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exchange program abroad

30 days. One girl. One dream

You may wonder when it all started. It’s not like a person was born once with an enormous desire to travel, see the world, move 10 000 km from his nest, sleep somewhere in a forest and swim in wild lakes. Everyone has his own turning point. Parents, school, first love or just a black and white movie changes it once.

What was a decisive factor for me? Let me show you.

When I was 14 I was influenced by many American serials and movies where typical US schools were shown “High School Musical” with sexy Zack Efron made me want to become a part of such culture once. And a couple of months later my parents came up with an idea to send me to the USA for an exchange. There was a competition for middle schoolers for the project called Sister City Leadership Exchange. I got it. I was thrown into American culture for one month.

American exchange program

We were a 15 student group whose mission in Hopkins, MN, was to understand the way its government, school, kindergarten, and other institutions work. I lived with an American family, who call me their daughter till today! It was a typical family: parents and two daughters. However, it turned out that they were one of the kindest, most generous and most friendly people I’ve ever known. We spent our days by the lake, visiting their friends, organizing home parties, we traveled to neighboring villages and visited their grandma in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving Day.

exchange student in the USA

I attended high school twice per week…

…and on other days we would be taken to the zoo, science center, University of Minnesota, local kindergarten or fire department. We were presenting our ideas concerning poverty, hunger, ecology and sharing our plans for the future. That was my first ever time to volunteer. We helped poor African people, packing food for them. Another day we helped at the bookshop helping the owner to rank books on shelves.

volunteering in the USA

I recall a day after 5 hours spent in University, we came to a host family of one of the boys. The family prepared barbecue brought a countless amount of table games and we were playing hide-and-seek with their dogs in the garden. Later, when the stars lighted up the sky, a host father made jacuzzi for all of us and a mom brought milkshakes.

I spent 30 days in Hopkins, saw Halloween, Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day, participated in hundreds of masterclasses, workshops, and lectures. So to become a part of the Bauers. I tasted the life over the ocean. That was a turning moment in my life.

Trip to minnesota

The point is: everyone has a moment when eyes got opened. You start understanding how the world functionates. Then it will take decades and decades to find a sense in it and your own goal. But you will. Just wait for your turning point!

See you soon, Bauers!

host family in the USA

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