There are so many hard things on an exchange year. One of the hardests is trying to explain how you feel, and dealing with the lack of understanding. It's been almost 6 months that I'm in the Czech Republic and I'm still not sure if I'm dealing well with this.
My adventure started on August 24th, 2016, when I had to say goodbye to all my friends and family, and to the old life I was used to live. Some people might think it's hard to say goodbye, but to me it wasn't. The excitement and adrenaline worked for me like some type of anesthesia. And it lasted almost a month. I was just so happy to be here that everything and everyone seemed perfect.
But then came the cultural shock, the homesickness, and it got harder and harder to deal with everything. My host family has a completely different life style than the one I was used to, and it was quite hard for me to understand, accept that this was my new life now, and feel good in it. And I have a younger host sister, she's 11 and the only child. So it took a while for her to understand the situation and accept me as her sister. But now, I think we are good friends.
At school, the language was the biggest problem. It still is, but now that I can speak and understand Czech better, I can communicate easier with my classmates. Most of them don't speak English very well, and are ashamed of speaking. I was lucky to have two girls that were out of this pattern, they speak great English and have helped me a lot, even to learn Czech.
As much as hard things, an exchange year has amazing things too. One of them, that I consider the most important, is the unique opportunity to break barriers that I didn't even know that existed before getting out of my comfort zone. And this is not only about culture, but about feelings, ideas and believes, that I've developed according to the life I was used to live, and carried with me without even knowing. I got this amazing chance to get to know myself in a way that would never be possible if I had stayed home.
The process have been hard, but even though it's amazing to see how much I've changed, and that I was capable to adjust myself to this reality that I would never consider to live in before this experience. Now, I still have 4 months here, and my main goal is to improve my Czech, and my relation with friends and host family.
Leticia from Brazil, 2016/17
Leticia s hostitelskou maminkou
Leticia v Praze u Lennonovy zdi
Leticia se spolužáky