Cultural Adjustment

A YES Student Reflects on a Life-Changing Decision

A YES Student Reflects on a Life-Changing Decision

Jumana, an American Councils student from Bahrain placed in Iowa for the 2016-17 school year, reflects on the decision to apply for the YES program and how this has impacted her life so far.

 

A FLEX Student Shares Her Journey So Far

A FLEX Student Shares Her Journey So Far

The following was submitted by Darika, an American Councils FLEX student from Kyrgystan who is placed in Joshua, Texas for the 2016-17 school year.

"Being an exchange student is amazing"

The FLEX program adds a lot of bright colors to my life. It is opening the doors to my future. I appreciate each good moment in the USA that captures my heart.

YES Alumni Share Their Experiences As Global Citizens

YES Alumni Share Their Experiences As Global Citizens

Recently, the YES program debuted "Global Citizen's Journey" at a YESTalks event in Tunis modeled after the popular TED Talks format. Twelve alumni of the YES program shared their journal from YES students to active alumni.

Having a normal day can change the world

Having a normal day can change the world

Have you considered hosting a foreign exchange student?

By providing an authentic family experience to a foreign exchange student participating in US State Department Programs, you are changing the world. 

It's not hard to host -- you provide the student with a loving, primarily English-speaking environment that includes three meals a day (such as you feed yourself or your family), transportation to school (often a school bus), and a place to sleep.  

My American Experience Winning Essay!

My American Experience Winning Essay!

Congratuations to our winner Atem Nkeng-Asong of the YES Program, Cameroon!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s My American Experience essay contest! 

Read Atem’s essay here.

Why Host an Exchange Student?

Why Host an Exchange Student?

For a year, you will share your home, family, and life with someone who, in the beginning, will be a total stranger. It takes a special kind of family to consider themselves as potential hosts, and it’s only natural to ask, “What does my family have to gain from it?”

Inspiration

Kids whose parents host an exchange student are often inspired to study abroad, learn a new language, or travel in the future. In our progressively more globally connected world, an appreciation and respect for cultures beyond one’s own is a valuable, marketable outlook.

Cultural No-No’s

Cultural No-No’s

Did you know that in Bulgaria, shaking your head means “yes” and nodding your head means “no”?

These cultural differences are ubiquitous around the world. As a responsible host, it is your job to know what they are to prevent possible misunderstandings. The steps are simple: Follow these for smooth sailing with your exchange student!

Two-Way Street

Two-Way Street

Your exchange student may be coming to the U.S. to learn the language and embrace the culture, but reciprocity is key to a successful relationship.

To help your student feel more at home, embrace his or her own culture. Whether your student hails from Ukraine or Thailand, make it a family affair and plan a traditional menu, perhaps including your student’s favorite dish from home and some festive decorations. Your student will become more comfortable, and your family will learn something new in a fun, delicious way!

After the Orientation

After the Orientation

Your exchange student has finally arrived! He or she has met the family, toured your home and about town, and registered for classes. After that whirlwind of excitement, things have just begun to settle down – but what now?

Talk to your student. Ask him or her:

What are your goals for the year?

Total language immersion?

A rich cultural experience?

A particular academic study?

Living in a "Melting Pot" Society - A Kosovar's Experience in the U.S.

Living in a "Melting Pot" Society - A Kosovar's Experience in the U.S.

Alba submitted the following essay as a part of the 2012-13 My American Experience Essay Contest and won first place! She was asked to write about her experience as a exchange student in the U.S. and how that has affected her as a leader. Alba is on the YES program and is from Kosovo.

 

 

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