My name is Himari. I am from Japan. I’ve been living in the Czech Republic since the 10th of September, as an AFS exchange student. I’m going to tell you something about my experience in the Czech Republic.

On the first day when we arrived, I was like “finally” because my departure date was put off about 20 days because of COVID-19, and half of the Japanese students couldn’t come with us. I didn’t remember the day well because I was too tired, but as far as I remember, I was nervous and excited. Because of the arrival date, we didn’t have any activity, so after taking some photos and talking a bit, we went home.

After I arrived home, my family introduced me to the basic information about house equipment and I gave them souvenirs. Thus, the first day ended. I started spending a lot with my family. I enjoyed taking a walk, watching movies, going on trips, just chilling out, and so on. Before I got used to living in this country, school started. At first, even daily life was exhausting because my English is not there, Czech even less so. 🙁 I always felt nervous when speaking English. There were times when I couldn’t get through to others what I’d like to tell, and others didn’t understand me. Of course, I’m still not good at it though. However, my daily life is getting better as time passes.

I heard it takes a long time to get along with Czech people as Japanese people do and I think it’s true. However, my friends are one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. They always give their hand to me. Sometimes I teach them about Japan and Japanese because they are interested in other cultures and they are curious. I have been spending a good time with them, going shopping, sightseeing, and so on. The most impressionable experience I’ve ever had with them was staying at school for one night and two days as a class event for Christmas because I think it’s impossible to have such an event in Japan. I enjoyed eating dinner together and playing hide-and-seek at night. 😊

Also, I had a great time with AFS students from a lot of countries. Sometimes we gather at the same place and share our own experiences. I can ask something about other countries and know different perspectives. Everything is new and I’m so curious. It can happen that I can’t express well enough what I would like to tell, but it’s a great way to ask local people to know the culture.

I’m glad I am here and having a great time. I will continue to face a lot of difficulties as I had in the past, but it’s the first step to growing up. I hope the current situation in the world will be improved and you all can have a precious experience.

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