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More than a TV Show

Dalya In Cody Wyoming

By Dalya Hasan (YES 2019–2020, West Bank, hosted by ACES in Lambert, MT)

Hi, I'm Dalya from the West Bank and I want to tell you about my story about living in America! Like many people in the world, I watch movies and TV shows about life in America. If you had asked me a year ago about how I imagine life in the United States, I would have answered with many popular cities and destinations in mind like LA, Miami, New York, Hawaii, Alaska, with lots of big clothing stores. Yes, that was my thought about life in America like I've seen on TV and YouTube.

When I came to Lambert, I was shocked at the beginning because nothing of I what had imagined is like the town where I live. My town in Montana, is a really small community with a school that has about 30 students. I was so surprised because it’s a place where everyone knows each other. A week after my arrival, I went with my host family to Cody, Wyoming. The trip was helpful because I improved my communication skills with my host family, and I realized that living in small, open, country life is the right match for me, and I identify with it a lot more than I imagined in the beginning.

Now after being in Lambert for a month, I can say that it's the perfect place for me. I learned that you don't need to be in a big city or school and be around a lot of people to live the American dream. The real part of America is the part that people don't hear about all the time, the small towns and nature and real people who really want to know who you are and share their culture. America is more than what we see on TV shows! I'm really excited to live out the next nine months. I already know it won’t be enough time but the secret is to live in the moment.


Tell us what cultural exchange means to you and why you think it is important!

Check out this month's story prompt at and submit your story!

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