Exchange Students Experience Snow For The First Time

When you host an exchange student, you sign up for a year of first times and new traditions. Those are the moments that end up taking up the most space in your heart! While each “first” is fun and exciting, some really stand out, like when you have a student who’s experiencing snow for the first time! For the Ward family in Tennessee, it was just as much of a surprise for them as it was for their exchange students, Ismail from Nigeria and Youssef from Morocco. Both boys share their wonder and amazement at experiencing winter weather for the first time ever.

Ismail Muhammad Ali IMG_6176

Here’s what Ismail had to say:

“Honestly, I didn’t really expect to see snow during my exchange year as Tennessee is an area that doesn’t expect much snow especially where I stay. The snow started in the middle of the night while everyone was sleeping. It was wonderful how I woke up to see the snow early in the morning as soon as I woke up.

I was too flabbergasted and full of surprise that I couldn’t say a word, but I sprang outside to ACTUALLY see the snow. I also tried drawing stuff on the snow and tried to get some snow to fall in my mouth. It tasted just like water, except it was frozen. Pretty cool experience! It also felt highly overwhelming to go out to see the snow. I was able to sled at home and also had a snowball fight with my co-hosted brother from Morocco.

I think I might be able to live in a place that gets snow every year, except it shouldn’t be too much because it affects my day-to-day life as it makes the roads too slick for my family to drive in it, especially when we have plans.

My mum made us snow ice cream which was pretty good and we enjoyed it, especially the fact that it’s natural and made of pure snow.

In conclusion, experiencing the snow was a VERY wonderful experience for me because it was the first time I ever saw it in real life and my home country Nigeria is close to the Equator, so we have never experienced snow. But I’m pretty thankful that I got to witness the snow with my own eyes and not in movies or social media.”

Youssef Rhanimi Snapchat-1796894839

While Ismail wasn’t expecting snow, Youssef couldn’t stop thinking about it:

“When I first arrived in the United States, I was told several times that the state of Tennessee, especially where I live with my host family, doesn't get much snow, but I couldn't stop thinking about it and hoping to see it and play with it. When it got really cold in November and December, I thought it was finally the moment I'd been waiting for - it was going to snow! Unfortunately, we didn't get any snow, but the hope persisted until the day they announced a large amount of snow on the eve of Monday the 15th. We were also informed that there would be no school the next day, so I concluded that this was serious business!

On Monday morning, I heard Ismail, my brother, cry out joyfully, ‘It snowed, it snowed!’ So I quickly got up, put on some warm clothes, my gloves and hat, and opened the door. I was speechless! It had indeed snowed during the night, and it was still snowing. A great white blanket, beautiful and magnificent, covered the whole area in front of the house, where the day before there had been nothing but grass. The trees, which had lost their leaves and become bare, now had snow all over them and looked as if they were cold as well. It was a spectacular landscape, worthy of a high-quality movie! I was completely fascinated and amazed!

The first thing Ismail and I did when we saw the snow was to take several pictures of this beautiful white expanse, as if we were afraid the snow would suddenly fly away. After that, we set out to enjoy the long-awaited snow. I took the opportunity to try out a number of games and activities that I was used to seeing in comic books. There was, of course, the snowball fight – perhaps our favorite with me and Ismail – but there was also the snow angel, that angel shape we create on the snow by moving our arms and legs. Finally, I spent a lot of time outside making what I’ve been dreaming of for a long time: a snowman! 

We had a lot of fun! Personally, I’d like to live in a place where it snows for two months, that’s how long I need to enjoy the snow to the fullest! I loved the snow, it was worth waiting for. It was a great, unique and unforgettable experience!”

It’s stories like these that make hosting worth it. Seeing the joy on students’ faces as they experience snow for the first time, there is nothing like it! What little moments will have a big impact on your family when you host? Join the thousands of American families who welcome exchange students into their hearts and homes today.

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Exchange Students Experience Snow For The First Time

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