YES Programs



My First Month In The U.S.

Fyka standing in front of Niagra Falls with a pink poncho on.

By Fyka Muneer (YES 2022-2023, Pakistan, placed by AFS-USA in Machias, NY)

I flew to the United States in the first week of September. Since then, I've been to Niagara Falls, Letchworth State Park, and other amazing places. At Niagara Falls, I went on the Maid of the Mist, which is an electric boat with guides who give information to tourists about the falls. I went hiking in Letchworth State Park with my host family and I also went horseback riding! I love animals and so does my host family. 

I am attending a local high school in my host community and I went to the homecoming dance with my friend group. I was still new to this friend group but it was a great experience. I love dancing with my new friends. I also went to watch American football, which was confusing since I barely understood the rules, but the time I spent there with my friends was memorable.

YES student standing next two of her friends .

I’ve shared my culture with my host family by giving them cultural outfits and decorations for their home. I see everyday as a new opportunity to share my culture from what we eat to how we talk. My host family is everything I could ever ask for and the experiences that I’ve had so far will last me a lifetime. I'll be forever grateful for my host family here in New York. What I have learned about New York is that it seems like a very modern and fancy place on the outside, however that is a misconception. New York is a highly diverse state where you can find a lot of different cultures, different, and religions.

YES student standing in a corn maze.

For International Education Week, I'm planning on giving as many presentations as I can during the week while dressing up in my cultural attire. I'm giving presentations to different departments in my school. I also plan on giving a presentation in my host family’s church as the pastor of the church is very interested in learning about Pakistan. During my presentations, I will also be spreading awareness regarding the floods in Pakistan and invite people to donate to the flood relief project started by  YES alumnus, Muhammad Sufiyan (YES 2018-2019, Pakistan, placed by AFS-USA, Portland OR).