YES Programs



What it Means to be a Cultural Ambassador

What it Means to be a Cultural Ambassador

By Yousaf Qureshi (YES 2016-2017, Pakistan, hosted by PAX in Whitehall, WI)

I recently had the opportunity to give a TV interview, which aired live back in my home country, Pakistan. Twelve thousand people saw it on Facebook alone, and thousands of Pakistanis saw me live on TV, where I talked all about my amazing experience as an exchange student, my loving host community and family, and my view of America. 

I told Pakistan how generous America is, and I encouraged Pakistani students to take this ride, so that they could have a breathtaking experience like mine. I told them to get a passport and have their mind blown away by finding new people and learning lessons they'd never get out of a book.

Doing all this made me feel really patriotic and satisfied, because I realized that I was doing my job as an ambassador, which is what being an exchange student is all about. At first, you are an ambassador of your country in a foreign land, and then later, your represent your new home in your own country. Of course, during all this time, you are building lasting bridges and friendships. 

I am just a 17-year-old, but now I have made an impact on the lives of thousands of people both in Pakistan and America. This is all because I am an exchange student, which makes me proud.