Exchange Student Embraces the Unexpected

Each year, exchange students arrive to the USA, ready to jump right into life at American high schools. Whether they’re trying something new or continuing a passion, they can’t wait to make new friends and be part of their school community. For Inigo from Spain, he found a new way to enjoy his love of music. As a musician back in Spain, he had plenty of experience playing the saxophone. But upon arriving to the USA, he found a new way to play with his high school marching band. He shares how he prepared for his exchange year, and how his first few weeks in the USA have been.

Inigo 1

“Hi, I’m Inigo and I’m spending my exchange year in Utah. Today in this blog I want to tell you what the trip was like, my first feelings and what it is like to be part of one of the best marching bands in the state of Utah.

Before arriving in the USA, it was very important that months before the trip, I got used to the idea that it is going to be 10 months in which you are going to be without your family or friends and very far from home. Every or almost every night before going to sleep I closed my eyes and think “you are already there.” Then I started to feel different feelings, some better and some worse, but I think it helped me a lot because it prepared me. I guarantee that it helped a lot in the adaptation period when I first arrived.

I arrived on August 4th in Salt Lake City where my whole family was waiting for me with some spectacular welcome signs. The next morning I woke up and I still didn’t know very well where I was and still had jet lag. At that moment, it was essential to try very hard to listen a lot to what my host family told me and take a look at the tasks they have at home and schedules, etc.

When I arrived, I still didn’t know what marching bands were about. The first week when I arrived, I had marching band camp from Monday to Friday. When I arrived, I saw that it was on the American football field, and we did a series of combinations of choreographies with music that we had to play. The camp should not have been called band camp, but intensive band camp, it was 12 hours a day of camp from Monday to Friday. The first days you have just entered the adaptation period, you have jet lag and on top of that it is intense. The truth is that everything seemed very hard because these first weeks are the hardest in all sports, clubs or whatever you sign up for.

Inigo 5

I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to continue, but by the time Thursday and Friday arrived, I was delighted to be there. Then the weekend comes and everyone here does very cool things on the weekends. We did an exhibition and I saw that we had managed to learn a lot in a very short time and now the official competitions and other fun and very American things will begin.

In conclusion, my recommendation is that you do not be afraid of anything, that you have to go on an adventure, sign up for a lot of things and don’t stop since there are very cool things here. Above all, you will meet a lot of people, make a lot of friends, and enjoy it to the fullest because it is very little time and time will fly.”

We are so proud of how Inigo has jumped right into life in Utah! Exchange students all around the country are finding new and fun ways to be part of their host families and communities, all while making connections and memories. Learn more about hosting an exchange student today!

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Exchange Student Embraces the Unexpected

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