Gouverneur Through the Eyes of an Exchange Student

Tigran Sahakyan

     It was the end of March of 2022 when I found out that I was going to leave my home country and live with a completely different family in a new environment for nearly one year. It was both scary and exciting. I didn’t know how to feel or what to expect because all I knew about America was what I had seen in the movies and shows. I started to imagine a lot about what my school life was going to be like and how I would fit in at an American high school. The first things that popped in my mind about America were New York City and The Statue of Liberty. I was expecting the culture shock and the “not better, not worse, just different” slogan was stuck in my mind. 

     Customs similar to those in Armenia made me feel less nervous but the rest was completely different from what I was used to. One of those differences was the food. The eating habits are totally different in America: the little use of bread, the amount of fast food, the focus on international food rather than American food, and much more.

     TiAlthough it took me by surprise that I was going to live in a small town, I still stayed positive because I knew that in small communities people would be much nicer and it would be easier to make friends at school. Now, already seven months into my exchange year, I can gladly say that I was lucky enough to go through my journey in Gouverneur because of the friends and great teachers I have met here who I am going to remember for the rest of my life. I appreciate how everyone in Gouverneur High School has helped me to feel truly welcomed and introduced me to the customs of the school. After becoming familiar with Gouverneur High School’s traditions and witnessing the school spirit of the students and staff, I am more than proud to say that, at one point in my life, I was a part of the wildcat family.