Hello! My name is Mary and, earlier this year, I was accepted to be an AFS exchange student. I will be spending my senior year in French-speaking Belgium, living with a host family. I was lucky enough to receive my host family information in late March, so I have been in contact with them for a few months. I am so excited to meet them in August!
You may be wondering why I decided to become an exchange student. Why would anyone give up their senior year with all their close friends and familiar surroundings to dive into a new culture, having to meet new friends, live with a new family, and attend a new school all while speaking a language they may or may not understand? Well, I'll tell you.
I have always been interested in learning about other cultures. In elementary school, Korean exchange teachers came to work with our classes. I thought it was so amazing that they were able to travel to another country to share customs and traditions different from my own. Then a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to become involved with AFS when my family hosted a Japanese exchange student. We had a wonderful experience, and decided to become a liaison family the next year. We ended up hosting another student, and we continued to be a host family the next year. As a host sister, I was able to see the benefits of high school exchange and discuss them with my exchange brother and sisters, with whom I am still in contact. Being an exchange student will allow me to learn about the French language and Belgian culture by becoming immersed in it. I'd say it's a little more interesting than learning it out of a book.
This is probably enough for today, so...