Thanks for the Memories!
Exchange student from Mexico poses with Washington host family outside of professional ice hockey game

Dance show caps off busy spring for Thai teen

The end of my exchange program has been the busiest and fastest time. These last two months, there are so many events going on in my life. I’ll start with my favorite: volunteering at The Bridge of Hope Gala (prom events for people with special needs), which brought me many new friends and more awareness about diversity and equality.

The next activity that’s pretty new for me is school theater. Me and my double placement sister (Aziza from Kazakhstan) participated in the school drama club since the beginning of the year, and we got the results through The Little Shop of Horrors performances for school theater. We had so much fun and got a lot of good relationships with amazing theater kids.

Continuing right along, there was my Workshop for Youth Leaders in English Teaching (WYLET) workshop. This was my favorite part of the year, and it’s been the biggest achievement for me. I always ask myself what I would like to do. Do I really like teaching? But after I took the Principles of Teaching class in my high school and participated in WYLET, I found myself into teaching a lot! I also got so many friends from around the world in one week. It felt so good to be surrounded by people who were interested in the same thing. I left the WYLET workshop with so much information and inspiration.

During the spring season, I also participated in school tennis, which was fun—even if I’m not that athletic (always good to try new things). I also submitted my photography for the school art show and got some awards. I think it’s so nice that they have this event to show student artwork.

I love dancing, but I never got a chance to take it seriously before. With the support of my host family, I got into my first dance class in my life.

I’ve also been in a modern dance class since the beginning of the year. I love dancing, but I never got a chance to take it seriously before. With the support of my host family, I got into my first dance class in my life. We just completed our spring showcase, which went very well!

Last but not least, it’s prom season! I had the chance to go to two proms. The first was as the guest of another exchange student at a different school. We had a good time and danced like crazy people all night. At my own school’s prom, I also went with a group of exchange students in addition to my American best friends (from dance class). It was a wonderful evening and a great way to reflect on the long way we’ve come during this exchange year.

I can’t believe we’re at the last part of the program. I got to know so many people and got to try so many new things. I’m so thankful for everything. If I didn’t make the decision to step out of my comfort zone and participate in this exchange program, all of these remarkable moments would have never happened. I hope I never forget any of them and am able to use these important experiences in the future.

—Hasanah (YES, Thailand), hosted by the Withers family (IN)