Adapting and Sharing: Start with the Little Things
Indonesian exchange student holds country's flag in Pacific Northwest mountain scenery

Felicia's first days full of small cultural treasures

Hi PAX! I'm Felicia, a YES Program participant from Indonesia. I am hosted in Washington. I want to share my experience.

I've been in the U.S. for about a month. There are many differences, including culture, language, and the way we interact with people in the environment. I’m learning to adapt. I believe that this is the beginning of an incredible experience that will change my life and change the way I see the world.

I always try to introduce my culture and country to the people around me and explore American culture. I believe that PAX, YES, my host family, and all those involved want their exchange students to have the most extraordinary and successful experience possible. I believe that success can be achieved if I as a participant also really want to get to know another culture and build understanding between us.

I try to do that by starting with the little things, like cooking my host family Indonesian dishes and introducing them to batik (technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to the cloth), which is one of Indonesia's cultural treasures. We celebrate National Batik Day on October 2, 2021.

I always participate in activities organized by PAX, where I have met friends from 63 different countries

I also try to participate in activities such as volunteering, because I believe the impact of this experience will be very valuable. I will meet more people with different perspectives and backgrounds, and volunteering allows me to introduce my culture more broadly.

I always participate in activities organized by PAX, where I have met friends from 63 different countries and each of us has a lot of stories, insights, and experiences to share. From these gatherings, I have learned to appreciate and love differences.

I am also very happy to be given the opportunity to study in the U.S., where I can learn more about the education system that is really different from my country, and I can meet friends who are very welcoming and interested in my presence. I am always enthusiastic to learn. I will use this precious time as best as I can and learn as much as I can. 

—Felicia (YES, Indonesia), hosted by the Heeter family (WA)