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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Findig a School For Next Year

It has already been 5 weeks since the second semester of school started and now it’s the time for me to look for a private high school where I can go next year to finish my high school studies.

Unfortunately things have changed and become more complicated. My parents in Hungary made research and they found out if I would like to go to an Ivy League College it doesn’t matter what private high school I go to. In order to get into one of the best universities, the high school where you graduate has to have really good connections so they can help you get in to your preferred college. Unfortunately not every high school has these connections so it doesn’t matter where you go. In Los Angeles there are about 3 private high schools where they have these type of connections. Obviously these high schools will be the most elite, hard and expensive ones.

I planned going to a normal private high school but now my parents said I can’t. There is an american private high school in Hungary where they have quite good connections with american universities and many people continue their studies in the US after graduating from there. It’s actually a really good school but in order for me to stay another year in the US we have to find a better school from that.

Finding an elite private high school is actually harder than I thought because many schools don’t accept new students in 12th grade. So now my parents and I are trying to find a school where I could graduate from and get into a good university. If there are no high schools like that in LA, I might move to a different city or even a state or I might go back to Hungary.

I honestly really hope that we will be successful finding a new school for me because I love staying in LA even though not everything is perfect and I miss my parents. So if you know any elite private high schools in LA or somewhere else, please let me know. Thank you.

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Pissing Off My Councelor

Since the second semester started I’ve been visiting my councelor every days at least once, sometimes several times. For me it’s really important to take the proper classes so next year I can take ap classes and graduate with a really outstanding score.

When I came to the school I couldn’t choose my classes and I was just given the basic classes. Throughout the first semester I learned about ap and honors classes and how the credit system works. To get into Princeton, Yale, Stanford (where I wanna go) you need a really high gpa possibly with ap and honors classes.

Since didn’t get any this year I have to take several ap and honors classes next year so I can get into a good university. But taking these classes is not easy especially not in a private high school. So my plan was to take government, economics and health (12th grade classes) this year, so next year it will be a little easier.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get into any of these classes but my councillor said it’s possible to take these online since all 3 of these classes are only 1 semester long. My online classes hopefully start next week so I can finally finish my plan.

I’m a really stubborn person and if I want something I will work on it until I get it no matter what. I’ve been seeing my councelor way many times and I think she is already pissed off because of all the extra work caused by me. But this is a really serious thing and I hope she realizes how important it is to me.

But now I feel like my classes are perfect, I changed my algebra 2 class to Honors Algebra 2 and I also changed my History teacher. If I complete the 3 online classes I planned this year then next year I will be able to take 3 classes of my choice, 2 english classes and 1 spanish class.

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Christmas with My Family

My christmas celebration was really amazing. It was very different than usual because I hadn’t seen my family for 5 months. It was great seeing my grandparents, cousins and everyone.

Our lunch was different this time because my birthday was in December 2nd and since we couldn’t meet we celebrated my birthday now. I had a cake and everything. It was really good I had a great time talking with my family. They asked lots of questions about California and my school and I was happy to tell stories.

Throughout this 5 months I learned that family is the most important thing in the world. You don’t appreciate something that you have had all your life but it just seems normal. My family was not with me in California so I have a completely different view now.  I didn’t ask for any presents, all I wanted is just to be with my family and that was the best thing that I could get.

christmas

I hope everyone had a great christmas but it has just passed so quickly. It’s my favorite 2 days of the year and i’m always a little sad at the end.

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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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