Name: Duko
Program: 24/25 AY
Country: Netherlands
Gender: Boy
Age: 16
Years of English: 15
Last Grade: 10
Religion: None - Attends: Never
Interests: Fitness, Video Games, Computers / Tech, Weightlifting
About:

My name is Duko, I'm 16 years old. I like playing hockey (more specifically unihockey) and I like going to the gym. I like rap and hiphop music. Sometimes I like to draw as well. During my time in the USA, I would like to live and experience another culture, and make international friends. All the activities seem exciting. I would like to get better at basketball for example, or learn to box.

Student Letter:

Hi, my name is Duko and I’m from the Netherlands. I am 16 years old. In this letter I will tell you more about my life.

I live in a large city in the North of the country. I live with my family: my father, who is a scientific programmer and a student in astronomy, my mum, a professor in Economic Geography at the university and my 13 year old sister. Oh, and our three cats: Zelda, Benji and Link. Our house is in a residential neighbourhood, about 20 cycling distance from my school.

I'm in grade 10 of my High School here in the Netherlands. In school, I'm focusing on social economic subjects. I like seeing my friends at school every day. I mostly hang out at school and after school with my group of friends. We also play floorball together and go to the gym together. My friends and I also play a lot of computer games on multi-user platforms, so we spent a lot of time together. I love having fun with my friends. Last year we went with school to Berlin in Germany on a school trip and we shared a hostel room together. We did not get a lot of sleep!

In my spare time I like to do sports: floorball and weightlifting. I also like working on and at my computer. I like programming and computergames. I used to be a big Zelda fan, that is also why 2 of the cats have names related to that game. I used to have a part time job at the local supermarket filling shelves. It was quite boring, so after a while I saved up some money and then I stopped to spend more time on schoolwork.

I would like to spend some time abroad and experience school in a very different context. The Dutch school system is very different than the American. In movies we get an idea how high school works and I think it would be really great to experience this first hand. I am especially excited about the big sport events at schools and the very different kind of course and subjects that are offered in the USA compared to my own school. I am eager to learn more about the USA.

Hope to see you soon, thanks for considering me!

Name: Fredrik
Program: 24/25 AY
Country: Sweden
Gender: Boy
Age: 16
Years of English: 7
Last Grade: 10
Religion: Protestant - Attends: Seldom
Interests: Family Activities, Fitness, Skiing or Snowboarding, Video Games, Swimming
About:

Hi, I'm Fredrik! I like considering myself to be an outgoing person, and i easily make new friends. I love doing activities with friends and family on my spare time. I love to improve myself physically both doing sports and fitness. I love to spend some time on the internet both talking to friends and reading fiction in English.

Student Letter:

Dear Host Family,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. My name is Fredrik, and I am writing to express my excitement and anticipation for the possible future of joining your family as an exchange student.

I come from a background rich in diverse experiences, and I believe that embarking on this journey will not only allow me to experience new things but also broaden my horizon. I hope I can contribute and get along with your family. I am eager to share and learn traditions and culture from you.

My family consists of my mom, Susanne, and my stepdad, Nicklas. Additionally, I have three older sisters: Annie, who is 18; Sara, who is 19; and Stina, who is 22. We enjoy spending time together, whether it's traveling or simply sitting down for lively conversations during our family dinners

In terms of interest, it comes to sports, activities, and video games. I am truly passionate about the positive impact sports and activities can have on both physical and mental well-being. From a young age, I have been drawn to the world of sports, finding joy in the camaraderie, competition, and the valuable life lessons they offer. I would love to experience the camaraderie and team spirit they have in the US. If I'm not doing activities with family or friends, I love to play video games and watch movies or series. I would love if you could share what you enjoy doing with me so I could experience it with you.

One of the things I love the most is exploring new cuisines, and I am excited to introduce you to the dishes and traditions of my homeland. Whether it's preparing a traditional dish or simply sharing stories about the cultural significance of certain foods. And I would love to test new cuisine and flavors.

I am also interested in learning more about your family traditions and the activities that bring you joy. Whether it's celebrating holidays, participating in community events, or engaging in your favorite hobbies, I would love to immerse myself in your way of life and become a part of your family.

As for my expectations during my stay abroad, I hope to make meaningful connections and create lasting memories with friends and family. Creating powerful bonds away from my old friends and family and creating them with you and the people I meet.

