Should I Participate in an Exchange Program?

I’ve been back in Hungary for 2 weeks and I kind of had time to think through this whole year. I asked several questions from myself and one was, “Was this year worth it?” It’s a question which seems easy to answer but after doing a little deep thinking I came up with an in depth review of my year studying in California.

If you and your family are considering in applying for an exchange program but don’t know wether it’s worth it or not, well here is my opinion after completing a high school year in Los Angeles.

This year definitely changed me in many ways. The fact that I was away from my family was sometimes hard but in an exchange program it’s good, because it makes you responsible. Before I had gone to Los Angeles my parents always did everything for me. They made food for me, they drove me everywhere, and they also helped with all my problems. In LA I was living with a host family but honestly they didn’t really care about me. I was pretty much on my own and I had to learn how to be responsible. Being more responsible made me feel really proud of myself and I felt like i’m an adult, it was awesome!

Gaining responsibility was one of the most useful things however I also changed in many other ways. American, or Californian culture to be more specific is very different than in my country Hungary. Everything is more laid back, people are really nice to each other, easy going and funny. In Hungary everything is pretty much the opposite. People are rude to each other, always depressed, and they want bad for other people. I realized this when I came back. It’s really sad but it made me feel disappointed in my country. I also feel like I assimilated with the culture in California and i’m different from other people in Hungary which in my opinion is amazing because i’m able to think differently from other people.

My favorite thing from this year was the adventures. Los Angeles is such an interesting city and it seems like it’s full with surprises and adventures. Getting the full high school experience included parties as well which I had only seen in movies before. I made so many friends it’s unreal. I didn’t have a driving license so I could have a car which made me take the bus everywhere. Looking back to it, it wasn’t a bad thing because I was able to explore the city.

My host parents didn’t restrict me from going out so I felt free. It was a wonderful feeling. I could go anywhere with anyone at any time. It felt like I’m finally living life.

If you have the chance to participate in an exchange program but you don’t know if you should go, I really encourage you to go. It doesn’t matter what city or country you go to, it will be a lot of fun. Not a lot of people can allow themselves to send their children to a program like this so you should appreciate this great opportunity and take it.

I had couple friends who didn’t want to go but their parents sent them. They actually ended up leaving the program in couple months. If this is the case with you my advice is be open for new things and view this as a gift. It’s an opportunity in your life that you will never have again.

If you have any other questions about my experience you can leave a comment and I will be happy to answer. Also if you want me to write a blog post about a specific topic I will be happy to do that as well.

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My Last Month In Los Angeles

I can’t believe time has passed so quickly. I came to LA in August and it feels like it was just couple months ago. I’had never thought this year would pass so quickly but it’s already May.

School is almost over. There is exactly 4 more weeks left. Next Saturday is going to be our prom which I’m really excited about and I’m probably going to go.

I know it’s going to be great to go back to Hungary and see my family and friends again but I’m going to be kinda sad that I have to leave Los Angeles. I had so much fun throughout this year and gained a lot of experience.

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Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday is the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after thanksgiving when almost everything is discounted. It’s the best time to shop clothes, electronics or pretty much anything.

This is the time when everyone is trying to buy the things they want but there are people who are just shopping just because of the discount and not because they actually need things. Most of the shops open at midnight Friday but some of the shops open at 6.

Personally this was my first Black Friday ever in my life because we don’t have it in Hungary and I think it was really amazing. I had planned a trip for just Friday, what I would do and actually I’ve done it. So first around 8, I went to Westfield, Topanga mall. Some stores were already open so I was walking around and I got a few things.

Before midnight people were already in line to the stores, for example there were hundreds of people in front of the Zara store. When they finally opened the doors everything was so crazy. People were just pushing each other and throwing the clothes everywhere. They were literally fighting for that 30% off.

zara black friday sale

Zara is one of my favorite stores and actually I managed to find some pretty good deals, so I was really happy. However the line to the cashier was insanely long. Even though I waited 2 hours in the line, I think it was worth it because I got a lot of things. What was surprising is that some people were standing in the line only to get one item.

