I did my exchange to Russia one year after my brother had done his. Amusingly, the girl whom my brother had done his exchange with had a younger sister whom I would do mine with. This was nice because I already knew one of the family members by the time I was to go to Russia. Actually, since the Russian students came to America before we went there, I already knew two of them.
This helped by removing all the ‘getting to know you’ time when I arrived in Moscow. But, that was a two-way street. My entire host family came to pick me up from the airport. As soon as I got in the car they all stared at me. They were also smiling. The smiles were the type you wear when you are waiting for something funny to happen. “Aren’t you going to put your seat-belt on?”
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