In conclusion, I am genuinely excited about the possibility of becoming a part of your family. I believe that this experience will not only shape my future but also create bonds. I am looking forward to the adventures that await us and the opportunity to create a home away from home with your family.

Thank you for considering me as a potential member of your household. I am eagerly awaiting the chance to meet you and experience this incredible journey together.

Warm regards,

Fredrik

Name: Diego
Program: 24/25 AY
Country: Switzerland
Gender: Boy
Age: 15
Years of English: 6
Last Grade: 9
Religion: Christian - Attends: Daily
Interests: Soccer/ Football
About:

Hi, I'm Diego! I am really sporty. I also like to have fun, but I can also be serious. My favourite sport is soccer. I play as an left winger and Im left footed. I also play basketball in my freetime with my friends or my family. I really like to have fun but I know the limits. Im very brave and I have respect. Because of soccer, Im determined. My music taste is american Hip-Hop like Drake, Travis Scott and other rappers.

Student Letter:

Dear Family

Hello, my name is Diego and I am 15 years old. I have brown curly hair and brown eyes. Im 5.4 foot. I have two brothers and no sisters. I also have a dog. His name is Basco and he is a brown Labrador. I have many friends in my school and 3 best friends.

A friend in my class did the Exchange Year also and because of that I also had interest in that. I am nervous about this exchange year, but I like going out of my comfort zone. I am very sociable and I like to make new friends. I also love playing video games but I am also very sporty. My nationality is Italy so for a Friday Evening, I would make Pizza and other food from my culture like Spaghetti or Lasagne.

I am very humorous and I love having fun. I really love Soccer/Football and I play it also. The club that Im playing in is FC Dulliken. I play as a left winger and Im also left footed. Generally, I love ball sports like basketball, baseball or Volleyball.

I have big interest in the american culture and would love to live the american culture. I was two times in America before. I was in New York City for Christmas holidays 1 week and the other week in Washington DC. And I was for a night in Atlanta, because we went to the Dominican Republic and we stayed a night to wait for the next flight. I really liked America and because of that I chose America for the Exchange Year. The food is so good and the people are very sociable. Because of that, I think I would fit in perfectly. I know that not everywhere in America the people are like this but I am comfortable with that.

I also love the beach, when I am at the beach I can forget all my problems, I think that is because Im travelling every summer to the beach of Sicilia in Italy. I always go to Marsala and San Vito lo Capo, when me and my family travel to Marsala, its because of my Grandmother and Grandfather and when me and my family travel to San Vito lo Capo, its because of the beautiful beach and the location. Marsala is bigger than a village, but smaller than a city. Its not a very modern village but its not bad to life there. In San Vito lo Capo, its more like a village and there are more tourists.

Back to me, what I expect the most from my host family, that they are respectful and that I can have my privacy. It is also very important, that they have humour so we can have fun together. It is also very important to me that my host family wants to do activities with me so we can bond and make memories together. Ofcourse we could just chill and watch a film or just chill. Like maybe when we would be near the beach that we could go there and play some volleyball or when we would be near a mountain or something like we could be creative. This is not very important but it is a extra thing. And if it we would argue, that we can solve it normally.

See you all soon!

Best Wishes

Diego

Name: Norina
Program: 24/25 AY
Country: Germany
Gender: Girl
Age: 17
Years of English: 12
Last Grade: 12
Religion: None - Attends: Never
Interests: Cooking, Dance, Surfing
About:

Hi, I'm Norina! I'm a kind of person who is always trying to see the good in things while also being truly honest. Being happy is the most important thing to me as well as spreading this feeling. My open-minded personality allows me to discover new interests again and again. That´s why I love learning and experiencing in general. Since my family is quite big and I have a lot of siblings, I can get along with children very well. My creativity is most of the time a great bond between me and kids.

Student Letter:

Dear families,

My name is Norina and I´m a german student. I am graduating from highschool this year.

Since I am still quite at a young age (17 years), I believe that pushing myself through atleast 3 years of studies, right after 12 years of school, won´t be very effective. So taking a step back to travel to the USA, learn so many maybe completely new things, living a high school life with no need to be perfect, sounded great to me. I know I have to keep up my ambitions to be good in school, but this gap year allows me to not be so hard on myself. I still stress about my grades here even though they aren´t bad at all, but I set myself such a high goal with my grade average in my finals, that I try so hard to reach it. I hope that in the 10 months i get to experience a different school and education system, which also allows me to have leisure time and fun at school. I feel like I am getting to gain some spark back in the upcoming time in the USA.

