Today, we kick off our #StudentSpotlight series with our first feature, Nuzha from Indonesia! She is staying in Arizona with the Moore family and has been nominated by her local coordinator, Kellie. Nuzha is studying here with the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program sponsored by the US Department of State. Read more to hear how Nuhza is approaching her experience of cultural exchange!
I’m Nuhzatul, an Indonesian Exchange Student. I’m a teenager whose dream is to become an International English lecturer and student motivator. I’ve always imagined what it would feel like if I stayed in another country like the United States, which is my dream country. “Argh, impossible”, my mind muttered. What should I do? It’s only a dream, but I’m really ambitious and want to make my dream become a reality. Finally, with hard work, the dream has come true. I still can’t believe it, but here I am, I did it!
Originally, I didn’t understand much about “the differences” between us all. But when I joined this program, I realized that “no worse, no better, different only!” and these differences aren’t bad. They are good as they help us to learn how to respect one another. While being an exchange student, I get the chance to learn new things, something I would not be able to get back in my home country.
One of the most the important pieces of being an exchange student is the opportunity to be part of an American family. They teach me so many things, including how to speak English well, American habits, American culture, etc. I also get to make a lot of friends! Not only American friends but other exchange students from various corners of the world such as the Philippines, Thailand, France, Brazil, Italy, etc. We respect and appreciate one another even though we are different. We share our home country’s traditions, language, culture, and food. Who would have thought that all these differences are actually… perfect. Let’s help to build a bridge for connecting the world as Exchange Students!
Nuhza’s coordinator also added in some words of appreciation for how this student is taking full advantage of her cultural exchange opportunity:
“I am constantly impressed with her positive attitude, willingness to share her culture and her open and honest approach to trying all things new in the USA. Nuhza is fully engaged at her school; she has enjoyed activities like bonfire night, football games and homecoming and is academically using the opportunity to try subjects like dance, art, and theatre which aren’t offered at her boarding school in Indonesia.
She has embraced US culture and new family which has allowed her to fully immerse herself. Nuhza has cooked several Indonesian meals for her host family to share her culture. She has shared traditional Indonesian dance with them as well. She even performed a special birthday song and dance (to the surprise and delight of her host dad) to wish him a happy birthday!
Nuhza is a Scout back in her home country. As such, she has volunteered at her host brother’s Cub Scout meetings and camps in order to help younger Scouts, share her skills and teach others. She has also learned new skills herself (like campfire cooking!) during these events.
Finally, Nuhza has also been volunteering at a local Food Bank and has helped with the local Block Watch by delivering flyers, as part of her community service hours. She constantly mentions that she is making ‘golden memories’ and golden experiences.”
– Kellie, Aspect Foundation Coordinator in Arizona
Click on the image below to see the creative thank you card that Nuhza made for her host family!
Is there a standout Aspect exchange student like Nuhza that you’d like to nominate? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your story here.