Quaran-teen Stories, Part 3
An interview with my cousin, Rebecca
Hello, everyone! I hope you’ve enjoyed these interviews so far. This week, I spoke with my cousin, Rebecca C. of Maryland, about her experience as a foreign exchange student before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, Rebecca?
A: Sure! I just finished up 11th grade, and I’m homeschooled. I really enjoy learning languages, and can speak English, Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati. I’m planning to start a career in translating and interpreting after I complete college, and this year I went to Ahmedabad, India, for a ten month foreign exchange program to have an incredible opportunity experiencing the culture and learning new languages.
Q: That sounds exciting! What was your school life like before COVID-19 hit, and how did it change with the lockdown and stay-at-home order?
A: I’ve been homeschooled all my life, so my school and daily routine wasn’t too different for me after COVID. I was already using an online program for school at my home, so the biggest change was having to come home early from my foreign exchange program. After flying from India back to the US, I had to self-quarantine with my family for two weeks as a precaution. (Luckily we were all fine, and virus-free.) Another thing that changed was we went from going to Mass and youth group in person to watching them online every Sunday.
Q: What has been the hardest part about this whole situation? Has anything good come out of it for you?
A: The hardest part for me was having to come back to the US two months early from the exchange program in India. There were many more things I wanted to do and experience there, so leaving early was very unexpected and sad. Good things definitely have come out of it though: I’m very grateful for the time I spent in India even though it was cut short. The lockdown has also been a good opportunity to spend more time with my family, especially after being away from them for eight months.
Q: What do you feel is important for people to keep in mind right now?
A: This is a good time to grow closer with family and maybe take up a new hobby. I think people need to stay positive during this time and know that they’re not alone; we are all in this together!
I want to thank Rebecca for taking the time to answer my questions, and for the positive message she’s sharing during this time!