Yes, it’s that time of the month when we present you with the most honorable mention for any exchange student on the forum; student of the month. This month, we are presenting you with the student who adjusted in his host environment very easily, made new friends from such a diverse culture, was elected as the Homecoming king and much more. His name is Muhammad Umer Janjua. Read about his great experience so far in his own words.
“For me, transition from a Pakistani High school into a Private American Catholic High school was one of the
most exciting aspects of my exchange year, a journey I’ll surely cherish. Coming from where your teacher changes the classroom to where the moment the bell rings the hallways are flooded with students going to their next class, it was just one of the numerous new experiences I had. The people were very welcoming and embracing.
The day I went for registration was quite a memorable one. After we were done with the paperwork, this kind lady took us for a tour around the school. After a visiting a couple of hallways and the gym, as impatient as I am, I asked her if I could go to an actual classroom. So, we just went into a random classroom (It was my future class) and I just went in with a big smile plastered across my face and just said, “Hi Guys!”. For a moment everybody stared at me and then instantly everybody burst into laughter and all of a sudden four guys come up, introduce themselves and shake my hands. The teacher, after being successful at getting calmed down after all the laughing, asked me if I was the exchange student they were expecting and that he could already think that we were going to have a good year. Later that night I went to the football game with those four guys.
From being the Homecoming King, getting casted in the fall play, being my school’s mascot, crazy Halloween parties to celebrating Eid with friends from school, High school has definitely been a highlight of my year so far.
Many exchange students are nervous when they’re going for their first day at school but for me it was more like, “Let’s Do This!”. Dressed up in my native attire I went about the hallways, with some people looking at the weird looking foreigner with confused gestures. In all my classes I introduced myself and got acquainted with the atmosphere. During break assembly, all the school got gathered for announcements and prayer. The announcer told everybody about me and instantly I grasped the opportunity to introduce myself. I got up and introduced myself with a couple of jokes here and there with it being a light and funny introduction. The response was amazing. Everybody was thrilled and moments ago in the same hallways where nobody was paying attention to me, now everybody was like, “Hey Umer!”, “How’s it going Umer?”, “Welcome to the States Umer!”. Now everybody in school knew me but I didn’t. It took me nearly a
month to get all the names straight. I always seemed to confuse Brady and Briar though.
I also got elected as the Homecoming King as I had made friends pretty quickly. Being the Homecoming King was definitely an amazing experience and having the Homecoming Queen as your date definitely multiplies the thrill of being to a high school dance for the first time. The whole election process was very exciting and it was definitely a privilege to get elected as the Homecoming king.
I’m a Muslim, my host family’s Mormon and I attend a Catholic School. This is as diverse as it gets. It’s definitely a big learning experience for me and I’m getting acquainted with a lot of different concepts and learning a lot. Attending the mass on Friday in school and then later going for Friday prayers to the mosque and then attending Mormon Church on Sunday is definitely a part of the package.
To be short, YES is the best thing that has happened to me yet. Everybody should ‘YES’ once in their lives and the world would be so much better. (The first picture’s my senior picture too)”
Hopefully you all enjoyed his journey just as much as we did. Did you learn anything? Good if you did and if you didn’t, make sure next time you read more carefully( even the sign boards on the way to McDonalds). Feel free to share your likes , dislikes, comments, questions in the comments down below or tweet us. You can also share your unique experiences with us and send it to our email address(written down below) to get featured on “ExchangeStudentStation”
SOM’s twitter handle: @M_Umer_Janjua