Amazing opportunity to experience another culture
On June of 2019 I took a voyage to Sardina, Italy. I’m extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to travel across the world. Most people my age barely leave their state let alone the country.
My experience with International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES) was great. Mark A. was very helpful for my mother and I. He kept us informed and gave us tips for flying out of the country. My trip was only a month but it was the best month of my life. I was nervous to meet my family at first. I was scared they may not like me or we would not make a connection since it was only for a month.
Once I arrived at the airport (CAG) I found my Local Coordinator and host family. They all greeted me with open arms. It was a little weird getting used to at first with a new family, but it didn’t take long. My host sister and I immediately connected and my Local Coordinator (LC) soon told me she placed me with the family for that reason.
I’m extremely glad because my host sister and I are great friends. Not just my host sister, I’m close with the whole family, my forever family. My family showed me the beauty and history of Sardinia. We traveled up the west coast and I got to experience different foods and landscapes. It was (and still) hard for me to learn/understand Italian but my family and LC helped me learn some of the language while I taught them a little English.
When my month started to come to an end, it was hard to think of ever leaving them. We spent as much time as we could together in my final week. Finally it was the morning of my departure and we arrived at the airport with everyone sad and crying. I never knew I could connect with a family as much as I did with them. As I started to leave to go find my gate my host mother handed me a letter and told me to read it on the plane. Once I got on the plane I read the note my host mother wrote in English saying goodbye, it was an emotional moment but it was worth it.
I thank ICES for giving me this amazing opportunity to experience another culture. Not only did I discover an amazing country, I found an amazing family that I will have for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to return and visit my family again one day, so I thank ICES for providing me an amazing program!
ICES exchange student in Italy
Learn more about the ICES Study Abroad programs available for American students.
You may also contact the Outbound Program office at 1-800-344-3566 or by email [email protected].
ICES offers teenagers to current and previous host families a significant discounts for the ICES Study Abroad programs.
And American students participating in the ICES Global Ambassador Program will get credits towards the Outbound Program fee.