Life in the U.S. / Thank You Thursdays

Thank You Thursday – Maria from Spain

Happy 2022 from all of us at Aspect Foundation! We have a special first Thank You Thursday from one of last year’s students, Maria from Spain. Maria spent an incredible 2020/21 school year in West Virginia. Even though she’s been back home since last June, she cannot forget all the wonderful people she met during her exchange in the U.S.!

The day I took my flight I knew my life was about to change and I was right, my life changed a lot from the beginning of the exchange year to the end. My exchange year helped me grow as a person and helped me gained the maturity I needed both academically and emotionally. Throughout the year I met incredible people I will never forget about.

Maria’s host family is welcoming Maria at the airport!

Firstly I would like to talk about my host family. They all were very supportive with me, they encouraged me to do better in every aspect of my life and we shared amazing memories I will never forget about. My host dad Nick showed me to be more positive and to enjoy more the things I did, he made every minute of my experience be full of happiness and treated me like a daughter. My host mom Jackie was like my second mother too, I could talk with her about everything and I knew I could always trust her. They were both like my best friends and I’ll always be forever grateful for everything they did for me. My host sisters Kennedy, Makenly and Raegan were the funniest girls I’ve ever met, I really enjoyed spending time with them and they were like the little sisters I always wished I had.

(left) Maria with her host sisters, Makenly and Reagan (center left) Maria with her host sister Kennedy (center right) Maria and her host mom Jackie (right) Maria, her three host sisters saying goodbye to fellow exchange student Janine from Germany

Then I would like to thank my friends, they all know who they are. They all made me feel included every minute of my exchange year and always helped me. I will always remember every time I tried opening a fruit cup during lunch time and I would always get the juice on my clothes hahaha. Thanks for all the memories we shared.

(left) Maria with her friend Kayden after a swim meet (center) Maria and her friends excited for prom (right) Maria and her friend Kayden celebrating their academic achievements

Also thanks to my coordinator Kathy and her husband Ron for taking us on trips and organizing activities which made me love the US even more.  

For future exchange students, I would like to let everyone know that your exchange year will be different from your expectations, in my case, my expectations were high but they didn’t describe how good my year would be. When you have just started your experience you think you have all the time of your life to do everything, but it’s when you are in May when you realize the value of the experience and how important taking advantage of every moment is. 

Maria (second from the left) having fun ice skating with the other exchange students in her group!

Now that I’m in Spain I would love to thank everyone who made my experience possible and to let them know how they have influenced my life and who I am now. I’m really looking forward to meeting all my family and friends again and hopefully it will be soon. Thanks West Virginia and West Virginians. Thanks Brooke High School and thank you Guiddy Family for making me feel a member of your family. 

– Maria from Spain

Would you like to make a student like Maria part of your family this upcoming school year? Check out the profiles of our amazing 2022/23 students!