My Exchange Year was a Year of Growth

Like every one of the thousands of exchange students that arrive to the USA each year, Sri from India had expectations for her exchange experience. She thought about how she would grow as a person, what it would be like to be part of what life is really like here in America, and she hoped to meet people with whom she’d find lifelong connections. Since arriving to Maine, she has made the most of her time here. She shares what the experience has been like so far, and how it has shaped her as a person.

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“My first impressions of Maine were that it’s very beautiful, and the natural scenery is really refreshing! I love the lakes and beaches!! Maine is very spacious. My host family were welcoming and now I want to stay here forever! My high school is pretty big for me. I went to a school with 70-80 students of my grade but here there are 300 students. Teachers are really kind. Almost everyone I meet are really interested about my culture. I appreciate the community here!

I learn something new every single day from my host family and friends! They are the most kindest people I have ever met in my life! Kindness, spending quality time with the family, managing the finances are some of the things I have learnt from them. I also learn that my presence in my power, the way I communicate says a lot about me and how I treat others. My friends push me towards being a better person! I learn to be more confident from them, build self-esteem and to enjoy my life! My peers accepted me as I am and are really intrigued about my country! I am beyond grateful for every single one of them I meet here.

There are so many experiences that I love. I loved swimming with my friends and family in the lakes, my trips to Boston and New York and going to events with my friends and family. My family and I have hosted a lot of parties which I enjoy. I also love going to school, school here is less stressful and it’s more fun! Spending time with my sports team is my favorite.

I also volunteer at a daycare and a few middle schools. I love volunteering there because I love kids and their hugs. I love talking and spending time with them. They are just so adorable!!! They love making jokes and I love them.

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One memory that sticks out to me is from when I was traveling with a group of friends and some teachers. One of my teacher called out my name and told me to look out the window because it was snowing for the first time of the year. Snow is really pretty and I love it. I always take pictures of the snow. It’s so beautiful.

I wanted to become an exchange student to learn about the American culture. Growing up I always wanted to come to America and be independent. I wanted to imbibe independence in my lifestyle and learn the culture, clothes, food, the way they talk, etc. I love the fact that I get to be a new person and start my life in a completely new place with a new set of people, places, and food. I also wanted to grow as a person and make myself better!

I love my exchange experience so far and it has changed me into a different person. I’d recommend doing an exchange year for lifelong connections and for some really cool experiences.”

When you become one of the everyday American families who open their hearts and homes to exchange students, you get to help students like Sri experience firsthand what real life is like here in the USA! By sharing meals together, cheering them on at their sporting events, and celebrating holidays together, you not only help them grow, but you also get a new family member. Join the fun, and give your family the gift of a new friend and a new culture!

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My Exchange Year was a Year of Growth

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