Life in the U.S. / Thank You Thursdays

Thank You Thursday – 2021/22 End-of-Year Edition – Part 2

For this week’s Thank You Thursday, we continue to share the sweet thank you notes we are receiving from our 2021/22 Aspect students as they express their gratitude for the many amazing people that have made their American adventure the best year of their lives!

Brenda (left), Natalia from Spain, and Lila from France looking forward to seeing A Christmas Carol

Thank you guys for such a fun and exciting year I got to have around you guys! It was truly amazing and I wouldn’t change a single thing in this whole experience. Big thanks to making me a better person and letting me discover new things by your side! 

– Brenda from Brazil staying with the Olsen family in Nebraska

Irene (top row, 4th from the right) coming together with the other exchange students of IC Kristine’s (top row, 1st on the right wearing a red shirt) one last time for their End-of-Year Orientation

I am thankful for everything in this year. I couldn’t being more lucky with the family, we connected from the first minute, they helped me and they made my days better even when I was cranky. I have a second family for life. I’m afraid to go and lose contact but I know we all will remember these 10 months together. In school I met my closest friend the first day and since that I enjoyed even more the experience. Theatre has given me one of the best parts, I’ve learned a lot and I made more friends that make difficult to me to leave. I felt so much love in Olympia, everyone is so nice and generous. It’s very beautiful all the little locals they have in downtown and you can do a lot of activities really fun. This experience has change my life in a good way. 

– Irene from Spain staying with the Nixon family in Washington

Maaike excited to be crowned as Homecoming Queen of her High School in Illinois!

I want to thank everyone for this amazing year and for making this experience unforgettable, my host family, my friends, the school. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. 

– Maaike from The Netherlands staying with the Leonard family in Illinois

Emilija posing with the red and yellow flag of her home country, Macedonia, with other FLEX/YES exchange students of her group during International Education Week

On my journey to America, I discovered new cultures, ideas, and traditions, but most significantly I discovered myself. I hiked on Mount Rainier and cherished the scenery. Saw the salt flats in Death Vally, the sandy mountains in White Sands, and the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, I saw the world which I had only dreamt of. I ran; in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the snow. Created a bond with one of the most principled people in my life, my coach Mr. Violate, which created teams of ladies, in cross country and track and field, and inspired me to keep going even when it became hard. I furthered my love for theater and became a part of the school play directed by Mr. Myers, who devotes everything to his work and is a modern-day artist who focuses on details on stage and off. My teachers, Mr. Underland and Mrs. Pate taught me new skills in fields that I had only had a grasp on and opened me to a new world of traits. My teachers, Mr. Pittman and Mrs. Shelton made me understand the love I have for sports and medicine and made me confident in the decision of my higher education aspirations. But most importantly, I met my best friends who gave me the world in the most literal way of meaning. Who were there with me in the best of the exchange and the worst parts. I got to live with people which I love and adore, respect, and appreciate. People I only hope that from this day further our bond will grow stronger and last forever. Tess and Mejay Clapp have been the most wonderful host I could ask for. Thank you to everyone who taught me new things, let me be a part of new experiences, believed in me, and allowed me to share my culture. You changed my life, and now I can’t imagine it without you!

– Emilija from North Macedonia staying with the Clapp family in Washington as part of the 2021/22 Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State

Are you interested in making a student part of your family this upcoming school year? We are still looking for wonderful American host families to welcome a student in the fall! Check out the profiles of our amazing 2022/23 students!