It´s always difficult to describe your own character since you´ve never experienced yourself from the `outside´ but I think I´m always triyng my best to see the good in everything. I love to be happy and spreading this emotion. When I start feeling comfortable around people I´m becoming more extroverted. It doesn´t take me a lot of time to get used to a new surrounding or new people. Though I wouldn`t truly consider myself as adapting to other character traits but more like still discovering new interest and personalities of myself.

Since I am an open-minded person and have several of interests as well as a versatile personality, I love experiencing or learning things and creating memories. I can be very creative with everything that is appealing to me. I´m a honest person and blunt when it comes to my opinion or view of situations. For this reason I´m trying to communicate as clearly as possible as well as being understanding.

I am very interested in learning languages. I do indeed speak french, want to learn spanish and mandarin/chinese. I´m a so called (in my family) `sandwich child´ , meaning, I have older and younger siblings. So, family is a big thing for me especially when it comes to my relationship to my siblings. Since I have a younger half-brother and a younger half-sister, I enjoy spending time with little kids. My creativity is most oft the time a great bond between me and kids. I would allow myself to suppose that the combination of my experience with children and my independence raise my responsibility. In addition I would call myself a quite active person. I can gain so much motivation for things I really want to get/reach/become.

I have always loved summer, sunshine and warm weather as well as all the activities it brings with it, like going to the beach, go swimming, spending time in the garden, to hold barbeques with neighbours and friends while dancing to songs till midnight and having fun in the pool.

Thank you very much and have a great day

Name: Tim
Program: 24/25 AY
Country: Netherlands
Gender: Boy
Age: 18
Years of English: 5
Last Grade: 12
Religion: None - Attends: Never
Interests: Video Games, Travel
About:

Hi, I'm Tim! Even though I spend a lot of time doing bicycle cross (BMX) now, I don't plan on doing it in America. Besides BMX I like to play soccer and mountain bike with friends. We play volleyball, basketball, and baseball a lot at school right now and I really enjoy doing this too. I am always open to discovering new sports. I'm very curious about your culture, about how you live, what it's like to go to a high school and find out if it's really like what we think it is.

Student Letter:

Dear host family,

My name is Tim, I am 17 years old. I live in a village in the Netherlands. I am a sporty guy. Sport is therefore very important in my life. I like many different sports and definitely enjoy discovering and trying new ones. But my passion lies with BMX racing.

I have been BMX racing since I was 6 years old. I train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. When I don't have to go to my student job on Wednesdays, I also like to help training kids who have just started. I look forward to Saturday all week because then it is race day. It is in a different place every time, so I know almost all the BMX tracks in the Netherlands. A track is between 350 and 500 metres, so every lap is very explosive and because every track is different, every race is a challenge. Every club has its own club tent where everyone from the club gets together after his/her own race. This keeps the club feeling high and it is always fun there. But even with racers from other clubs, outside the races, it's fun. Some of my best friends are also BMXers. On my own track, we have a 5.5 metre high starting hill. The combination of strength, speed and technique in this sport really gives me a kick.

On Saturday evening, I often meet up with friends. Usually we meet at someone's house, sometimes we go karting or play darts. On Sundays I work at McDonald's, I have been working there for about 2 years now; I like it there. Working hard with great colleagues. When I'm not busy with sports, school or my student job, I like gaming and watching movies, action and comedy movies are my favorites. My parents describe me as a sociable, (sometimes a bit too) relaxed and with a good dose of humour.

I live at home with my two sisters, father and mother. With my youngest sister I fool around the most and, with my eldest sister I have most common ground when it comes to sports. My father always goes with me to my races and training sessions and my mother usually helps me with school or work. Sometimes I help her with cooking. I love macaroni and my mother's nachos. We also have 2 pets. My sister's hamsters called Banjer and Nibbit.

From school, I took part in a short exchange with several European countries and stayed with a family in Portugal. Still within Europe, but the lifestyles and culture are vastly different from back home. I already wanted to go to America but this really made it my dream.

The great America, what would it be like there? I would love to live and go to high school there for a time of my life. I'm very curious about your culture, about how you live, what it's like to go to a high school and find out if it's really like we here in the Netherlands think it is and what I've seen of it on TV. Meeting new people, being a part of an American family, making new friendships, experiencing what it's really like in America. I'm looking forward to it!

Thank you for considering me.

Greetings,

Tim

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