ukraine 4Here in Colorado I saw snow in the summer first time in my life and even made snowballs in June. Besides that I saw meteorite shower. You can ask me “And what ?You can see it everywhere!!!” But how can I explain you that in the mountains it’s other thing. Here where elevation is 3000 meters above the see level it seemed like you could reach the sky with your hand!!

My American Experience: Svitlana Shostak, Ukraine 5But the most important thing-after this trip I finally realized what I want to achieve in this life, for what I should aim at. Be as it may, our mind opens for everything new when we travel. That’s why I want to bear up those who hesitate if they should go to the USA by the program Work and Travel: it’s not only opportunity to see new country, to travel, to earn money, it’s unforgettable experience of whole life. After this summer I can tell that I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.

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