“Podle mě, Česká republika je úplně nový svět. Má odlišné kultury než Indonesie. Celkově, můj exchange program je pořád to nejlepší rozhodnutí, co jsem kdy udělala. Naučila jsem se hodně o sobě a také jak respektovat různé kultury. Moc se mi to tady líbí. Mám hodně kamarádů ze třídy, z fotbalu a z organizací. Určitě jsem měla dost problémů, ale mám úžasnou hostitelkou rodinou, která mi hodně pomohla. Díky nim tady mám skvělý život. Všechno je velmi vzrušující a každý den přináší nová překvapení. Jsem nejšťastnější dívka 🙂 ”

“Have I wasted one year of my life here?” Those are the words that I fear the most. However, it has successfully overtaken my mind for some time. This exchange is still one of the best decisions I have made and my days have been nothing but dashing and splendid. On the other hand, I felt as if I did not achieve the value of my exchange, my reason to be here. I would like to tell the B-side of my exchange, which at first dragged me to the ground then pushes me to the heavens.

I am so excited that I have spent half of my exchange, but then realized that I could not speak Czech language properly. I have difficulties composing a perfect sentence in Czech but fully understand when people talk to me or when I read in Czech. As the result, I could not express my feeling wholly. I had to think hard before I could make a sentence which I did not mind it at first, but after some time I just got tired. I am a girl who loves to speak, to be active and socialize to people but I could not express myself and so language held me back from my freedom of speech. It gave a me a lot of pressure. Correspondingly, devastation is in charge of my days. Yes, I could speak English but the vibe will never be the same as if I speak in Czech. The jokes, the feelings of the message will not be the same and also it felt as a disappointment to be in a country for more than half a year and still could not understand with the language. In addition, for the devastation, I recently received poor grades in my school, which is an English based school so the subjects are in English. I was better at the first half year and know I could almost say that I could not speak in any language and it effects to my daily life activities.

I sat down and took time to reflect on myself. After sometime, I saw that I have set the bar too high. I did not want to talk in Czech because I scared I will have it wrong and I will embarrass myself. I had high expectations on mastering the language at the end of the half year, which is

in 4 months, and now it has already been 7 months. Then I tried to look at the other side of my perspective and it came to me that, I am not a disappointment. My host family are always proud to introduce me to their friends and relatives and tell them that I have amazing Czech. They also help me by correcting my misspelled and tutoring me Czech, which I find special because they show that they care. My friends love when I speak Czech to them even though eventually we will speak English but they did not mind at all. I am participating in Czech based organizations and they treat me as if I was local. All these doubts of me not being good enough is just in my head. I set the standard to be ideal but it actually held me back because I wanted every step to be excellent and the definition of excellent gave me tension that leads to having bad days.

Settling standards means to determine the value of an action. I keep on wanting everything to be perfect but my standards for “perfect” is unbelievably high and it have made me always see above but the experience is right in front of me. I have my wonderful host families, caring friends, and exciting activities. I have set my standard to be grateful of what I have now. However, I am not stopping there. Now, I am not putting any expectations and let it all flow but my enthusiasm is still running. That is when I realized that the value is more priceless when you least expect it.