📚 My Exchange Experience at La Jolla Country Day School 🗽

Steven Shi – Exchange student at La Jolla Country Day School from Keystone Academy Beijing

I don’t wanna say goodbye…

San Diego — surfer’s paradise, home city of UCSD, but to me, it is the first city that I have been to in America. Running away from the “foggy” in Beijing, my first memory in here was refreshing. Coming out of the terminal embraced the night breeze, I met my homestay family, my one-semester exchange experience started quietly.

First and foremost, I have to say that is IEM made this trip happened in the first place. I can still remember when I first knew about I was elected to the exchange back in July after the excitement came nervousness. In two month time, I have to do all the Visa work myself, register to school online, at the same time prepare for the upcoming semester. I have never done the full visa process before it used to be travel agency or my school. Now when I actually look at this from I was so confused, fortunately, I got Ms. Sueky from IEM, I have never met her but I know without her I would not make this trip. She answered every question I have, solved every problem I faced, tell me all the thing I need to know about, with her help, I am able to get the whole process going smoothly.

This exchange experience is a challenge for me, one of the major difference between LJCDS and my old school back in Beijing is a different in free time. Student in LJCDS can choose their class based on their own interest with only a few limitations, in a positive way, this system means that you get more chance to develop as an individual, on the other hand, however, it can also mean that you can choose all the easy class or course that you are not interested in. Free time is also a big difference too, Back in China our school hour used to last until 5 in the afternoon, but here school finished in 2:40, which gives you lots of free time that you can manage, to use this time wisely, students often go ask their teacher for extra help, or student in the library, or go to the gym. However, if you do not know how to manage your time, then it is likely that you can spend all your free time on the game or watch videos. All I wanted to say is here you can choose between work hard or decadent.

Sometimes there were complaints among students and parents about this organization, sometimes you feel they restrict our life too much. However, when my program is coming to an end, when I look back, I start to realize how important this group is to me. All I can remember now is warmth they had brought to me.  School for me was harsh at first, my grades were messed up, I hardly knew anyone, I still remember how lost I was at that time, but still I also remember how much help people gave to me. I remember another teacher from IEM Ms. Jennifer was always there to talk to me, she makes everything else easy for me so that I can focus on study, she will always be there to hear all my frustration, tell me to move on. And I remember it was all the other IEM students who helped me along the way, who guide me through, who supported me when I needed.

This exchange experience gives me lots of unforgettable memories, I have learned a lot, made lifelong friends, achieved my goal again and again. Needless to say, this semester has changed me a lot as a student and as an individual, and I will definitely recommend you to come here and experience different culture because it will change your life in an unexpected way, just as it changes mine.