By Faiza Amira (YES 2021-2022, Bangladesh, placed by AFS-USA in Rochester, NY)
I love the feeling of being able to represent my country through presentations. After participating in International Education Week, I couldn’t stop presenting - it was so fun and interactive! At first when I had to prepare for International Education Week, I was very nervous to present in front of high schoolers. I did twenty presentations at my high school to different social studies and language classes. By the end of all these presentations, I definitely got the hang of it! I also presented to different cultural centers and their groups of exchange studies and their host families. I loved talking to them about my country but nothing can beat the experience I had of presenting to a group of elementary school students.
On May 17th, I had the opportunity to share about my country to a group of eleven year-olds at Wilson Academy. To say this was my favorite presentation would be an understatement. Since they were only eleven years old, I didn’t present anything about statistics, economics, or politics and tried to keep it as fun and kid friendly as possible. I focused my presentation on my country’s food with different pictures and even described my favorite food to them. I was so happy to hear that a lot of them had already tried it. I also brought for the presentation a small toy rickshaw and shared with them some means of public transportation in my country. It was fun to see them intrigued by the toy and playing with it. I also brought an orna to talk with them about different traditional attire. A lot of them actually tried it on and loved it! Lastly, I brought along a game that I used to play as a kid called Ludo. The students actually had a game similar to the one I brought and it was fun to bond over a similar activity. I loved the fact that all of us learned that even though we are different, we might have more similarities than we know.
The presentation lasted a little over two hours and I loved every second of it. It was so fun and amazing to teach these kids about my culture - they were so curious and interactive! The students asked a lot of questions and were curious about the currency, so I was happy to share about it. I even showed and gave them some of my currency as souvenirs. They also asked about the weather, words in my language, my school, and even if we use phones. These are just some of the questions out of many more. After sharing about my country, the students had actually prepared a presentation to show me about my country and what they knew. I was surprised by how much they already knew about my country! It’s usually hard to keep little kids entertained but I would do it all over again if I get the chance. It was even more fun to encourage them to be exchange students!