My year as an exchange student written by Simon Willi
I decided to spend a year abroad because my sister told me how much fun she had when she was in Australia. Well, I didnít want to spend my exchange year in Australia so I went to the USA. I got the message about my new host family and the state where I was going to live in about two weeks before my departure. Of course I tried to get more information about Louisiana right away. It seemed to be pretty hot over there but I didnít know that it was going to be so humid too.
The first two weeks I spent at Yale University just like Matt. We had so much fun. To leave this great place after two weeks wasnít easy at all but I was so excited to see my new family and the place where I was going to live at for a whole year.
I left Yale by bus early in the morning and went to the airport. Unfortunately
our bus driver was either not used to this area or he was totally drunk. He drove the wrong way
a few times so that we got there way too late. We immediately got some phone cards from an EF
employee to call our IEC (International Exchange Coordinator). My IEC (every IEC supports a few
students in his area) wasnít home so I had to leave a message on the answering machine that I
was going to be late.
After about a month Louisiana had become a second home to me. I went to public school in Eunice (Eunice High). Most of the time I was sleeping because I always stayed up too long at night. The subjects I took were Advanced Math, American History, English IIII, Civics, Physics and PE (Physical Education). During the PE lesson I was practicing for the Track meets. In the afternoon I usually had Tennis practice. I went to many Track and Tennis meets out of town. So I got to see pretty much of Louisiana. In Tennis we became District champions. In Track and Cross Country we didnít do that good.
On the weekends or on vacation I often went camping with my friends or with the family. It was so much fun. My host brother showed me how to shoot with his shotgun and we went hunting squirrels. I also bought me some fishing equipment and we went fishing a lot. We caught some nice bass. The only bad thing about it was that I had to clean them outside the house whenever we got home. There was always a black cloud of mosquitoes around me. After I cleaned the fishes I was full of blood from the dead mosquitoes.
One week during vacation we drove all the way to Colorado to go skiing over there. We were a lot of people and had our own house with a whirlpool and a billiard table. It was really nice to go skiing in the Rocky Mountains. The skiing area was much bigger than back home.
One thing I first realized on Christmas was that the time has passing by pretty fast. On Christmas morning we got early and my host dad was reading out of the Bible. Afterwards we gave each other our presents. It seemed strange to me since we usually celebrate Christmas in the evening. During the day we had the whole family coming over and we had a lot of excellent stuff to eat.
The Cajun food is something I really miss. I love boiled Crawfish with the hot seasoning. I was always eating more than anybody else.
Well, time was passing by and the time came when I had to say goodbye again.
It was harder to leave Eunice than it was to leave Switzerland.
In the morning we left to go to the airport. Unfortunately our car broke down and we got there too late. So I got a new flight on the next day. Whenever I got on the plane the next day I found out that I was flying first class. And I didnít even pay for the flight.
Back home everything seemed different and I had changed a lot. But it sure was one of the best years of my life.