Atlanta Adventure Begins!
Swiss exchange student in front of a yellow school bus on her first day of school in Atlanta
Zsuzsanna was more than ready to go on her first day of school!

Swiss miss never misses a football game

My adventure started on August 2, 2017. I was flying alone for the first time, from Zurich to Frankfurt, where I met Lilly and Sophie from my German organization, to fly together to New York. Although we were sad to leave for 10 months, we started getting excited for New York and our exchange year.

Our time in New York was very fun. I met a bunch of other exchange students, and I was happy to be there.

On Saturday, August 5, everybody left very early in the morning. It was pretty nice, because I flew with Lilly and Sophie again. But our flight was at 2 p.m., so we had to stay for more than six hours at the airport, which wasn't that fun, because Lilly was sick.

As we arrived in Atlanta, we had to walk for 20 minutes to get to the baggage claim, because the airport was so big. And then, I finally met my host family! That was an exciting moment. They had a very cute sign, made by the kids from next door.

My first days in my host family were nicer than I had imagined it would be. I thought I would be homesick at the beginning of my year, but everything was great, and I'm still spared from homesickness.

My first day of school was on Tuesday, August 8. I arrived too late to elect my subjects before the Monday that week—the actual first day of school.

To be honest, my first day of school was the worst day of my exchange year so far. It wasn't even that bad, actually it was pretty exciting and everything looked very American, but I just couldn't really enjoy it, because I had a migraine. Plus, I literary had to run from class to class, because the school was so confusing to me.

The next days in school got better and better, and it became easier to understand everything in the lessons. I had struggles with my history, forensic, and English classes for a couple of weeks, because the words were hard to understand. But now, after a month, I can understand almost everything.

In my first weeks, my brothers, my dad, and I hiked Stone Mountain and watched the sunset from above. We could see the skyline of Atlanta, which was so pretty!

We also had a few exchange student meetings organized by my local coordinator, which were also a lot of fun. I've been to every football game at my school so far and I just love them. (Here's a youtube joomla extension

;t=1s" target="_blank" rel="noopener">video about my first one!) The school spirit here is the nicest experience ever, and I'm sure that I'll miss the games very much.

After the first week of school, I joined the cross country team and met a lot of new people. Although it's exhausting to run every day, and the races are very hard, I enjoy it. The team spirit is awesome, and it's great to be a part of all that.

I also go to youth group here, almost every Sunday, which is pretty fun, and it's nice to meet new people. Back home, I never was in such clubs, because there were none. I've also been to a marching band tailgate at my high school, because my brothers here are in marching band. That is so cool! That was one of my best days here so far. I ate a lot of American food, met a bunch of new people, and tried to play lacrosse.

I also have a lot of fun with my host family. They're awesome. I really enjoy watching TV series with my brothers or making music with them. We also did a road trip to Tennessee one day, which was very fun. Our relationship gets better all the time, and I'm just happy to be with them.

Now, after a month, I really can say that I have people I can call friends...not just acquaintances. I started going out also with American friends, and I'm looking forward to what will come in the next months.

—Zsuzsanna (Switzerland), hosted by the Backes family (GA)