YES Programs



Students Share Exchange Stories

Small  Yes 0

Confusing at First

I was placed at CIVA Charter High School. At first, I found the American school to be very different from Malian schools. American student choose their own courses, but in my country everybody must do the same thing. In Mali, the students stay in the same classroom and only the teachers move to each classroom; this difference caused me to always be late to classes because I was trying to find the classrooms. Additionally,  American schools have lockers for students which can be difficult to open. The most exciting differences are the bowling club and the dance class, which we don’t have in my country. 

Now, I have gotten used to American schools. The people are so friendly and always smiling. Since CIVA Charter High School is smaller, everybody knows each other. American schools give so much opportunity and power to students to do what they want and to help them for their future career.

Kadidia (Mali)

Bridging the Divides of Religion and Culture

I am interested in learning about different cultures, different people and new things. This exchange program helps me to achieve my goal. I have been to churches several times. Churches are totally different from our mosques. We do not have music and dance in our mosques, but surprisingly many churches services do. When I went to a church for the first time, I introduced myself to the minister, and asked him if I could address the congregation. I spoke about my culture, religion, and the importance of bringing nations and people closer together, as well as removing the misunderstandings btween religions. With a rise in humanity, love and peace, this world can become a better place to live.

Syed (Pakistan)

The Power of a Smile

One of the first things I noticed in the United States, is the fact that people smile at you immediately when you make eye contact with them; it is so amazing for me to smile back. Another interesting observation is that Americans are eager to learn more about foreign people. I came to this conclusion when I had to answer a series of questions from my host parents, classmates and other people in my community. The most common question is whether I speak more than one language. Most people in the United States speak only one language and they find it interesting to listen to someone say something in another language. Sometimes I feel embarrassed when I am asked to say something in my "native tongue" or in French; but it turns out to be just fun!

Evangeline (Cameroon)

Fear Factor

The cross-country team enjoyed a spaghetti dinner at a team members home, before visiting a halloween corn maze; this was my first time!

While we were waiting to enter the maze, I felt someone touch my shoulder only to turn around and face a haunted man! Stunned and scared, my first instinct was to scream. We then entered the dark maze and passed different scary scenes. To our horror, as the maze continued, we became increasingly lost. We could not find our way out of the maze for almost 45 minutes! A haunted man came to our rescue! He took off his mask and helped us find our way out. It was great fun for the fall season!

Mah Noor (Pakistan)