| Nodirjon's Story: Staying Ahead of the Learning Curve
By Nodirjon S., Uzbekistan
Nodirjon realized early on that the pace of studies in the U.S. is really fast. If you miss one or two classes, it's hard to catch up. Read on to learn how he overcame this challenge and made new friends in the process.
| Davit's Story: Attending an American Prom
By Davit D., Georgia
One of Davit's most memorable moments from his exchange year was going to Prom with a date. What made that night so unforgettable? Keep reading to find out!
| Alexa's Story: Mastering the Streets of Cairo
By Alexa S., USA
While participating in NSLI-Y, Alexa learns the rules of the road in Egypt--literally. From navigating the metro to crossing busy streets to bargaining with street vendors, Alexa recounts her unpredictable adventures in Egypt.
| Anastasia's Story: Making a Splash in California
By Anastasia C., Moldova
Anastasia discovers a love for water polo, agriculture and Mexican food as an exchange student in California.
| Andrey's Story: Learning to Walk Alone
By Audrey T., Russia
Andrey was afraid to travel without a companion, until a specialist in the United States taught him skills to overcome his visual impairment.
| Anna's Story: Learning the Meaning of Aloha Spirit
By Anna B., Russia
Anna was greeted with a flower necklace and open arms when she arrived in Hawaii. Little did she know she would soon be chasing sharks!
| Apurva's Story: A Fulbright Scholar in New York City
By Apurva B., India
Apurva was nervous about presenting his research at Columbia University, especially on a topic as difficult as HIV Counseling in India. How did his American audience react? Keep reading to find out more!
| Bai's Story: Learning to Plan Ahead
By Bai Jemimah S., Philippines
When Bai missed the bus one day after school, she decided to walk to a friend's house to hang out. However, when nobody was home, she realized she had made a mistake. What did she forget to do? Read on to find out.
| Bhawna's Story: Mesmerized by Spaceships
By Bhawna M., India
The highlight of Bhawna's exchange year in Texas was going to the NASA Space Center in Houston. What was her favorite exhibit? Keep reading to find out!
| Bilal's Story: Meeting the Pakistani Ambassador
By Bilal K., Pakistan
Bilal had quite a busy year! Read to find out how he met the Ambassador to Pakistan, the founder of the YES program, and still had time to be chosen prom king.
| Buket's Story: From Turkey to Tulsa
By Buket E., Turkey
Follow Buket as she escorts her students on a Youth Leadership Program to Washington, DC and Tulsa, OK, where they get a chance to volunteer at the Salvation Army Center of Hope. Read on to see how volunteering changes Buket’s and her students' viewpoints of America.
| Cathy's Story: Adjusting to the American Midwest
By Cathy S., Ghana
When Cathy first arrived to the United States, she had a hard time integrating with the other students at school. How did she overcome her culture shock? Read on to find out more!
| Chuck’s Story: Blown Away by Hawai’i
By Chuck N., Malaysia
As a Malaysian, Chuck was used eating rice with most of his meals. How did he get used to American staples such as pizza, sandwiches, and steaks? Keep reading to find out!
| Fadilatul's Story: "Life is a Rollercoaster"
By Fadilatul I., Indonesia
It was crazy and scary and she felt her soul leave her body. What once-in-a-lifetime experience is Fadilatul talking about? Read on to see!
| Farwa's Story: Greeting Americans with a Smile
By Farwa M., Pakistan
Looking for wisdom in preparation for an exchange trip? Take it from Farwa: She has expert advice on your first day of school, tricks for learning the new language, and activities to get involved in during your exchange program!
| Fawad’s Story: Impressed by Freedom
By Fawad G., Pakistan
As a student from Pakistan's tribal areas, Fawad had a hard time getting to the United States. But despite all his troubles, he never gave up. How did he overcome the obstacles, and what advice does he have for future applicants? Keep reading to find out.
| Forster's Story: Learning New Greetings
By Forster A., Ghana
While staying in North Carolina for his exchange year, Forster had the opportunity to visit several famous American landmarks like Jamestown and Roanoke Island. What were they like? Read on to find out!
| Hannah's Story: Learning to Love the Family Dog
By Hannah S., Philippines
Since Hannah was afraid of dogs, she was surprised to see that her host family treated their dog as a member of the family. How did she adjust to living with a furry friend? Keep reading to find out!
| Ibrahim's Story:The Culture of Giving
By Ibrahim U., Nigeria
Ibrahim learns that the United States really is a mixing bowl. Read about his volunteering projects and what he learned about the culture of giving.
