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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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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Second Half

I finally arrived back to LA after an 20 hour trip from Budapest. First I had to flight to Munich and from there to LA.

After a 3 week break I’m back and I have to keep doing what I started. In my opinion this 2nd semester will pass a lot slower, since there won’t be that many new experiences. Some things will change but it won’t be that relevant.

It will be a lot of fun seeing all my friends again, going out and doing things. It will also be fun going back to school cause honestly I already started to miss it. However I’m sure after a couple weeks I’m gonna change my mind and miss the break.

I believe this semester in school will be harder because I will change some of my classes. I will also join track or golf, I haven’t decided which one yet but I’m looking forward to it. I also have some plans and goals outside the school which I’m going to keep everyone updated about.

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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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I’m Going to Have a Roommate

I wrote and email to the family like 4 days ago and they still haven’t replied. I hope they have internet connection in their home otherwise I can’t talk to my family and friends and that would be really sad.

Anyways, I got some great news and I am really cheerful. It turned out I’m not going to be the only exchange student in the house, because there will be another kid and he will be my roommate. At first I was very nervous about this since they said I’m going to have a separate room. It’s definitely going to be a new experience for me since I’ve never had a roommate and I’m a only child. But now  I realised everything will be so much easier because we are going to be going through the same things.

Having a roommate could be the worst thing, but also it could be the best thing ever. If we share similar interests then it will probably be the best. I contacted him and he is from Finland. He looks like a cool, easy going guy to me and I hope we will be great friends. Also he will be attending the same school as me (Birmingham Community Charter HS) and if he would be my classmate it would be unbelievable, but of course there is a little chance because the school is huge.

I don’t have my visa yet but on Friday my family and I are going in the american embassy. Hopefully I will get my visa early next week. Honestly I can’t wait for this program to start, I’m so excited.

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Alone

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My family said I don’t take this whole moving to america serious. I kept saying I’m going to go surfing on Venice Beach, I’m going to hang out with my friends in Malibu. But there was one thing I’ve not taken in consideration. My life.

It’s not going to be easy to give up almost everything I have and achieved and just start a new life. Here is my family and I’m going to miss them. My Dad left the country for 4 days and I already missed him. That was the point when I realized it’s going to be hard without my parents. I’m not going to see them for 4 months until I come back for the holidays.

Also there are my friends. Days are passing really really quickly and to be honest i’m having a great summer vacation. I hang out with my friends almost every day and the fact that from the middle of August I’m not going to see them anymore is scary. But true friends always stay friends so i’m not worried about losing them. Also there is Facebook, Viber and Skype so i’m sure I can keep up with them.

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Introduction

 

My name is Oliver and I’m 16 years old, I’m from Budapest, Hungary. It’s a small country in central Europe. This is my first blog ever in my life so yeah. I really like travelling, doing sports, playing video games and of course “waisting my time” in front of my laptop.

My life is about to totally change and this is the main reason I started this blog.

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