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Alumni Highlight: Ahji’s India Homecoming Surprise!
By: Ahji, YES Abroad 2015-2016, India
YES Abroad India 2015-16 Alumna, Ahji, recently returned to her host city in India three years after completing the exchange experience there and returning to the U.S. Ahji surprised her host mother and siblings with the visit, only having told her host father that she’d be visiting! Ahji had about a week in her former host community, which she thought would be enough time. When her family and friends found out she was visiting, so many invitations came in that it turned out be a busy visit!
Ahji remembers her exchange fondly, and attributes much to her host family “my exchange was the best and most experience of my life. I owe everything to my incredible host family, and the local volunteers. I remember my first day with my host family – I was so shy and scared that I could barely speak. By the end I felt completely at home, bickering with my siblings or sharing laughs.” Indeed, host families are a central part of the exchange experience. With them, students have the opportunity to integrate and learn about the host culture on a deeper level. The students must adapt with an open mind to the many nuances of living with a new family. Often, there can be challenges along the way while the students reconcile their differences. Overcoming these differences opens the possibility for a stronger bond.
Ahji’s connection with her host family has continued to strengthen despite their time apart. She’s excited to maintain her relationship with them and stay involved in the major life events!