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Why I Recommend Being an Exchange Student

Marina is from Spain and is currently a participant in CHI’s Academic Year Program.  In her own words, here is why she would recommend being an exchange student.


My home country is Spain, Europe. And in less than 2 weeks I´ll be 6 months in the United States. When I was almost ready to leave, three or four days before my flight I was nervous, as every kid that wants to live the experience of an exchange student year.  But I was really excited and ready to learn a new language, know about different cultures and be part of a new family.

Then one month after arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had to change my family, if you are reading this, I´m sure that you are thinking two things:

  1. Wow! She is so lucky, she is in Las Vegas!  I can promise that even a little city will be a great experience.
  2. And the second thing would be, why did she have to change families?  The answer is really easy, it was better for me. CHI is really looking out for you as an exchange student. And it was the best thing ever. I liked my first host family, but the new one is amazing.  They have a little girl, just 4 years old.  Sometimes it is difficult, because I’ve never had a sister, but she is already like my real sister.  And my host parents, are great too, I love to spend time with them.

So don´t be scared if something does not go the way you thought it would.  Sometimes the best things are those that you can’t even appreciate at first.  Those are the ones that you are going to remember. Now I have friends all over the world, from Italy, Brazil, Germany and the United States.  It’s going to be so hard to say bye to them.  So I will say see you soon!

I want to share with you my best experience so far, but it´s difficult because there are so many!  One of my favorites was spending the day zip lining with friends.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we had great views.

Marina 1

Another great day was spending the day in the snow with my host mom and my sister.  We tried to make snowman (becuase my host sister is a huge Frozen fan) but it was impossible.  So we just found a snowman someone else made and took a picture with it.

Marina 2

I can’t forget my host dad!  I have a really good relationship with him.  He is funny and he helps me a lot. The picture below is the perfect one to show you that a new family for a year is the best thing ever. They will be my second family forever, and I really hope to maintain this for a long time.

Marina 3

You can see my year is going great!  That is why I recommend being an exchange student.  It can be hard the first weeks or maybe even a month, but it’s really worth it. In the past six months I grew a lot as a person.  Now I can say that I’m mature.  Once last thing – I went went to the movies one week ago and when I left I was thinking how proud I was because I could understand the entire movie!  It was really great feeling!

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