Friday, April 17, 2015

Why AFS, Why Italy?

     Wait, what is AFS? AFS-USA (American Field Service) is an international exchange organization based in over 50 different countries, offering students the opportunity to gain a sense of independence, culture, and to expand their global knowledge.
AFS provides intercultural learning experiences that bring global cultures together by helping people connect, transforming the lives of thousands of students, families, and individuals every year. With exchange programs in more than 50 countries and a large network of volunteers, educators, and staff, AFS is committed to helping participants understand their immersion experiences in a foreign culture.
     My decision to study abroad was not a spontaneous one. In 8th grade, my class was presented to about a volunteer mission trip to Guatemala for six weeks. I had never even thought of going outside of the country for anything other than vacation! Of course, I did not immediately go home, research any possibilities of going outside of the country, I just thought that it was pretty neat that someone could leave the country to do cool things! Towards the end of 9th grade, I was  presented with another opportunity to go on a mission trip and was intrigued. Unfortunately, it required being in Spanish III! Defeated, I retreated back into my comfort zone. Shortly after, I received word from my parents that we were moving, to California!

     Moving for the first time was probably the best and worst thing that I could've done, I had never moved before! My first school was too laid back, they offered about two total AP courses, and only for juniors! I was fed up with the school and the idea of studying abroad came to me! Unfortunately, the deadline was about five days away. I decided that studying abroad was right for me! I made a pact with myself to study abroad next year! I could tell you about how I ended up at my current school, but that's not what you're here for! Italy has held a grip on my family for a long time, leading us to be loud, hearty, friendly, and over-communicative! Although there isn't much that I can put in to words to express my feelings, I love the language, food, and culture beyond any ordinary person!

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