photo by Cindy Kate Tom
photo by Cindy Kate Tom

When I look back, I think about how those past eight months have brought me A LOT. Not in form of diplomas or medals, but in the way I get along with people or how I see the world. It’s very hard to explain, but I think I’m still the same person, just with some different aspects. Lots of new brain connections have been made here. It’s so much less hard to approach people or to just go for experiences I’d never thought I’d do.

I literally have family all over the world now. Congo, America, France, somewhere in Russia, Canada! I’m so fortunate to be able to travel so much, a lot of American kids can’t do that. Also speaking several languages makes connections easier to make, and it doesn’t set barriers. I have learned to make the most out of every moment, and not to be vindictive. 

I love my host family more than I thought I could love someone I’ve only known for eight months. I try to show them, even if sometimes it’s hard for them to see. All of them have taught me how to behave in certain situations and how to do things the ‘Minnesotan’ way. I’m so thankful, it can’t even be expressed in words!

One thing I can share with you is that you cannot hug a Minnesotan for more than 4 seconds! 🙂


Cindy Kate Tom, exchange student from Switzerland to USA