What is the most memorable moment you have had in the USA? That is a difficult question. I could start describing breathtaking landscapes from Oregon like Crater Lake; astounding buildings from New York that made me feel like I was in a movie; the charming diversity of San Francisco that made me fall in love with that city; and how to forget some sketchy stories from Salem like the day a complete stranger who was in his car took a picture of one of my friends while she was waiting to cross the street. Instead of retelling one of those stories, I will tell you that the most memorable thing, what I will never forget about the USA, is all the amazing people I have met here. People who made me feel like at home, people who have made me grow as a person.
At the beginning of the year I met around 25 international students from different countries (Ecuador, Chile, Germany, Austria, France, Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Sweden, Ukraine, Belgium, Japan, England, China, and Switzerland). Although we have different personalities, we became a family as time went by. We shared several meals together talking about our cultures or our daily life experiences, we supported each other during homesick moments, and of course we had a lot of fun while dancing at parties or traveling during fall break. These people taught me that no matter how different cultures are, all human beings have things in common. Things that are more evident while facing new situations in an unfamiliar environments. Besides my international friends, I have also met amazing American people who have made my life here more pleasant and easier. I have spent afternoons cooking Colombian food with them, evenings teaching them how to dance salsa, and different moments exchanging language and culture knowledge. I have learned many things from all these people, but the most important thing I have learned is that we cannot judge a culture just by watching movies, reading newspapers, or learning their language. We need to meet people, to talk to them, to argue with them, and to love them, to understand them better. I would like to thank all the people I have met during this year for making this experience a blast!!!