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Project Idea No. 709
By: Laura Palermo from ,

"Wow, Laura is really our sister"

I dreamed of becoming an exchange student for many years, I was sure that this was the best choice for me because since I was little, I was always interested in learning new things. I wanted to learn about new languages, cultures, traditions and discover the world. AFS granted me this opportunity and I flew from Europe to America and suddenly I become older and I left all my life behind me. I left my family, my friends and all my certainty and arrived in a place where I met wonderful people. From the first moment they made me feel safe and comfortable; especially when my host dad spoke with me in Spanish when we had some problems understanding each other. Most touching was a few months ago my host brother said, "Laura is really our sister" and I was undoubtedly happy. We have learned so much from each other. In my first week my host mom was so excited to have me teach her to make real Italian Coffee and Tiramisu'. I helped my younger siblings with homework and it was amazing how much this actually helped me with my English. I taught my host sister several words in Italian. I learned to swim here and cook many different dishes that I can't wait to try back home. American food is really a smorgasbord of many cultures. Ross, April, Dakota, Riley and Rucker became my new ‘American family' and I’m so glad to have met them. We have had a really great time together; we went to a military ball, we visited New York City and did some fun activities like the Adventure Science Center, Family Camp Carson in Indiana, and we observed the total solar eclipse right here in Clarksville! I experienced an American Thanksgiving, and Halloween. Before I go back to Italy, we will go to Florida in Orlando and visit Disney World, Bush Gardens and Universal Studios, and I’m pretty sure it will be awesome! This family is the real definition of love, motivation, religion, and endless support. I really do not know how I was placed with these guys, but I want to say thank you to my family. I hope that I am showing thanks by improving myself and working hard, but I am also very grateful for AFS placing me with the Pixler family. The reason why I made this video is to show how appreciative and lucky I feel to have been able to share so many incredible memories with my host family. I will miss them and hope to have this opportunity to see them again for a reunion. My heart will brake a little when I leave.

Focus on

This project addresses the following sustainability goals in :