YES Programs



Together Again

Vullnet and his family

By Vullnet Ilazi (YES 2021-2022, Kosovo, placed by AYUSA in Duluth, MN)

Within our exchange student community, we frequently discuss the prospect of reuniting, but one memory stands out during my time in the YES Program. It's the memory of the final day of my exchange student journey in the United States when I found myself alone in the small airport of Duluth. At that moment, it felt like the ultimate goodbye to my host family, friends, and the school that had become my second home.

But life had a surprise in store for me. Two short years later, I returned to the U.S., and we are back together again; it's nothing short of incredible! Reuniting with my host family and friends was a heartwarming experience I'll cherish forever.

Vullnet and his host dad

And guess what? I even had the chance to rejoin the Cross-Country team, which brought back such beautiful memories. I also had the privilege of sharing my exchange student adventures with this year's exchange students at the AYUSA Arrival Orientation in Minnesota.

The reunion happened at my host family's home in Duluth, Minnesota. I was in another exchange program in the U.S. when my host family invited me to visit them. They planned my visit, and I felt excited and grateful for the chance to see everyone again. I saw all my host family members, my host brother attending the University of Minnesota, and many friends.

The reunion made me feel thrilled and thankful. It was heartwarming to be back with my host family and friends in a place that meant so much to me during my exchange student journey. It's been an incredible journey. I can't express how grateful I am for this opportunity to reunite with the amazing people who made my time in the United States so memorable and unique. YES has impacted my life in many different ways, and giving me a second home is the best gift I've received.