Several of the 2016-2017 AYA students took some time to write letters to our 2017-2018 high school exchange students. They wrote about their reflections, advice and best wishes to help this year’s group make the most of their exchange experience.
The messages in these letters are valuable—to all participants in Academic Year in America programs. Host families and Local Coordinators can read these letters to understand the student’s perspective, and they can share these letters with upcoming students to help them get prepared.
This week’s letter is from Giuliana from Brazil. Giuliana spent her high school exchange living with a host family in Texas:
Dear upcoming class of foreign exchange students,
Before I came, I was freaking out. My host family took a long time to come through, and when it did, I had to fly to the U.S. right away. In less than 3 days, I was in a different country, with people that I never saw before, speaking a totally different language. This was frightening and also super exciting.
My host family was travelling, so I got to live for 2 weeks with my Local Coordinator. I highly recommend that to everyone—spend some time with your LC, because that creates a proximity with him/her, and you will feel more safe and comfortable to talk if you need!
Be very open minded because you are coming to a different place where people think different, so you have to learn how to listen and respect!
Be patient and talk to your host family! If you have any trouble, talk to someone (your LC is the best choice).
At school people will not go talk to you, so you have to go and start speaking! Join clubs at school!! It is the better way to make friends and have a lot of fun, plus it is very cultural and unique! Don’t be afraid to speak with your teachers if you are having troubles, because they will help you.
I hope you have a great year!
Learn more about opportunities for cultural exchange with Academic Year in America.