Mountain Bikes and Memories
High school exchange student from Thailand with her host sister and YES Abroad alumna at Zion National Park
Mareefa and her host sister (and YES Abroad alumna) Grace

Thai finds her path

It has been almost three months since I arrived in the United States of America. I feel like everything is going good. I have done a lot of activities. In the first week, I had a chance to go to the rodeo for the first time. It was great, and I liked it a lot.

My school started on August 21, 2017. I met new people, new friends, new teachers—they were so nice to me. They always helped me when I needed help or didn’t understand. In the first week, it was not easy to understand at all. I tried so hard.

I also joined the mountain biking team. This is my first time, and I was very interested in this activity. I found new friends in the club. September 22 was my birthday, and we had a wonderful party. On Halloween, my family and I dressed up and went trick-or-treating. It was so much fun, and we had a fantastic fall carnival at my school, too.

My host family is so wonderful and nice to me. They take care of me like I'm a part of their family. I did not take a long time to adapt to my host family at all; I feel so comfortable. I have such a great time with them. We always do activities together, such as shopping, watching movies, and playing games.

Finally, I want to say thank you to the United States Government, the Embassy of the United States in Thailand, AFS Intercultural Programs, and PAX - Program of Academic Exchange.

—Mareefa (YES, Thailand), hosted by the Wason family (UT)