Life In North Caroling As An Exchange Student

My name is Andra but many know me by Andi. I am currently on my exchange year at Cary High School, the only international student from Moldova in the area. I enjoy trying new things and making new friendships, having interest in visual and theatrical arts. Ideally I aim for a career in design or psychology.

How does school in America differ from your country? What do you like the most/least about school here?
The high school education level has its benefits and minuses here, just like in any other place. I consider the ability to choose classes depending on your current or potential interests a great opportunity. I also like the fact that arts are taken somewhat more seriously.

How do you think the experience of being an exchange student has shaped you as a person?
My exchange year has shaped me in many ways as an individual starting from reconsidering my self-worth and confidence to aiming to make myself a better person. It encouraged me to not be afraid to pursue what I want and aim for what makes me happy.

My name is Naphatsakorn Kaentho. You can call me Cream. I was placed in Cleveland high school. My hobbies are walking around the neighborhood, playing board games, spending time with host siblings and reading books.

What are some of your favorite things you’ve experienced in the US?
First thing is school. I have learnt a lot from there by challenging myself from core classes and I made it. A lot of people didn’t expect my English skills and how I could develop it within half of the exchange student year. I’m also proud of myself too. Second thing is my relationship with my host family. It’s getting close and closer. I would have cried if I had to leave. I hang out with them all the time and feel like they are a part of my family. Third thing is myself. I’m the best version of myself here.

How does school in America differ from your country? What do you like the most/least about school here?
Ohh.. it’s super different from here. Here you can choose the subject that you like and if you are not happy about that in the first or second week you can always change but in Thailand you need to study every single thing that the government requires of you. That’s why American think that most Asians are geniuses. I also love how the teacher is caring too if I have any problems, they will ALWAYS assist me. The least is NOTHING. I totally love the school system here. It gave me a lot of opportunities to study the subject that I want to try or like.

My name is Daria Bobrowska. I’m 18 years old and I’m a Junior at Apex High School (but technically that’s my last year of high school). I was born in Poland, Suwałki (that’s city near the border with Lithuania). My biggest passion is traveling and I really like spending time outdoors doing sport activities.

What are two or three of your favorite things you’ve experienced in the US?
My most favorite thing is that I’m able to experience living “inside” of american culture every single day. I really enjoyed Halloween, a trip with my host family to Disney World and being a part of the dance team (I have started dancing when I came here and now I can’t imagine my day without it!)

How does school in America differ from your country? What do you like the most/least about school here?
Schools in Poland and in America are totally different. In Poland we have to focus “only” on preparing for the exam and tests, while here students can include their hobbies in their schedules. I love the variety of electives I could choose from and how strong the school community and spirit is (everyone is involved in some clubs, sport teams or other after school activities).

Hi, my name is Ewura Abena Antwi-Bosiako, I’m 17 years old and attending  Corinth Holders High School. I am mostly just your regular teenager from Ghana in West Africa. I spend 50% of the time binge-watching shows and movies and discussing them with my girls, but I also like to get involved in stuff, volunteer, and hang out with family and friends. In the future, God willing, I’d love to pursue a career in healthcare or medicine.

High schools here compared to those at home are so much different. First, the huge difference is that most high schools in Ghana are boarding schools that are more stricter and academic-oriented than here. I love how sports and extracurriculars here are given so much importance and the wide range of electives available.

Being an exchange student is so wonderful and eye-opening and honestly quite therapeutic. In addition to appreciating and experiencing other cultures in the world, you, and I personally have,  learn to appreciate and value your own culture and background so so much more than you used to. You’d be surprised how much you learn about your own country during your exchange year. Experiencing this different American culture has definitely been refreshing, it has helped me open up more to people, get out of my comfort zone, and confidently be a cultural ambassador. It’s a very scary first step but is definitely worth taking.

Mission:  

Borderless Friends Forever promotes world peace through cultivating opportunities for cultural and educational exchanges.  These exchanges allow people to learn more about each other’s core values. We bring the international traveler and the host  family together to create meaningful relationships through which we celebrate our differences and similarities.  

Credentials:  

• BFF is designated by the U.S. Department of State. 

• BFF is recognized by the IRS as a public not-for-profit educational exchange organization. 

• BFF has been granted full listing status by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) Organization:  

With the national office located in Cary, NC, BFF maintains a network of dedicated and trained community advisors in  communities throughout the United States who provide program services at the local level to participants, host families, and  schools. Community advisors and the national office are committed to providing the best possible exchange experience to  participants, host families, and schools. Something we feel sets us apart from other organizations is the fact that we  require our community advisors to see our students in person each month. This BFF standard is well above the required  minimum put forth by the US Department of State. We feel it is necessary in order to build a strong relationship with our  students and families and it is the strength of this relationship that allows for program effectiveness.  

Programs:  

U.S. High School/Homestay Exchange Program  

Students ages 14 to 18 1⁄2 spend one semester or one academic year in the U.S. living with a volunteer host family,  attending high school, and participating in extracurricular and community activities.  

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Excchange and Study Program (YES Program) & Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX Program)  

BFF is proud to serve as a placement organization for the YES and FLEX scholarship programs! Students ages 15 to 18 from  more than 35 countries with significant Muslim populations (YES Program) and more than 15 countries across Europe,  Eurasia, and Central Asia, spend one academic year or one semester living with an American host family while attending high  school. These programs are funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Students  receive scholarships to participate in the program, which includes enhancement activities to develop their leadership potential.  Program alumni return home galvanized and inspired to share their new experiences and positively impact their home  countries and communities.