(Ni Komang Melya Lestar, YES Student from Indonesia)
Hello everyone :)
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Ni Komang Melya Lestari, and you can call me Melya. I am a 17 year old girl from Indonesia (specifically from Bali island), and for the next few months I will live in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Wait, did I just said USA? United States of America?? Yes, I’m here. It feels like a dream that I stepped foot in this great country. But, no! It is real, and I really am in the United States of America right now. I am hosted in Indiana state, which is located in the midwest of the country. Have you ever been to Indiana? If not, I will tell you a little bit. Indiana is so flat and has no mountain at all. It has four seasons, and is so beautiful, I love it. Why? Because Indonesia does have four seasons, so it is a new thing for me.
I live in the capital city of Indiana (Indianapolis), and my house is not far from the downtown. I got two weeks for break on the last fall break. So, I decided to spend one full day with other exchange friends who totally know nothing about this place, with a map of the downtown Indianapolis on our hands. It was so funny when you saw three Asian girls explore the downtown and took a lot of picture in every single place, with crazy poses. I felt like free, even when it was my first time coming to those places.
(Me and my friends explore downtown of Indiana. I was the left one - Pictured above)
And now, fall season is over. I was never imagined before that autumn can be so beautiful when the leaves changing. Well, it’s because I always think winter is the best, but I didn’t know autumn has a perfect color ever. Then, I am waiting for winter time. I think it would be a lot of fun, because this is my first winter, and I haven’t seen snow in my life before. If you ask me what I want to do when the snow fall on the yard, I will mention snowman first. “Melya, do you want to build a snowman”. I’m waiting for my friends to sing that song :).
But I have a very big problem for that. In Indonesia I live in Bali island, which is hot and humid (if I compare it with Indiana), so I think fall is cold already. I bet winter will be super cold, so I don’t think I want to go outside my house, lol.
I got a lot of experience here; even I just live here for few months. I guess I will find a lot more experiences and stories here, which I can bring back to my beloved country “Indonesia”. A “home” that will always wait me to back there.
Do you know how it feels being an exchange student? It is fantastic for me. I guess most of the exchange student will think the same. We sent here to make a better understanding about diversity, sharing our home country’s culture, learn new thing, and a lot more. I felt like I was the weirdest person when I just started here (or maybe until now). I have to deal with the daily life here, the people, the culture, places, or even school.
Friends. Being an exchange student makes me know a lot of people from different country. And now, I can say I have friends from every continent (except Antarctica, of course). Talking with an exchange student is always interesting. We come from different country, so we have different story. And it always on an interesting topic.
(Me and my friends in choir)
Then, American high school. My first day of school here is so unforgettable. I didn’t know anyone there to talk with (except my teachers). I went everywhere by bringing a school map. And the worst thing is I had my lunch alone :’(. I felt such a nerd. Perfectly nerd. Fortunately, the next day, I got a friend to sat with during the lunch time. Every single day, it became better. I was trying to make friends, knowing the situation, and fit to this kind of situation.
That is why. Being an exchange student isn’t easy. I have to struggle with every kind of situation. I have to be ready for everything that will coming. But, as the time flows, I can learn thousands of things, and got a new experiences that I’ve never even imagine it before. I know, the upcoming things won’t be easy. Or maybe will contain with lots of tears. But I know it will make me find a new thing about myself.
On the International education week, I presented about my country at some place. It was amazing. It such an honor for me to giving a presentation in front of a lot of people who mostly never heard about my country before. I was giving some presentation, dancing, singing, teaching Balinese traditional dance, cook national food, wearing a pretty traditional costume and of course sharing my experience as an exchange student. The audiences were so nice. They were paying attention to me, asking me thousands of questions about everything. And I tried my best to answer all of it. I was so happy when they start know about my country, and some people said that they want to visit my beautiful country. I couldn’t believe I did all of it. I learn a lot of things here, and I found a new me. I love to be an exchange student. And all of them still feel like a dream.
(Presentation for International Education Week)
Well, everything will start with a dream. But you have to remember to reach it if you want to make it comes true. And when my dreams starting to be real, it is when I call it “A real dream”.