An Exchange Student’s View

Exchange students “very lucky” to have new experiences in travel and life


Roberta Prats

Roberta Prats posing in downtown CR.

Roberta Prats, Writer

To begin, this is a personal story for me. I wanted people to see how this exchange experience is for me in America and Kennedy High School. I’m an exchange student from Spain and I like know what people think.

When I interviewed people, I was very happy to hear about what people from America thought about the exchange students. I want all people from all countries knowing more about the students from other countries. People need to know that, for us, is really hard learn a new language and cultures and we can’t speak perfectly. Sometimes there are things that we can’t understand and we need help from you.

I interviewed three people: my host mom, my best friend from Spain, and my Spanish teacher from Kennedy. I had expectations about what the people might think, but after the interviews I could understand that others’ expectations of visitors here were better that I thought!

All the interviewees generally said that exchange students are very lucky to be able to live experiences like the one I am living, as it is good way to know oneself, to open one’s mind, to grow as a person, to know the world, to learn new cultures and new languages, meet new people, and certainly live a unique life experience.

I appreciated that they said exchange students are very brave. We take the decision to go to another country far from our city, friends, family. Surely, this is an amazing opportunity for us.

One of my favorite questions that I asked was for my host mom. “Mother, do you think I’m being a good exchange student for you and the others?”

She made me happy. She told me that I am the family’s second exchange student. “We are going to be sad when you leave our family,” she said. “You are the girl with more maturity and bravery than I’ve ever seen before. We all love you!”

I realized that our host families love us and appreciate us much more than we think. Not only are families welcoming, they are real families for us. As exchange students, we should appreciate our host families and thank them for all they do for us.

What moved me most was interviewing my best friend from Spain. While she was talking, I started crying as I listened to her saying nice things about me. Aitana is my best friend. She told me that I was a person of strength and joy for her.

When students talk to the people of our country, they give us the courage to keep going when we have our moments of feeling low. They make us feel like we are the most special people in the world.

I hope this story will help my American readers and school friends realize that just by telling us “Hello, who are you?” makes us some of the happiest people in the world. We know that they have a little interest for us. I also hope my writing helps students from here who are interested in trying a year of exchange, so that they might see, like my own point of view, how life is somewhere new.