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Stories from a Virtual Cultural Exchange

Ina Tiara Iew Cover

By Tiara Rachman (YES 2020-21, Indonesia, virtually placed with AFS-USA in WI)

Hello everyone! My name is Tiara, and I am a YES student from Indonesia. I would like to share a bit about my virtual program. First of all, I want to say thank you so much to the YES program for holding the virtual program in 2020. Honestly, I’ve had some awesome experiences.

I learned a lot about America! In my first online meeting with my virtual host family, I thought it might be hard for me to talk with them because we’ve never known each other before, but I was totally wrong! I was really surprised by how kind and friendly American people are; they are really nice. We had a video call almost every week and talked about many things. They showed us the fun of Halloween, how awesome Thanksgiving is in America, and how they prepare for Christmas. They also took me to see a marching band. I’m so grateful to know them and I learned about many interesting celebrations in the U.S.

Ina Tiara Rachman Halloween And Hbro Marching Band
Learning about Halloween and school marching bands

I’m also so happy to be able to make friends with American students, as well as other YES and FLEX students from around the world, through the peer-to-peer virtual program. I talked with American students about school and conducted a small presentation about my school in Indonesia. I heard many stories about America, such as the history of the Statue of Liberty and Native American history. The speakers and the stories are so cool! I also got a new friend from Thailand when I met the YES student that my virtual host family hosted last year. 

Ina Tiara Thanksgiving And Xmas

One of my favorite parts of the virtual program was the online cultural exchange for International Education Week 2020. I was so excited to present about Indonesia to my virtual host family. Through photos and videos, I showed them how Indonesia is a multicultural country and focused especially on my home province, Gorontalo, in the Sulawesi islands.

This virtual program is full of stories and a lot of fun. I look forward to next month’s activities. Thank you, YES!


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