Everything was so different. I had left behind in my homeland, everything that seemed normal and natural to me and found myself in a completely alien culture. My proficiency in English was barely passable. Not only did I have difficulty expressing myself, I found it difficult, as well, to understand spoken English here. Since those first few trying months, I have gained a firm grasp of the language and, more importantly, the cultural and language nuances that were so foreign to me at first.Something as simple as school was very strange from what I was accustomed to; the schools in India are very different from those here in the US, and it was almost overwhelming initially, but I have since overcome those barriers. My school work did suffer to an extent during my transition, and therefore, my grades do not fully reflect my potential or intelligence. I had to work harder than most of my peers in order to keep up in my schoolwork, not because I was not smart enough, but because everything was new and different and I had to become fluent in English. It did affect my grades, but it taught me much about myself and what I am capable of. I have gained valuable insight into what I can accomplish in my life and learned that at times the important lessons we learn cannot be measured by external standards.