14 more exchange students in the school!
July 25, 2021 22:54

I still remember my first feelings when I entered my new school in Michigan. The high school, Plymouth-Canton Education Park, was definitely huge. It had three buildings and a lot of classrooms… I felt so anxious and lost. Then I figured out that there were 14 more exchange students in the school! We were too lucky to find each other because each of us was outgoing, loved to socialize, meet with different people, and also bring others into our group. 

Thanks to this huge group of exchange students, we managed to meet a lot of local people. Each of us had joined such different clubs and involved ourselves in many different sports, so we always went to each other’s events to show our support. Our host families also did feel lucky because, for them, it was like having many children at once 😊 

We found ourselves participating in sports a lot. We were jogging with Mariana, from Brazil, often (we did a lot of 5km runs...). I remember one time, we were doing a 10km, however, and at some point I had a breakdown and felt like I could not move my legs anymore. I told her to run without me but she did not leave me. She was motivating me and thanks to her encouragement – we managed to finish 10km somehow! 😊 

We did a lot of activities together. I remember how Iris, from France, was talented in theatre and I always enjoyed watching her plays. We went together to concerts, saw many movies and plays. David, from Mexico, was always the star of parties with his dance moves, and once he started to dance, everyone was just circling around him. 

After 10 years, we still regularly exchange messages and arrange long sessions on Facetime! 

With all of our hearts, we know that each of us has a home in different countries and will be always be welcome in each other’s homes anytime! Seeing each other and being able to exchange during the COVID-19 lockdowns made life easier for us. Sometimes we even eat together while we are Face timing and preparing cocktails 😊

Author: Gizem Ece Tığlıoğlu, YFU Turkey
An Exchange student who went to the United States in 2012/13 and created life-long friendships through the YFU.

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