It has always been a dream of mine to come to the U.S. as an exchange student. I watched a lot of the typical television shows about American life, and I wanted the full high school experience.
I was nervous to take the step and actually pack my bag and leave, but I have to be honest with you: the exchange year was by far the best year of my life! It lived up to all of my expectations, and I was happier than ever. I was able to participate in many clubs, sports, and other activities, and I built many friendships that last until today.
I also grew as a person. I found out I had lots of hidden talents, and during my year in New York, I also found quite a few new hobbies. I loved my host parents from day one, and they treated me as if I was their own daughter, which helped me to feel like I was home.
When I returned to Switzerland after ten months, a lot had changed. Wait, I have to clarify that—a lot had changed for me. My home, and Switzerland itself, had not changed much since I left, but I had. All of a sudden, I was super open, helpful, independent, and mature, and just a more colorful person in general. During my exchange year, I got to know myself better. I realized that America was the right choice for me, and I had an unforgettable amazing time.
One of the best impacts that the exchange had on my life is that I now know what I want to do in my future, and I am working on reaching those goals. Thanks to my high school diploma, I am able to study my dream major at a university so I can eventually become a visual developer.
The year abroad taught me not to be scared to take chances, even if they might change my life. Sometimes that’s a good thing.
– Anna Adams from Switzerland, 2016–17