I moved to the Czech Republic in 2008 from Albuquerque, New Mexico. To be honest, I didn’t want to leave the US, I didn’t speak much Czech and I didn’t know anybody in Ostrava. I started 9th grade at ISO and my opinion of the Czech Republic immediately changed. The teachers, students, and the whole staff were so welcoming, helpful, kind and friendly and did everything they could to make me feel like at home. Even though the plan was to stay in the Czech Republic for only a year and then go back to the U.S., plans change and now its been 9 years. ISO was a big part of my life that I happily look back at, not only because of the relationships that I built during my time at ISO, which I’ve kept until today, but also because it was the time in my life where I grew, evolved, and learned the most. I learned basic things that aren’t just important to learn before University, but also for everyday life like communication skills, presentations etc. We had the option of travelling, getting to know different cultures, but mainly, at ISO I saw the improvement of my classmate’s English everyday. My times at ISO went by quickly, but they were great years that gave me strength and courage for the future that I will never forgot. Hey, I managed to graduate from Czech Language as a native speaker (which I feared the most since day 1) all thanks to Mrs. Helebrantova and Mrs. Kotasova, because they were able to teach me all needed materials from 1st grade to senior year within 4 years. After saying bye to ISO and most of my friends, who went to study abroad, I studied International Relations in Prague and started my own small business in this region.