2016-2017 U.S.A. High School Exchange Program
Wilson Kwok

The US Exchange program,2016-2017

I stayed in America on a ten-month exchange program from September 2016 to June 2017. I lived in a small town, Elkins, in West Virginia with my host mom Eileen, and also another exchange student who came from South Korea, called Mark.

I studied in Highland Adventist School. It was a good chance for me to study different subjects, including English Communication, Bible, Literature, Entrepreneurship, Mathematics, Personal Finance and Spanish. I learnt a lot from my English communication lessons. Throughout the lessons, I learnt how to communicate with others, focusing on what I should say in a discussion and how to explain my ideas clearly. All of these skills improved my spoken English.

In my school, students studied more subjects than us in Hong Kong, but with fewer lessons, and of course, they don’t suffer from great study pressure like us. The teaching style in the US is also different from that in Hong Kong. Teachers told us a lot of things that are not mentioned in the textbooks. It made me very attentive in the lesson. The best thing about my study is that I did not have much homework after school as the education system in the States requires students to read more, spend time with family, or do something they are interested in, instead of only studying. The education system in the US really helps students explore more and discover what they want to do as they grow up.

This exchange program gave me so many unforgettable moments. In addition to studying in Elkins, I traveled to Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Boston. The most unforgettable experience I had in the USA was watching my first NBA game. I love basketball so much so watching a real NBA game was my best dream come true. I spent almost six hours on the bus traveling to Cleveland to watch the Cavaliers played against the Washington Wizards. We heard that Lebron James hurt his eye during the practice and he wouldn’t be able to participate in the game. But when we saw Lebron James appeared on the count with his jersey, all the audience started screaming, including me. It was my best memory in the USA.

I gained a lot from the 10-month program as I learnt how to talk to others politely, how to ask questions, how to study, and how to live independently. I also learnt about different types of culture, not only American but also Korean culture. This program also inspired me to reflect my life and think about my future plans. This was definitely an eye-opening experience and it is one of the best memories in my life.

Wilson Kwok,Yan Chai Hospital Law Chan Chor Si College

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