With the first half of the YES year coming to a close, two Jordanian students, Zainah Alamad and Mohannad Khader, shared highlights from their experiences! They are having an amazing time so far during their year of living in the United States, filled with IEW presentations, school activities, community service, and bonding with their host families.
Mohannad in Pennsylvania shared that one of his bright spots from the fall semester was winning a spot on the “Cutie Court.” This award is a concept similar to a homecoming court held in the fall at high schools in the United States. For these activities, the student body normally votes for fellow classmates from each grade level, whom they believe should get a spot on the court. This was especially exciting for an exchange student since these nominations typically go to students whom their peers have known for longer. He got to dress up in a crown, sash, and homemade robe to celebrate his nomination.
For Zainah in Washington, the annual International Education Week (IEW) was her highlight. IEW is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange. As a foreign exchange student, Zainah was eager to share her love of Jordan with the local community, even organizing an IEW event with her fellow exchange peers. She says:
“Throughout this exchange year I have met so many amazing people from all around the world. I never imagined meeting people from so many countries and learning about their traditions and cultures. It is amazing to live this experience and tell people about my country and its history, traditions, and most importantly, the culture. I enjoyed learning about so many countries in one night.”
Zainah Alamad (YES 2021–2022, Jordan, placed by Aspect in Lacey, WA)
Mohannad Khader (YES 2021–2022, Jordan, placed by AFS in Trafford, PA)