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I am an exchange student from Bangladesh (located in southeast Asia), currently living in Barker with a very loving host family. I consider myself a very lucky girl since I have come to experience many teenagers’ dream: living in the United States.

My host community and school are very welcoming. I have experienced a lot of amazing opportunities ever since I arrived in August. My host family has taken me to a lot of places, including the place I have dreamed about ever since I was a child, New York City!

When we started out for New York, I could hardly believe I was going there for real. The whole trip to the city was an amazing experience. We stayed in Staten Island for the night and took the ferry to Manhattan the next day. I will always remember the tears of joy that I shed when I saw the city. I felt like I was walking in my dream. We visited many tourist attractions, including Times Square and Central Park. We had a lot of fun and ate at different places.

Another one of my amazing experiences was homecoming week at school. It was very different for me to see how people would celebrate each day of the week to build up school spirit. I had a lot of fun with my friends during the whole week, especially spirit day and the homecoming dance.

I love my school, my teachers and my friends here. It is not at all like the movies, when new students have a hard time fitting in. Barker Central is a very welcoming school, and I fit in perfectly.

My whole experience here has been amazing. My host family loves me and takes care of me. I don’t feel like I am away from home at all. Thank you to the YES program for giving me such an amazing experience.

Faiza Rahman is 16 years old. She will be attending Barker Central High School for the entire school year.