One Belgian's Peppy Start
Exchange students from Belgium in front of her Arkansas school

A lot to discover in Arkansas

My name is Amélia; I’m 17 years old; and I’m from Belgium. I’m hosted in Arkansas for 10 months.

I arrived on September 1 at around 11:50 p.m. It was a long journey, but I couldn’t wait to finally meet my host family! Even though I arrived in the middle of the night, they were very welcoming! On Saturday, the family came and I was able to talk to them. They were very nice.

My first day of school was Tuesday, September 5, because Monday was Labor Day. I got to know other exchange students, classes that are different from mine at home, and other students.

On Friday, I attended my first pep rally and soccer match. It was incredible! I'd never heard of the pep rally and was pleasantly surprised. It's a preparation for the evening game, where the cheerleaders do a dance and the footballers are present, too. There are activities like a match between the seniors and the juniors (because it was seniors' night) but normally everyone can participate and we all ended up dancing together. 

I'd never heard of the pep rally and was pleasantly surprised.

I was surprised by the size of the stores, especially Walmart.

I love my host family! They’ve hosted exchange students in the past and know what to do. They have dogs and cats. I can do activities with them and also with their children and grandchildren.

I still have a lot to discover and I can’t wait! Next week, I’m taking the yellow bus for the first time. If I have any advice for future exchange students, it’s not to hesitate to ask if there’s something you don’t understand.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget this adventure!

—Amélia (Belgium), hosted by the Walters family (AR)