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Indonesian Students Learn about Life in the U.S.
By Bennet I., YES Abroad 2022-2023, Indonesia
In the fall I had the privilege of joining a talk show event hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta’s cultural center, @america. Indonesian YES participants currently hosted in the U.S. also joined, virtually. Speaking to an audience of Indonesian students, we shared about American culture, answered questions, and highlighted the importance of international education. I was grateful to participate in the event and was reminded of how thankful I am for this opportunity to be an exchange student in Indonesia!
At first I was nervous to be on stage, but my nerves dissipated once the show started. The attendees were great –interested and engaged in the topic! They wanted to know about daily life in the U.S., like food and culture, and life as an exchange student, like adjusting to living abroad. For adjusting to life abroad, I spoke at length about how important it was to keep a positive mindset and maintain a strong support system. I also spoke about culture shock and how I used the D.I.V.E. model to properly reflect on my experiences abroad. The D.I.V.E. model has been extremely important because it encouraged me to communicate with others when I run into new experiences and learn more in-depth information about my local community.
I was flattered that members of the audience wanted selfies together at the conclusion of the event, and I felt proud to represent the U.S. and this program. I am so glad I said yes to the opportunity. I would have been less likely to do something like this in America a little under a year ago. Therefore, this proud step showed me just how much I’ve grown during my exchange year!