By: Allyssa Micoh Tupaz Roxas, Greenheart Work and Travel participant

Hi there! I am Allyssa from the Philippines. I would like to share the best summer I’ve ever had as a cultural exchange participant in the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Honestly, I was scared at first because this would be my first international travel experience. And of course, it is the United States! The United States is far from my home country but really worth traveling to. It was freezing cold when we arrived here at first; the weather here is very different from the Philippines. Back home in the Philippines, I was very dependent on my parents. I thought this would be a tough summer but it is going really smoothly and I am having a lot of fun.

Days passed by quickly and I have been getting along with my managers and all the staff at my workplace. They are the greatest and the sweetest people I have ever met. They never hesitate to share their stories, guide us, and teach me what they know. One of my co-hostesses is like our mother here, she always gives us hugs. I am really lucky that I am surrounded with such great people. I have a family here and I am very thankful for that!

There are a few things that I have learned here so far. First, stepping out of my comfort zone is the key for a successful cultural exchange. “Do not be afraid to try new things” is the motto that I always tell myself. Right now, I am learning how to cook food and even though I am not that good at it yet, I am still working on it and I am making progress every day. Second, I have learned how to be responsible. For example, I manage to wake up early so I will not be late for work. Even though those are simple things to learn in life, I still grow a lot from learning to be responsible and independent. Lastly, the most important thing is not to be afraid to communicate with people. Don’t be self-conscious about grammar or your accent, as long as you try your best to communicate in English.

These are the lessons that I’ve learned in the United States so far, and I am looking forward for more experiences to come.  I am really enjoying my stay here and it is so much fun greeting and smiling to my customers and co-workers. I hope my experiences help all of you to boost your self-confidence, and remember not to be afraid to try new things. I really hope you enjoy reading this.

Are you ready to learn as you have fun in the U.S.? Check out more fun learning experiences here!