What’s Strange on Exchange?

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By Anna Sochorova

January marks 5 months since I came to America for the first time. Here are 40 things I observed and learned:


  1. Living in a big house involves a lot of muscle work. There are stairs everywhere!
  2. Graduation doesn’t involve any kind of testing.
  3. Snapchat is the new facebook.
  4. Commenting “gorgeous” on every girl’s instagram picture is a must-do.
  5. The insinkerator (dish disposal) is the best thing ever.
  6. Going to school in pajamas is totally fine.
  7. I love drinking from big gallons of Arizona green tea!
  8. Sarcasm doesn’t really work here.
  9. It’s impossible to say something and not offend anyone.
  10. College is a big, super expensive deal.
  11. Public transportation, where are you?
  12. I’m not friends with graphing calculators.
  13. The food in the dining hall is actually good.
  14. Yes, there’s places in America without phone service.
  15. New York is mostly concrete.
  16. School gets cancelled for snow.
  17. Kids can’t be at the mall after 5 pm on friday?!
  18. Hot chocolate in ms.Raines’ room is a real thing (just kidding, don’t go there).
  19. Sport are a big deal.
  20. Field trips with my english class were the best (thank you Ms.Berkeley).
  21. You can easily mess up while line-judging during volleyball games.
  22. Cards against humanity don’t make sense to me half of the time.
  23. Political discussions almost always turn into a fight.
  24. You have to audition for everything at this school.
  25. My accent is worse than I thought.
  26. My english is definitely not as good as I was expecting it to be by now.
  27. Writing essays hurts my brain.
  28. Talking sometimes hurts my brain.
  29. Czechoslovakia doesn’t exist anymore (Mr. Buck!).
  30. And it’s not next to Mexico (some people!).
  31. Flat earth society is a real thing.
  32. The Czech song played at Hoco wasn’t appreciated enough.
  33. It took me two months to understand what microaggressions are.
  34. Our headmaster raps!
  35. Prom is a big deal, and it’s expensive like everything else in America
  36. I’ve gained weight.
  37. Having an online boyfriend is totally normal?!
  38. iPhones are a must have.
  39. Sidewalks are often missing.
  40. I love writing for the Quaker Quill!
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