YES Programs



Away from Home, But Still at Home

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By Labiba Manzur (YES 2019-20, Bangladesh, hosted by AFS-USA in Portland, OR)

It all started on the 6th of August, when I landed in the land of dreams, the United States of America! When I applied to the YES program, I knew right then that I had a lot to see, a lot to learn, and lastly, a lot to experience! I finally came out of my own tiny little bubble and dared to see the world in a whole new perspective and needless to say, I am glad I took this decision.

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Hiking at Multnomah Falls thanks to my host mom!

After completing the Orientation in Washington D.C., it was finally the time I had been waiting for ever since I got this prestigious scholarship: it was time to meet my host family! Let me tell you, I was overwhelmed by their love and cheerfulness about me staying with them. I love seeing my adorable little host sisters smile. They never fail to brighten my day! All I can say is that I am blessed to have such an amazing, loving, and caring host family.

Moreover, I had a wonderful first day of school. I joined several clubs and took part in Cross Country which really helped me strengthen myself mentally and physically. Although I was a bit nervous about my first day, it all vanished right after I stepped into my classes. My teachers welcomed me with a heart-warming smile on their faces and I participated in group discussions without any hesitation which definitely contributed to me making my first few American friends.


In May, write a thank you letter to your host family, host community, or favorite teacher! 

Check out this month's story prompt at and submit your story!