A Movie Come to Life
Exchange student from Morocco passes out Halloween candy in her costume

Sports, volunteerism, holidays—Moroccan making the most of it

I am Alae from Morocco. My exchange year in Indiana has been an incredible adventure so far. Volunteering has been a big part of it. I helped out at the local church by babysitting and also pitched in at the Harvest Community. I've assisted the student council in setting up events, and one of the most enjoyable experiences was volunteering at the child zoo, where I got to entertain kids and give them candy.

I also tried golf for the very first time this season, I learned a bunch and it was a great experience, thanks to a supportive coach and wonderful fellow players. Next season, I'm excited to give basketball a shot as a fun winter sport. 

One of the most enjoyable experiences was volunteering at a children's zoo, where I got to entertain kids and give them candy.

One of the most American things that I was the most excited about was attending football games, something I'd only seen in movies. The atmosphere in the stadium is fantastic, and it's been a great fun time with my friends. 

Homesickness is something all exchange students deal with, but I managed to overcome it by building friendships with classmates and friends through sports and clubs. These connections have been my support system during those tough moments. 

My host family has played a significant role in my experience. They've been welcoming, and I've had the chance to participate in traditional American fall activities like apple picking and pumpkin carving. Some of my favorite moments have been cozy nights by the fire, or playing board games while eating pizza.

This whole experience often feels like I'm living a dream or a movie come to life. I'm so grateful for the exchange program and the organization that placed me in this warm and wonderful community. I cherish every day and look forward to more adventures and growth. This journey has been a dream come true, and I'm eager to make the most of every moment in the future.

—Alae (YES, Morocco), hosted by the Sutphin family (IN)