Sadaf is an AYA KL-YES exchange student from Pakistan spending her academic year in America in Kansas with the Manzoor family. She recently wrote us to share her exchange experience and how this first month has been full of eye opening experiences.
I have been in the US about a month now and I am extremely grateful to the KL-YES Program that has teamed up with AYA to provide a quality international education experience for young students. I find that this experience is more than academics and books, it’s about sharing and learning about other cultures, people and above all diversity.
I feel so lucky to have been chosen among so many other students for this exchange program. This journey so far has already proven that there are a lot of similarities and differences between my culture and American culture. Since I arrived in August, I am loving this experience, being among new people and friends. It feels so good to be somewhere else, although far from my motherland, having new friends has made me feel right at home.
I live with the Manzoor family and my younger host sister and brother. They are the most amazing, loving and caring family and have opened their hearts and home to me. I will be forever grateful to them for giving me ‘my home away from home’. Living with them has to be one of the coolest experiences in my life.
This past September I started high school and it’s quite different from mine in Pakistan. However, the students and teachers have made me feel so welcome and it’s important to me to learn about a different education system. I’m sure I will learn a lot this year and these new skills will help me in the future.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and I know this adventure is going to open my eyes to new things and ideas that I can share with the people of my home country. Thanks to the KL-YES Program and AYA for supporting students around the world and providing us with an opportunity to learn and explore different cultures.
And thanks Sadaf for sharing your first impressions with us! If you’re a KL-YES student with AYA send us your stories, here. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get to know other students just like you!
If you’re an American family interested in supporting cultural exchange like the Manzoor family, start your host family application with AYA today!