Exchange student reflects on illusions, USA experiences

“The world is like a necklace, and its pearls are various nations, with some unique identity and culture of their own.”

Knowing only one pearl in life, however, is not enough to make the world a bed of roses. So, I decided to pursue the journey of exchange, which is full of adventures and challenges at every moment. That’s what makes it amazing and unique from other experience that you have in your life.

Before I talk about my experience so far about my host community and the United States, I want to introduce myself: My name is Sagar. I am an exchange student, being hosted by the awesome Ms. Teresa Anderson for the academic year of 2017-18.

All the way from another corner of this world, I come from India, a diversity rich country in South Asia. I have been in Shelbyville since August 2017, and will be living until third week of June 2017.

Personally, I always wanted to experience and explore the culture of some different country, make some international friends, teach about my culture, hang out with friends, and get joy living in an entirely different culture where they speak a different language and follow different traditions which are absolutely new to your heart and mind.

Initially, it was a bit difficult for me to adjust in a new culture and a totally different environment, not only because I was just new to this but also because I was obsessed with some illusions in my mind about the United States and it’s culture.

Frankly, talking about my superstitions, I used to think “Americans do not care for each other, they don’t cook for each other, they are money minded people and just go out of their home to earn, and make more.” But, today, when I look back, I realize that how far I was from the reality of this pearl. For this I want to give all credit to my caring, loving , and helpful host mom and her friends. Moreover, my host mom is a perfect example of a great host mom.

Also, on this moment I can’t forget to mention other important people like my soccer friends, teachers, and others who also helped me in realizing the truth of American culture. Today, I am happy to say that I was wrong.

Finally, I am having a good time in my community and for this I want to thank the Shelbyville community for having me with you and accepting me as a part of your community.

Every day here, for me, comes out with something amazing and is good for my betterment. I am hoping for a great exchange year and want to thank all those people back in my country who have sent me on this voyage.