| Ibtissam's Story: Teaching Arabic to Teens
By Ibtissam E., Morocco
Ibtissam takes on the challenge of teaching Arabic to her U.S. students by including culture in her lessons. Read on to find out how it went!
| Ingkarim's Story: Discovering Community Service
By Ingkarim B., Kazakhstan
While in Texas, Ingkarim discovered volunteering, her "hobby and passion" that has now led her back home to Kazakhstan and on a second journey to the Philippines. Read about her moving experiences!
| Issaka's Story: Witnessing a Historic Moment
By Adams I., Ghana
During his exchange year, Issaka had the privilege of witnessing American history in the making. What famous first happened that day? Keep reading to find out!
| Jaime’s Story: The All-American Road Trip
By Jaime G., El Salvador
On his second trip to the U.S. through his UGRAD exchange at University of Alabama, Jamie found that being a student is quite different than being a tourist.
| Jan's Story: Founding the Freeland Broadcasting Project
By Jan M., Germany
Jan had so much fun in his host school's video production and graphic arts classes that he wanted to create a group of broadcasters. Was his project successful? Keep reading to find out!
| Jennifer's Story: Filming Her Favorite Experience
By Jennifer E., Nigeria
Little did Jennifer know that coming to the United States would turn her into a filmmaker. She originally came as a non-profit leader to work with high school students--read on to see what inspired her creativity!
| Kanza's Story: Making Connections through Literature
By Kanza J., Pakistan
Kanza's passion for literature took her to Amherst, Massachusetts, home of famous American writers Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. How did the experience inspire her? Read on to find out!
| Ketevan's Story: Redefining Personal Space
By Ketevan V., Georgia
When Ketevan first arrived, she was surprised by how far apart people stood when talking to each other. Read on to see if she ever got used to the American idea of personal space.
| Khaled's Story: Fulfilling the Malaysian Dream of Seeing Snow
By Khaled A., Malaysia
Khaled is from Malaysia, where it is always summer. He hoped and prayed to see snow during his YES Program in the United States. Keep reading to see if his wish came true!
| King’s Story: Letting Your Talent Shine
By King S., Malaysia
King is impressed by the creativity of his classmates in art class. Read more to learn how his paintings were received at the school’s annual art show.
| Lauren's Story: Watching Twilight Eclipse in Hindi
By Lauren B., USA
When Lauren went to India, she expected things to be very different from the U.S. However, she was surprised to find that two cultures on opposite sides of the world actually have a lot in common!
| Lekhashinii's Story: Running from a Moose in Alaska
By Lekhashinii N., Malaysia
Lekhashinii learned to smile at strangers during her year in the United States. But the story she will remember forever? She was charged by a moose.
| Linh's Story: Navigating India's Trains
By Linh P., Vietnam
Follow Linh as she navigates her way through India's colorful labryinth of food, deserts, and overnight trains.
| Maliha's Story: Chicken Pot Pie and Biryani
By Maliha K., Pakistan
Maliha learns that Americans are just like Pakistanis: They will use any excuse to gather together and enjoy good food.
| Maria's Story: Restoring Hope on the Gulf Coast
By Maria M., Germany
When Maria volunteered to rebuild a home that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, she never imagined what a life-changing experience her trip would be. Read more to learn about the challenges Maria and her fellow volunteers faced.
| Mariami's Story: From Georgia to Georgia
By Mariami T., Georgia
Even though English wasn't her first language, Mariami dared to compete in the Future Farmers of America's Public Speaking Competition. Did she win the grand prize? Keep reading to find out!
| Maxim's Story: Calm Cheddar? You Mean Clam Chowder?
By Maxim G., Russia
Maxim learns that American and Russian high school students have a lot in common, except for one Easter tradition: in the United States, you hunt Easter eggs, while in Russia, you smash them.
| Meriem's Story: Enjoying the Small Town Life
By Meriem A., Tunisia
Follow Meriem as she experiences life in small town America and learns to handle the challenges of being an ambassador for her country.
| Miguel's Story: Stricter Schedules in Vermont
By Miguel M., Venezuela
At Miguel’s university in Venezuela, students are rarely punctual. How will he react in the United States, where classes start at 8 a.m. and not a minute later?
| Mubashir's Story: Finding Peace in Different Faiths
By Mubashir K., Pakistan
Mubashir never expected that he would travel from Pakistan to stay with a Jewish family in Massachusetts. During his year abroad, Mubashir learned that all religions share a common interest in peace.
