It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Czechia for an entire month! I have done so much and yet it still feels so new to me. I am a lot more comfortable though, and I’m finding it easy to settle into a routine.
School started out very stressful, but now that I’m used to everything, it is fun! All of my classes are in Czech (except English and Spanish), so it can be boring sometimes, but I love my new friends and it is great to have a community. I don’t understand much of what the teachers say, so I have been learning mostly through Google Translate and the help of my friends. My goal is to be able to not have to rely on Google Translate by December, but that means that I will have to work very hard on my Czech. Every Tuesday I have a private lesson to learn with a Ukranian boy who also doesn’t know Czech. I’m so glad that it’s available to me; I think it will be very helpful.
I have done too many new things to remember in the last few weeks, but some in particular have been too amazing to forget. I hiked up one of the tallest “mountains” in the area a few weeks ago for a charity event with my local Rotary Club. A group of six students including me tied ropes onto a wheelchair with another student who used it, and we pulled her up the mountain! It was one of the hardest things I’ve done physically. It was over six miles long and very steep. It was worth it once we got to the top, the view was amazing and it was so cool to see all of the teams and the people in the wheelchairs who were able to be with us.
Another new thing I’ve been learning to do is ballroom dancing! It is traditional here for students around my age to sign up for dancing lessons. I was very nervous in the beginning because I had never danced with a partner before, but after the first lesson I was looking forward to the next one! It has been so fun and I love learning all of the new dances. We have ten classes in total, once a week, and we’re supposed to learn about twenty dances! In the end, we have one final lesson that parents and friends will go and watch us, so hopefully that goes well! All of my friends from school are also in my dance lesson, so we all get to be there together and have fun with each other.
I’ve been looking for ways to continue my hobbies, and my host family has been amazing in helping me with that! I have an electric piano in my room which I was so happy to see when I walked one month ago. I’ve been practicing a couple of times a week and it’s been great to keep me busy when I’m bored. The first week I was here I saw a student band, and my host mom asked one of the students if I could join. Tomorrow I have my first practice. I’m so excited but also nervous. I hope it goes well. I’ve also joined a basketball team at my school. The first practice is next Thursday, so hopefully I have fun!
Yesterday I got back from the Inbound Orientation Meeting with my Rotary district, where I met the other exchange students and learned more about my exchange. There are over 40 other exchange students in Czechia from all around the world! It was so amazing to meet everyone and speak to them. Knowing that other people are going through the exact same things as I am is such a relief and it encourages me to have friends that I know understand me. I can’t wait for the next meeting in Prague when I’ll get to see everyone again!
We had multiple talks and meetings, and I got to learn about the optional trips for the year! There are two big trips, Ski Week and Eurotour. Skii week is pretty self-explanatory, it’s five full days of skiing plus some other activities. I’m so excited and I really hope I can do that. I love to ski and the place where it will be held sounds amazing. Eurotour is the biggest event of all. It’s 14 days of traveling all over Europe. They start in Paris, France, and go to places like Rome, Venice, Italy, etc. It’s one of my dreams to go on this trip, it sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it would be so cool to see everything! The only problem is that both trips are pretty expensive, so hopefully, when my birthday and Christmas come around, I can raise some money to put towards both trips.
Right now I have a small cold, which is annoying, but it isn’t too bad. Hopefully, it doesn’t affect my singing tomorrow! I can’t wait to see what month number two has in store for me.
Read more from other students
Hello! My name is Shelli, I’m 16 and I’m from the state of Pennsylvania in the United States! I love music and reading, and I’m so excited to learn another language!