LuHi: View from an exchange student
Making new friends sounds like a typical everyday thing for most teenagers, but what is not so typical about Kate Branson’s new friendships is that they were made on a different continent. Kate is an exchange student from Australia who spent two and a half months studying and living in America.
Kate’s favorite part of coming to America was finally seeing New York City. She said it was “awesome” to go to the top of the Empire State building, and experience all of the other wonderful parts of the city. Because she visited during the Christmas season, she received a chance to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
She also enjoyed adjusting to a new culture. Surprisingly, she said that she was excited to jump right in and become American for two and half months. Kate also mentioned that this was not her first time seeing snow but when she saw it previously, she was skiing so it was nice to have a snowball fight and make a snowman with her host family.
Adjusting to school changes and time changes were hard at first but as time went on it got a lot easier. Kate said it is really something easy to get used to when you’re so busy with school and occupied with activities and events planned by your friends. It was also easy to keep in touch with people back home with social networks and other new technology like video chatting, or using apps on her iPod to text or keep in touch with her mom.
Holidays like Christmas were a little hard being away from family, Kate said, but her host family was very welcoming and made her feel like she was home. “Its different being with Amber and her family, they’re so active and noisy and always busy compared to mine,” Kate explained. “We really don’t do much and we are pretty quiet most of the time.”
Kate plans to keep in touch with her new American friends. She wants to come back after she graduates high school. She also has made sure her fellow LuHi students all know that they are all welcome to visit her and her family anytime “Down Under.”
Kate misses her friends back home but she has no intentions of saying goodbye so easily to her new American friends.