YES Programs



What High School Sports have Taught Me

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By Rumasa Zahra (YES 2019-2020, Pakistan, hosted by CIEE in Brooklyn, IA)

Ever since I came to the U.S., I have been actively participating in high school sports. All the sports have had a huge impact on my experience and also have taught me a lot of things. Cross country taught me to have patience, it helped me meet some of my very first friends. Most importantly it taught me to believe in myself. 

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I remember my first meet and how the 3.1 miles seemed never ending but my coach was their along the sideline cheering me up and encouraging me. After cross country I tried out for basketball and I had never played basketball before but the way my team treated me, the coach's support in teaching me and making me a better athlete every day was something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

 The entire gym getting excited for me to score my first points even the opponent team was something I'll remember for the rest of my life. The morning study tables with my team helped me not only in making really good friends but also on being on the honor roll. 

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And as we are having our first round of playoffs game this week I am realizing how badly I'll miss the weight lifting, bus rides, games, morning practices and cheering for each other. I have plans of doing track after basketball as it keeps me involved in school and keeps me active. My advice to every exchange student out their is to try every new thing! It might seem difficult at first but it will end up being the best thing about your exchange year. And exchange year is all about learning new things right?


In May, write a thank you letter to your host family, host community, or favorite teacher! 

Check out this month's story prompt at and submit your story!