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April 4, 2013

Second host family makes Hungary feel like home


I do think it was good for me to have experienced what I went through with my first family. What it was like to be surrounded 24/7 by people who didn’t like me. I know that it sounds weird, but I learned so much about myself and how to heal. I learned to fully love who I am, inside and out, no matter what others thought. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. I do feel stronger.

This Saturday some of my family is coming to visit and I’m very excited! I can’t wait to see them. Now if only they could bring our dog.

Hungarian is one of the hardest languages in the world. Seriously, Google “hardest languages to learn” and Hungarian is always in the top 10 next to Arabic and Japanese. Even the locals I’ve talked to tell me not to even bother to try; it’s a “waste of time.” My host brother said it would be a miracle if anyone could Hungarian fluently in five years, much less one year. So what I’m trying to say is that I’m not fluent, not even close. I have learned much though; more that I would have in a classroom setting. I know basic things and can have a short conversation, so I’m doing all right. My teacher tells me that I’ve improved a lot since I started, so I’m content. I still practice every day and attempt speaking with anyone who will listen. I am a little embarrassed that I will be going home and not be fluent in another language though.

All in all I’m very happy now. The snow is going away and spring is coming. I’m ready for whatever happens next.

Grace Heneghan is a Cooperstown Rotary exchange student who traveled to Hungry. To read more about her adventures, visit her blog at

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