The exciting and exhausting journey across an ocean

Tamara Benassuli, 24, at the University of Washington where she is a graduate student after coming over from Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo courtesy Tamara Benassuli)

Tamara Benassuli is an international student from Switzerland. She visited New York as a tourist a few times, but Benassuli only recently came over to live in Seattle as an exchange student. She previously studied in Canada as an undergraduate. She said Seattle is very similar to Canada: the area is outdoorsey and the people are generous.

She was familiar with the United States having consumed plenty of American culture through television. Her favorite shows are “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “Big Bang Theory,” and, of course, “Friends.” She is also a fan of comedians Jimmy Fallon, Ellen Degeneres, and Kevin Hart. She uses them to improve her English and loves that she finally understands their jokes.

On reflecting on her first day in America, Benassuli expressed overwhelming joy and complete exhaustion.

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This story was produced in partnership with the First Days Project.