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.

IEW (International Education Week) has been the most memorable part. By representing Kyrgyzstan, I got to acquaint about 500 people with Kyrgyz culture (dance, food, and games). By the end of IEW, I had done 16 presentations, mostly at my high school. I wanted to enlighten people about a country which they haven't even heard about.

So far, I have done 199 hours of community service from working with veterans to a Mud Run to gift wrapping. I have volunteered at places ranging from a local fire station to high school and elementary school to a church. But I do not do these to get hours but because I enjoy community service.

My high school, Joshua High School, is full of nice students and teachers. By attending dance classes and being a part of JV tennis team, I made a lot of friends. I also joined the prom committee, where I have fun and improve my leadership skills. We do presentations about our opinions. Only teachers call my [full] name, but friends create nicknames for me, which can be understood only by us. My friends tell me, "You are my favorite! I will miss you!” and this makes me happy and kind of sad. I am changing my schedule the second half of the year, and may not see these friends every day.

I am so thankful to be a part of such a great American host family, where I learn a lot of funny, interesting things. Me and my American mother enjoy preparing dinner for our family. I have cooked Kyrgyz national dish several times. One day after school, when I came home, I saw my mother’s Kyrgyz cooking! It made me feel like I am in Kyrgyzstan. 

The first half of my life in the USA passed so fast. I had so much fun. My main goal is to become successful and thereby justify the hard work of a person, who brought me up since my childhood. I know there will be a lot of failings. But life without adventures is not life. That’s why I will do all my best to reach my goals.


Pictured: Darika with her host family.