Life in Arkansas: A South Korean Exchange Student’s Story

Donghah Lee is a CCI high school exchange student who is spending the year with a host family in Arkansas. At the end of March, he will be participating in the Greenheart Spring Break trip to Hawaii. He wrote this letter to his future host family in Hawaii.

Donghah and friends

Donghah and his friends in Arkansas

My name is Donghah Lee and I’m from South Korea. People call me Jake Lee in the U.S.A so that they can say it easier. I have lived in Arkansas as an exchange student since September 2009. Basically, I like that I stay in Arkansas. I’m learning and experiencing many things. How to get along with many different people, how they live in America, independent spirit, how precious my family is, etc. I can’t even say all of them! I really like the fact that I have foreign friends and an American family. I was pretty excited about going to the U.S.A but I was also nervous and worried. But they helped me get used to staying here. There are many new things. Basically, language, people and sports leagues, and some school systems. Of course there might be some cultural differences and I might feel bad sometimes. But through those, I feel like I’m growing. My natural family always supports me and I realized how precious they were while I was in the U.S.A. I’m getting along with my host family. I know how difficult it is to accept another person as their family and I really appreciate it! I think I’m a pretty normal teenager who likes to play basketball, listen to music, and hang out with friends. I’m really excited about going to Hawaii! Thank you for reading this long letter!