Coming to America from another continent, another country, another culture, can be difficult, sometimes unnatural, but certainly interesting. From the little window of the airplane that brought the world together, I could see a completely new environment opening to my eyes and my mind, so unfamiliar and fascinating. The things I knew about this country turned out to be just a preview of the immense amount of information that I got to know, understand and appreciate. You can call it learning, I call it living and being.
The educational system from USA is known as one of the most progressive in the world, because of the freedom it expresses, the choice it gives you, the ''social'' part it imposes to all of the students. Becoming a part of this system is a wonderful experience, because it shows you how another part of the world sees and provides education, giving you the chance to live it and absorb it. From my point of view, the main advantage of an american school is encouraging its students to be who they are, support their personalities and opinions, without shifting them to certain model that they need to follow. In this way, they're creating personalities, not only learning individuals. Implementing this concept in the other ex USSR countries would increase the level of education greatly. The FLEX program is building a bridge between cultures by making us study in this kind of schools and thinking in this kind of way. In the end, a person's actions are the synonym of his mentality, so being trained to think as a successful american will lead to acting as one, no matter where you are.
Another lesson that I got to learn, very precious and unexpected, was the idea of diversity. Before coming here, I was exposed to a very small range of nationalities, religions, cultures. America taught me that people can be different and, in the same time, so similar. What makes them different is not the color of their skin, not their traditions, the only thing that makes them different is the way they think. Through interacting with other people, I understood why USA is the most diverse country in the world. It's the people's way of being that impressed me, their will to live after their own rules, norms, even if those things don't fit some general stereotypes. This fact offered me a wider view on people, and made me realize that before being citizens of our native countries, we're all global citizens.
My experience is also enriched by the places that I get to see in America. Every state comes with a different image and spirit, constantly surprising me. My eyes were simply amazed, getting lost through the huge buildings, almost touching the sky, pieces of the progress of our century. In the same time, I tasted the beauty of the small town that I live in, realizing that they're equal in some way. They both offered me the picture of the country that I live in, using different elements, but revealing the same beauty.
...It all came fast and suddenly. It took the hand of a girl and brought her on an extraordinary journey. She walked slow, and in the same time fast, she's still walking, keeping her thoughts close to the goals of her trip. She knows that this time the distance will be measured in memories and the things she meets will become part of her forever.
Cristina Mogâldea, 2010-2011 FLEX participant