YES Programs



Making New Memories

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By Masala Machochi (YES 2019-2020, South Africa, hosted by ASSE in Mapleton, GA)

My first impression of living in the U.S. has been nothing but a bliss. August has been the month of firsts for me. I tried Japanese food for the first time, I went to my first professional football game, I went to a basketball game, I had Chick-fil-A and Popeye's which is my absolute favorite. Meeting my host family was the most exciting for me. I remember leaving Washington DC at 4am to catch my 7am flight to Atlanta, and while there I was disappointed to hear that my flight had been canceled and I wouldn’t depart until later. I couldn't wait any longer! I was so eager to meet my host family, and when I finally did, I was thrilled. They welcomed me so lovingly that it felt like I never left my home back in South Africa. I look forward to the next memories we are going to make.

Rsa Masala Machochi Ohio Football Gamesmall

My first day of school was a bit frustrating because my school is really big; it has over 3000 kids and I wasn’t used to such a big school. But the fact that I made friends on the first day and someone to accompany me from class to class really meant something to me. Knowing that I was the new kid and that people were so interested in knowing more about me and my culture made me happy. Since then, my days have become brighter, I made friends and I'm happier than ever at school. I've joined two clubs already and my double placement and I will be starting an International group for exchange students in our school. We really want to meet them too!


Tell us what cultural exchange means to you and why you think it is important!

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

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