(Sashka from Ukraine Studying in Utah)
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 features Sashka from Ukraine, who is studying in Utah on a scholarship sponsored by the US Department of State’s Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program. Read her letter to her host family below!
My Dear Host Family,
It’s even hard to imagine how fast these short 9 months went by. I still remember my first day in the airport, that excitement, and fear I was feeling while waiting in front of my gate. However, from our first sight, I realized that it’s gonna be one of the best years in my life and I was right.
In this letter, I just want to say thank you for this amazing exchange year. It brought me so many great memories that we all shared together. I remember how we all traveled to Las Vegas to see all the lights, hiked to the top of the mountains in Zion’s park, prepared our cousin’s wedding. You taught me how to be stronger and more confident in myself.
I wanna say special thanks to my host mom Carrie. In every situation, on a good or bad day, she was there to support me. I also like how close we became. We have our own jokes and sayings that only some people can understand.
I’m also really grateful for my host dad Ernie. He made a huge influence on my character during this year. He taught me about how important it is to be on time and keep our surrounding clean. I also have many great memories that connect us, like the times we went hiking together, rode our bikes or drove in the back of the truck.
(Sashka and her host family)
The last but definitely not the least are my sisters and a brother. In my natural family in Ukraine I only had one brother and having many siblings was something new for me. However, now I can not imagine my life without them. We have so many great moments we shared together. I would like to start by saying “thank you” to my cutest little brother Dalen. He was always so optimistic and his smile made my day every time. I’m was also so lucky to have such a great young sister as Marlie. We both shared our love in dance and I still remember us dancing in the back yard and making videos for her YouTube channel. I also can not imagine this year with Hadley. We had so many unforgettable moments together. I remember us going ice skating, scaring each other in the basement and taking long walks to go get hot chocolate on cold winter days. And finally, I’m incredibly grateful that I have such an awesome older sister as Paige. We became so close to each other like actual blood sisters. I love our long night talks, photo shoots dances and unforgettable basketball games. We have so many things in common and I can’t imagine how we lived without each other for all these years.
I am also super grateful to my grandparents, cousins and other members of my family that made my year so incredible.
To sum up, I want to say one more huge “thank you” to my host family. Without you, my year would not be the same. I enjoyed every day we spend together and these experiences would always support me in the future.
P.S. Also a lot of thanks to the most adorable dog ever. Daisy, you know I love you…
Interested in sharing YOUR corner of the world with an international exchange student? Learn more about becoming a host family at: http://aspectfoundation.org/host-families.