I was at the mall until 5 am and then my plan was to go to Beverly Hills. So I took 4 buses, including the subway and finally I got to Beverly Center, one of my favorite shopping places. Beverly Center has mostly luxury stores like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Versace so they didn’t have sales but I managed to good deals in other stores I like.

I got home at noon so in total my trip was 16 hours. I know it sounds crazy but actually time passed by really quick. I didn’t spend as much money as I thought I would, so that’s a good thing so I might look around tomorrow too because there are some things I would like to get.

Let me know what you did on Black Friday in the comment section.

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Away From Your Family

It has been been 4 months already since I didn’t see my family. These 4 months has passed really quickly, but now I started to miss my parents.

I’ve been always busy here in LA with studying, sports, exploring,  hanging out with my friends so I didn’t have a lot of time to think about Hungary and what I’ve left there. But now that everything became usual I’m thinking more and more about my family and friends each day.

It really feels like I just gave up my life there, and started a brand new one. I feel like i’m a new person too. My parents were always there to help me and they have done everything for me. Here, I’m with a host family but it really feels like alone because I have to do everything for myself, but I feel like I’m a lot more responsible than I used to be.

I’m visiting my family in the christmas break and I’m really excited about it since it’s in less than a month. One thing concerns me thought, and that is when I come back in January, I don’t know how I will feel. I mean if I see my parents now and then leave them again for another 4 months, it will be hard, but I’m not going to give up, because I know I have to do this.

Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive

I’m really motivated by going to one of the best Universities in the world (possibly Princeton) and then becoming really successful in life. I know I have to give up certain things, in this case being with my family but I feel like I have to make this sacrifice in order to reach my goals. I also want to get into acting and modelling too, and Los Angeles is a great of place for those.

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It Feels Like in a Movie

I’ve been living in California for almost 3 months now and it’s amazing how I still enjoy everything here. Nothing is boring and i’m still just as happy when I came here. I’m experiencing new things all the time and it really feels like being in an american movie.

As a little kid my dream was always to go to an american high school because I saw them in the tv and I loved it. People kept telling me that it’ just a movie, schools are not like this in america. But now that I actually got the chance to participate in an exchange program and move here, I realized that those movies are really based on reality. Not everything might be exactly the same but things really happen here. For instance there are amazing events like homecoming, prom, house parties and more. These things are just normal for the people here but they don’t understand that for me it was only in the movies before.

Before I came here I had never fought that living here is this much fun. It’s really like in the movies and I still can’t believe my dream came true. It really feels like being in a movie which never ends. Of course not everything is perfect but I just love this life. Hopefully things will remain similar when I go to college here.

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Universal Studios Horror Nights

Yesterday the Universal Studios Horror Nights finally opened. It’s not even close to halloween but my friends and I decided to go and try it out. It was not my first time in Universal Studios because I’ve been to the Orlando and to the Singapore one as well, however it was my first time at Horror Nights. I didn’t know what to expect but everyone seemed worried and they said it’s going to be scary. We were actually one of the first ones who got in so it was pretty good. When they opened the gates there was The Purge theme. It was really fun but scary at the same time because people with scary masks were running around with chainsaws, axes and knifes. We didn’t have enough time to try out all the attractions so probably I’ll go back in the future because there are more things to try out. Personally my favourite attraction was the Face Off. That was the first maze we went to and it was full with scary monsters. I courage everyone to go to Horror Nights because it’s a great experience. Also I had a great leg workout yesterday because I took the stairs since the escalators were too crowded. I recorded several footages and hopefully I can edit it into a video. It will be on youtube but I’ll inform everyone when it comes out here on my blog as well as on twitter.

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Fire in School

I was sitting in my desk when I hear the fire alarm going off. I thought it’s just a practise cause usually they have that every year.   Well, I was wrong. When I got out of my classroom I saw smoke coming out of the boys bathroom. It was really on fire. Soon we all got sent on the football field and fire fighters arrived.

My interpretation of what happened is that some kids were smoking in the bathroom and they threw the cigarette in the trash can which put it on fire. It was a really interesting experience because I’ve never been in a situation like this ever in my life.

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