YES Programs



The YES Mountaintop

Race Arrival 1

By: Rim Khayata (YES 2018-2019, Lebanon, hosted by AFS in Kenai, AK)

Skiing is a vital activity in the lives of many Alaskans. As an exchange student, I was really hesitant before joining my school ski team. I really wanted to learn this new sport, however, I knew that it was really hard and it requires a lot of practice and patience. Nevertheless, I challenged myself, so I went out of my comfort zone and I joined the team. I would tell you now, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had during my whole exchange year. 

I had some awesome days with the ski team, but I also had some really challenging days. I was out in the cold weather trying to figure out how to go down those steep hills and turns without crashing into a tree! I also had to keep challenging myself to not stop in a 5k race and just keep on going. 

Now the ski season is over and throughout this period I have learned an amazing new skill and sport that I will carry with me to Lebanon. I will use this experience to encourage everyone around me to get out of their comfort zones. Additionally, I have met some amazing people, teammates and coaches - you would never expect that an individual sport would have this much spirit. I can still remember every time one of my teammates passed by me and said that I was doing a great job. I have learned so much from our coaches, they are great leaders and excellent mentors!

Skii Team 2 1


November is the month of International Education Week! 

What have the people in your host community learned about your country? What have you learned about the U.S. that you didn’t know before?

Check out this month's story prompt at and submit YOUR for International Education Week!

Yes Story Writing Challenge Logo 1