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Home | Where in the World | Meet Foreign Exchange Students | Meet Foreign Exchange Students - Indonesia: Indah

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Meet Foreign Exchange Students - Indonesia: Indah

My name is Indah, and I am from Indonesia.

Indonesia may be not as famous as Germany or Australia. Indonesia may be not as large as United States, but Indonesia is the largest world's archipelago. It is also the largest Muslim populated country.

Indonesian life is pretty much the same with here in United States. Of course, there are some differences or there might be lots of differences between Indonesia and the United States. There may be some cultures and traditions that do not make any sense for most of Americans. Daily life is mostly based on our religion and traditions.

The activities are not so different. Most people work 6 days a week and few people work 5 days a week and the jobs are the same as jobs here. The students in Indonesia go to school 6 days a week, and they have to wear uniforms as it is required. The students cannot choose the classes that they want. So they will have 13 or more classes. For fun, most people do pretty much the same as people here. Teenagers are doing the same thing as teenagers in United States, such as hanging out with friends, going to the mall, shopping, going to the movies; and if they have a homework group, they will do homework together. Most Americans have more freedom, especially as teenagers.

The most interesting thing is the snow, because I have never seen snow before. We do not have any snow in Indonesia because the average of the temperature is between 80-120 degrees Fahrenheit. I am so happy that I can see the snow and touch it, and it is so much fun to play in it. The other thing about the snow is skiing. I learned how to ski and now I know how to ski. The funniest thing being here is that I gained some pounds in weight. I don't know exactly why, but that�s what happened.

The strangest thing in my opinion, is that the kids here in United States pretty much rebel against their parents. They are yelling to their parents, and they don't obey their parents. Even though there are some kids who do not do these things, it really surprised me when I first came here. But I realized that everything is just different and I believe that in every single way of life there will be good and bad.

Before I came here, my grandparents did not agree with the idea of me coming to United States. They thought, and even they still think, that United States is not a good country for me especially because I am a Muslim. But my parents believed I would be fine and easily adjust to the culture and society in United States. I then went to the airport with my parents and flew for 24 hours through Singapore, Germany, and then arrived in Washington, DC. It was a tiring journey, but it was also very interesting.

The first time I met my host family, I was so nervous and scared about being with an American family because I heard a lot from most people that Americans are selfish. But then I found something different about American family. They are not as bad as I thought or the other people thought.

My host family is so nice and so friendly. I learned a lot from them. They told me a lot of information about what I did not know about United States and Americans. They helped me adjust, and they always try to make me feel like I am part of the family. Friends at my high school are also so nice. I know almost all of the kids or probably they know me more than I know them.

Talking about tsunami, lots of people in my community and school felt so bad for it. They helped me raise money for the tsunami relief efforts. Even though I did not collect a lot of money, I was able to raise a fair amount of money and felt like I did something useful for my country.


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