Life in the U.S. / Thank You Thursdays

Thank You Thursday -February 11, 2016

Aspect Foundation’s inbox is flooded with notes from students expressing their gratitude for the experience they have had on student exchange. On Thursdays, we post one of these notes, sharing the “warm fuzzies” with all of you!

Today’s Thank You Thursday is from Alessia from Italy, living in Kansas. 


Alessia from Italy cooks for an international potluck in Kansas.

This is an awesome opportunity to share my thoughts and to tell my wonderful community “thank you” for all the great moments that I’ve had so far.

First of all, I’d like to say that the exchange year is not easy. When I got to the airport on August 17th to say “goodbye” to the world that I’ve known for my entire life, I was absolutely scared. I didn’t know how I was going to feel till I hugged my family and my best friend.

But I got here and felt like the happiest and luckiest person in the whole world.

I learned that home is not where you are born, but where you feel loved. I’m grateful to say that I found another home 8211km away from my actual one.

In less than a week, I felt like I was at home. I was. I am. And I will be. I will always consider Kansas my home.

Not many people can be proud to say that they have two homes, but I can. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend my exchange year.

Everybody has been so excited since the first moment to have me here. At school, everyone treats me like “one of them,” or “the cool girl from Italy.” They are all curious about me, my life back home, how we say things in Italian, and “how do you speak Italian.” (Yes, they asked me that once.)

I try to be involved in as many activities as possible so that I could really enjoy my experience and try new things. I joined the golf team and I had the chance to learn from the regional champion Dorothy, who is also one of my dearest friends here.

Then I joined my high school’s debate team and now I wish we had a debate program back in Italy.

I am also part of the scholar’s bowl team and I’m considered the foreign language expert there! I am now in basketball and even if we haven’t had games yet, I’m really enjoying being part of the team.

I can definitely say that my exchange experience has been amazing so far. And I’m sure it will still be after I finish typing this letter.

One of the things that all the exchange students have in common is the determination, and the desire to succeed in life, to aim higher and higher. But we would be stuck without our families who encourage us to follow our dreams. We would be stuck without our host families and community.

So thank you. Thank you for giving me the experience of a lifetime. I love you, Kansas.


Alessia and her friends in Kansas gather for an international potluck.


Interested in sharing YOUR corner of the world with an international exchange student? Learn more about becoming a host family at: