By Adinda Aisyah Nindyani*
“It’s better to fail after trying than regret not trying”
I still remember those words spoken by my mother when I was about to register for KL-YES exactly one year ago. Yes, it took a year for me to finally set foot in a country that I used to only hear about from the news on television, I learned from books, or even saw from my idol’s posts. It was real until I can clearly read and see right before my eyes a sign of “Welcome to the United States of America”.
it’s a very long journey… but it’s worth to do.
Before starting the program, I and all KL-YES 2022/2023 participants had to take part in a series of orientation activities first. The pre-departure orientation was held in Indonesia, precisely in Jakarta for 6 days. While there, we were given a lot of briefings in the form of material and motivation as well as information about important things that need to be considered during the program. The next orientation was held in Washington, DC, before all participants went to the states according to their respective placements.
I got a placement in the city of Westfield, Indiana. People say this city is a paradise for corn and soybeans. Sure enough, the scenery I saw along the way was a very fertile corn and soybean farm, neatly arranged, clean, and of course very spacious. I was picked up by my host mom when I arrived in Westfield, she stood waiting for my presence with a poster on her hands that written “WELCOME ADINDA!”. From the first time I saw her I was immediately convinced, she must be a very kind and extraordinary person, even now I realize that she is more than that!
During my first 3 weeks in America, I am grateful to be a part of my host family. I call my father and mother Papa and Mama, I also have one younger sister and one younger brother. They treat me like I’ve been part of their family for a long time, when I haven’t been here for a month. They often take me to various places or events, they also always cook very good food for me and are always ready to take me wherever I want to go. They love me very much, as well as I love them very much!
I attended Westfield High School as a Senior (equivalent to 12th grade in Indonesian High School). If you ask how does it feel? It’s wonderful! Almost the whole school system feels very different from my school in Indonesia. The friends here are very friendly and so are the teachers. As an exchange student, I experienced some difficulties during school especially in understanding the lessons due to language differences, but with my friends and teachers here I was able to get through it. Oh yes, my first week of school here is Homecoming Week, which is a week of welcoming alumni back to school with a series of events for a whole week, there is a festival, American Football Game, and Dance, in Indonesia it is better known as the Reuni Akbar. Also, this is my very first time watching American Football Game, a sport that I have never watched before since it’s an American signature sport. I am so excited! Next time I’ll tell you more about the school, okay!
Wow, it must be really fun, right?
Yesss, it is! But I can say that even now I still have to make a lot of adjustments which of course is not easy. But again and again, I am the one who chooses the way so I will be the one who survives for it. Keep going for me, for all my friends, and keep on encouraging us!
See you in the next stories!
Thank you, bye!
(*KL – YES student exchange participants from Sanggau Bina Antarbudaya Cahpter Pontianak)