| Myahri’s Story: Finding a Father
By Myahri C., Turkmenistan
When Myahri first met her American host family, she had no idea they would grow so close. Read on to learn about all the amazing experiences and travels they shared together.
| Nawaparn's Story: Southern Hospitality in Mississippi
By Nawaparn M., Thailand
Thirty years ago, Nawaparn learned to love American-style birthday parties at the University of Mississippi. Today, Nawaparn’s son takes part in celebrations hosted by her old college friends.
| Nida's Story: Bringing Pakistani Festivals to Hawaii
By Nida R., Pakistan
Nida was excited that her host family tried to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, a Muslim festival, with as much zeal as it is celebrated in Pakistan. What all did they do to prepare for this special occasion? Read on to find out!
| Plamena's Story: Adapting to U.S. Car Culture
By Plamena S., Bulgaria
Upon arriving in the U.S., Plamena realized that her neighborhood and local transportation were much different than was depicted in her favorite American comedy-drama series.
| Raihanul's Story: Experiencing America's History
By Raihanul A., Bangladesh
Raihanul finds out that communication is the key when visiting a new country and that it's also helpful for getting along with your roommates.
| Ramz's Story: Finding an American Culture of Trust
By Ramz S., Palestinian Territories
Coming from the Palestinian Territories, Ramz was most surprised by how trusting and friendly Americans turned out to be. Read on to learn more about her experiences adjusting to American college life.
| Rufus's Story: From Africa With Love
By Rufus K., Kenya
Rufus once believed the streets of the United States were lined with gold, and his American classmates were similarly misinformed about Kenya. Read more to learn how Rufus shared his culture with new friends, and how his internship experience changed his perception of the United States.
| Sachin's Story: Discovering the Navajo Nation
By Sachin T., India
While rafting down the San Juan River, Sachin not only enjoyed the beauty of the river, but spent time with a Native American guide who shared the history of the Navajo nation. Read on as Sachin describes opening a window into America’s native past and other experiences he had as a Fulbright participant in Texas.
| Shadab's Story: Bringing Indian and International Flavor to Indiana
By Shadab N., India
Shadab was away from home on India's Republic Day and wished that there was some way that he could bring this festival to Americans at his school. Read about what he proposes to his teacher!
| Siti's Story: “I Demonstrate that Muslims are Peaceful”
By Siti S., Indonesia
Siti was the only cross-country athlete at her school to wear a hijab, a traditional Muslim veil of modesty. How did she explain her culture to her American classmates and deal with stereotypes? Keep reading to find out.
| Shubham's Story: Lending a Helping Hand to Those in Need
By Shubham R., Bangladesh
Although Shubham’s program only lasted a few weeks, he said it was a life changing experience. From volunteering at a soup kitchen to spending time with special-needs students—many of the things he saw in the U.S. inspired him to work on community service back home. Read on to find out more.
| Suttirak's Story: Hunting in Montana
By Suttirak S., Thailand
Rural America turned Suttirak's expectations upside down during his YES exchange program. Hunting was a completely foreign activity to him--what did he think? Read on to find out!
| Syed's Story: Spicing Up the Food in Tacoma
By Syed H., Pakistan
Syed was underwhelmed by bland food in the U.S. when he first arrived. Read to find out what happened when he made extra-spicy Pakistani food for his American host family.
| Syed’s Story: Breaking Fast with a Friend
By Syed S., Pakistan
Syed knew observing Ramadan in America would be a much different experience than it was in Pakistan. How did Syed's roommates work together to support his religious customs? Keep reading to find out.
| Tynchtyk's Story: Loss and Self Discovery
By Tynchtyk Z., Kyrgyzstan
Tynchtyk suffered a devastating loss while in the United States. Though his family and friends in Kyrgyzstan were thousands of miles away, Tynchtyk’s American community rallied to support him.
| Valsa's Story: Learning New Ways to Engage Students
By Valsa B., India
In her exchange to America, Valsa not only learned about American culture but also about multi- cultural interaction. She traded viewpoints with American students to create a completely new understanding of today's world.
| Vanny's Story: Volunteering in Wisconsin
By Vanny K., Indonesia
Vanny assumed Americans were cold and selfish. Then after spending a year studying and volunteering in the United States, Vanny learns that helping others is a strong part of American culture -- and a rewarding hobby, as well.
| Yuliana’s Story: Learning to Use a Planner
By Yuliana S., Indonesia
One of Yuliana's biggest challenges in America was time management. Read on to learn how she got herself organized to keep up with all her activities.