Hosting Academic Year in America (AYA) students is a fantastic way for families, schools and communities to learn about exotic locations outside of America. AYA students are bright, curious and eager to share and explore during their time here. They are wonderful cultural ambassadors to make things that are foreign become a little bit more familiar to their U.S. hosts.
Meryem from Morocco (above) brought traditional Moroccan clothes as gifts for her host family when she arrived. Pictured are Meryem, host brother Patrick, host sister Tonery, host mom Terri, Paulina from Russia, host sister Meg, host brother Mitchell and host sister Bianca having fun dressing up!
Botakoz from Kazakhstan (above) participated in her school’s International Education Week. She is pictured holding a Kazakh national musical instrument called a dombyra. It is a two string instrument that can play a variety of sounds. The songs that are played on a dombyra are called kyui. Botakoz performed a few songs and then let her classmates have a try!
Other classmates participating in International Education Week included Bewizta from Indonesia pictured here with Botakoz and other friends representing their cultures (above).
Abdulla (above) prepared a presentation about his homeland of Kyrgyzstan during International Education Week. He is pictured in traditional garb – note the FLEX t-shirt!
If you have photos and stories that you would like to share about your cultural exchange experiences as a host or student with AYA, we’d love to hear from you. Our Facebook and Twitter pages are both great options for the foreign exchange community to share and get connected.