Kelvin & Telmuun
Exchange student from Mongolia gets a piggyback ride from exchange student from Mozambique in Indiana

Exchange bros adapt to life in Indiana

Kelvin (YES, Mozambique)

Hi, my name is Kelvin. I'm 15 years old, and I'm a YES student from Mozambique, hosted in Indiana. Coming from a country with a different background, it was wonderful to see life here in person. The streets, the schools, the food—it's all different. I study at a small-but-very-good school.

Compared to where I come from, the weather here is colder; the food is sweeter; and even the streets are different. In Mozambique, we drive in the left lane, and most cars have the steering wheel on the left side.

I had never seen so many houses made of wood and so much green landscape. People are polite and very welcoming. In such a short time, I have learned to thank and show gratitude even for small acts.

I had never seen so many houses made of wood and so much green landscape.

Schools in the U.S. work very differently. It was strange for me to change rooms every class, having a code to have a snack... I didn't know that so much technology is used (projectors, computers for each student) in a classroom.

On the other hand, I like the opportunities I have had so far, as many of them aren't available in my home country because they are specific to the U.S. culture. I am currently on my school's basketball team. I hope I will engage in more after-school activities and engage in other activities. I’ve been able to watch football games for the first time.

I am double-placed with a FLEX student from Mongolia. He has helped me a lot, and I am glad he is with me on this journey! It's a different culture, and I am going to make this a great exchange year.

Telmuun (FLEX, Mongolia)

I remember the first day I got to the state of Indiana. I met my host family one by one on that day. I met my tea-loving host father in the morning at the airport, met my humorous host mother in the afternoon, and met my host brother in the evening.

My host mother gave me a tour of the town and the school. The town was tiny but comfy, but the size of the school made me nervous.

My host family and I went to a football game. My host mom explained how football works and we screamed and laughed together during the game. I also lost several card games with my host brother that day.

My host family is the most welcoming group of people I've ever met. How much they've helped me throughout my first weeks here is unfathomable. They made me laugh, feel happy, excited, thrilled, and more.

On the first day of school, I didn't know how to use my locker and kept getting lost in the giant hallways.

On the first day of school, I didn't know how to use my locker and kept getting lost in the giant hallways. Luckily, I met many kind people in school who helped me during those first days. The classmates I met during PE class are some of my best friends.

From the school football games to homecoming with so many flashing lights and deafening music, I have danced and laughed so much. The themed week where everybody has to dress differently each day was one of the wackiest experiences I have ever had.

Since the start, this journey has been a blessing. I have met so many new people and seen so many things I could never have imagined. As a little kid, I would never have believed how much I've accomplished.

This whole experience has been one of the best I've had, and I have my host family and friends to thank for that. They are the reason I am excited to wake up to see the morning sun. But this isn't the end of this journey, it's only the start of it, so get excited: no one can predict what awaits us tomorrow.

Kelvin and Telmuun are hosted by the Miner family (IN)