Much of the home décor that’s considered “in” right now, have words written in English, or has an image of the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building on it. Many of the television shows here that play during the prime time of the evening are all the popular American shows, except with French voice-overs.
One of the reasons I’m here, however, is to help teach them that my life back home is not always exactly like America is portrayed on TV. Just this past week, my English teacher asked me to make a PowerPoint presentation about life in the United States. I spoke for about 30 minutes, showing them pictures of Cooperstown and explained how the majority of New Yorkers lived.
I had never felt so passionate or proud in a single 30 minutes than I did that day. I immediately light up and feel the biggest sense of pride whenever I see anything United States-themed, whatever it may be. I say to myself, that’s my country. That’s representing not only the country I love, but the country that millions of Americans love, and thanks to this exchange year, I now know that millions of people all over the world share the same love as well.
It’s such a great feeling to know that while people of other cultures respect and look up to what’s come to be known as the “American Dream,” is not just a dream for me; it’s my reality.
Ashley Bliss is a Cooperstown Rotary exchange student. Follow her adventures on her blog at www.ablissfulbonjour.wordpress.com