My Friendship Family Experience

By Mihajlo Novakovic (Serbia, UGRAD 2013-2014, Tennessee Technological University)

It was during my very first week on another continent and I can say I was in a completely different world. We went to the welcome session for international students and afterwards, we were all given the opportunity to apply online for a friendship family to complement our American experience. Nevertheless, I had no idea that having a friendship family would be the best thing I experienced during my stay in the U.S.10643160_941803209169646_1250099190_n

Two weeks after I applied I got an email from Dr. Alice Camuti, my “new mom.” Along with the other members in her American family, I also got two Korean sisters who applied at the same time. The first meeting could not have been better.



We went to the lake where we had boat ride. We met our brother Alex and had a great fun swimming and riding on jet skis. That day I also met the father, Andy, who prepared delicious hamburgers for dinner.

As the cherry on top, I was invited to spend Thanksgiving in Ohio together with the rest of the family. That was a best way for me to experience real American holiday and explore American culture and tradition better. The three days in Centerville, Ohio, were probably the most interesting period in America so far. I met a lot of great people, had great traditional food and had really good time with cousins who are approximately the same age as me. Of course I have to mention turkey which was awesome even after two days when eating it on a sandwich.

I realized that a big hole would stand in my heart if I hadn’t met them all. While applying for a family seems really unnatural, because family is the only thing you cannot chose in your life, I am really glad that I can say that the application was just a formal way to meet great and open-minded people who I am always going to remember. Alex, Alice, Andy and Ashlynne will always stay in my heart.


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