Reminiscent and Thankful
High school exchange student with local coordinator at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle

Always plenty of thanks to go around for an exchange student

Looking back on my exchange, I have so many people to thank but nobody more than my host family and my Community Coordinator.

My host family helped me learn a lot about America. They changed my views about different cultural aspects of America and added new dimensions to them.

Celebrating Halloween wearing funny costumes was one of my dreams that came true because of my host family. My host sister, host mom, father, and I wore unique Halloween costumes and went to the downtown Renton Halloween fair. My host siblings taught me how to collect candy by saying, "trick or treat." We gathered lots of candy and watched a horror movie at the end of the day. We also visited a corn maze and pumpkin patch.

I didn’t know that jungles exist in America until my host parents took me hiking in a jungle, Devil's Elbow in Renton, WA. They introduced me to different American creatures and trees. This visit increased my knowledge of American geography.

My Community Coordinator Tony Barnett was supportive of me from the very beginning of my exchange year. He also helped me adjust to my host family.

My most memorable moment with my coordinator was our trip to the Space Needle in Seattle. When we got to the top part of Space Needle, I was very nervous since I am afraid of heights.

However, my other exchange friends, including my supportive coordinator, eased the situation for me with their encouraging words. We took a lot of photos on top of the Space Needle.

I am very grateful to my coordinator and host family. 

—Anan (YES 2019/20, Bangladesh), hosted by the Schlegel family (WA)