BE AN EXCHANGE STUDENT IN WISCONSIN
As some of you may know, I've been an exchange student for a year in America. I haven't really choose where I was going, but I am so grateful that it was in Wisconsin. I met lots of amazing people, experienced lots of things and discovered new places. When I was there, I did a bucket list of things I had to do before to leave. Here we go !
As a foreign, I had no idea of what Wisconsin could look like, I have to admit that Wisconsin is not the most famous state of America. So I imagined the basic cliché: farmers with fields and cows.
I wasn't really wrong on that part... But it's much more than that.
1 - See if clichés were real ✅
When I arrived in Wisconsin, I had all American movies's clichés in my mind and I wanted to see if it was real. So that's why one of the first thing on my list was to go to high school, have a locker as the ones in american movies, and take a yellow bus haha (clichés I know).
2 - The myth of the Wisconsin Farmers : pet cows ✅
As I was in a farmer state, I had to go to a farm and see cows. I have plenty of cows in my country, but I wanted to discover how it is in America, how they feed them or how they look on the other side of the ocean. And I wanted to meet farmers and talk with them about their work.
3 - Live with farmers, act like farmers ✅
There are three thing a farmer love to do : hunt, go to the bar to listen stories (to drink, obviously) and shot gun. It looks simple, but it’s a whole different world haha. If I wanted to experience Wisconsin at his fullest, I has to experience those three things, and that was freaking awesome.
a) So I decided to hunt but I didn’t want to kill any animals (sorry to disappoint you Wisconsinites).By the way, you have to wear very warm orange clothes, because in general you go hunting early in the morning (5/6am ish).
b) I went to bars and drank (only soda ooobviously).
c) I shot with a gun for the first time of my life (and maybe the last one actually).
bonus : Wisconsinites are also really good to find quote about them
« deer or beer » or « Drink wisconsinably »
4 - discover American food ✅
An another thing Wisconsin people (it's actually every American) love to do is to eat (actually, who doesn’t like that?). The american food might be the most attractive one. It’s maybe not the healthiest one (it’s definitely not) but it’s tempting. I made a list of all the american food you should try right here. But if you do a bucket list in America, discover their food should be on the top 3 most important thing to do, really.
5 - Play strong ! ✅
Even if they eat all the time, they are very athletic too. And that was one my list : to try new sports. I discovered one of my favorite one : softball. I don’t really know why, but I loved to play that game, I was actually pretty bad but it was fun to learn rules and be part of a team (by the way it's me on the middle pic).
On my list I had 2 things : to try new sports (I didn’t want to get too fat you know?) and to watch games sports. I realized that football was like a religion in America, it’s amazing to see how people are dedicated to that sport and how they are all in it, together.
So during my year, I did volleyball, then winter dance and softball ! The rest of my time I was supporting my school at football or basketball game, we had dress-up games to support our team, fro exemple around Christmas we all had to wear the Christmas hoodie.On the pic, the dress up was all in black. American are really supportive and it feels good !
6 - A cliché from the 60s ✅
I had a dream to go roller skating in America. The issue was that in 2018, there weren’t that much places to do it anymore. So we had a hard time trying to find a way to roller skate and we finally found it ! It was such a good night with a special atmosphere, two of my friends had their first date that night and they were so cute haha.
7 - A fabulous Drive-In ✅
Who wouldn’t want to experience a drive-in in 2018? I had no idea we could still do that, but in Wisconsin, when it gets warm you can! It’s an orignal experience where everyone watch the same movie, some people are on the roof of their cars, some in the back of their trucks and it’s just a good moment to enjoy.
8 - going to a real American party ✅
In Europe, we all have the cliché that American parties are crazy. We imagine the thing in a big house, with a big pool, lots of alcohol, lots of people and crazy stuff...etc. This is a myth. Even though American parties are really fun and people love to drink haha, it's not like in movies, it's similar but not that crazy. And the fact that people can't drink legally before 21 is the main reason. So college parties are maybe like that, but not high school parties, sorry guys.
9 - Four wheeling in summer, snowmobiling in winter ✅
Snowmobiling is possible only in winter when there are enough snow to open trails. Yeah, I was surprised when I learned that snowmobiling trails exist all around Wisconsin. In winter, you can go almost everywhere with the snowmobile and it's a fun way to go to school. One day, with some friends we spent the day out, on our snowmobiles to discover forest and nature, it was only between the nature and us. It was such an amazing moment, because we felt free and wise.
10 - go on a road-trip ✅
I feel like it's a need in America. As a student and as a teenager, you need to do a road trip with friends around the whole country. That's why we went to the West coast of USA. We took the bus, spent the night in it, even slept on the floor one night and had lots of amazing memories. We went to Pittsburg, to Chicago, then to Philadelphia then to New-York, we took thousands pictures - and I have to admit it was amazing to experience that with people that never or (almost never) went to big cities such as New-York, I could see stars in their eyes. So we went through 6 different states and we all had amazing memories of our unique experience.
11 - go to a bonfires (and eat s'mores) ✅
When people want to hang out, they usually go out and eat or do bonfires at home. It's like a tradition in Usa to eat s'mores and be with friends. S'mores is a typical American treat consisting of marshmallows and pieces of chocolate between two pieces of graham cracker or cookie. Unfortunately, I don't like chocolate so I basically only ate marshmallows on crackers.
12 - go to a graduation ✅
I had the chance to see lots of my senior friends at their graduations. It was such an amazing moment, to see how those years of high school end and what it means for all of them. It's a big celebration in America, people generally do a graduation party where they invite their families and friends to celebrate.
13 - Finally, go to prom ✅
Prom might be the biggest dream every little girl has. I got the chance to go to my high school prom and it was an amazing experience : girls started researching their dresses maybe six months before prom, chats about makeup, haircut...etc. It was fun to see all preparations, I felt like in a movie. Parents and people make such a big deal of prom and it is funny to get evolve and to be part of it.