Exchange program provides valuable experiences

I am a high school student from Saudi Arabia and I have spent the 2013-14 school year living in Marshalltown and going to Marshalltown High School. I am on a scholarship with Iowa Resource for International Service (IRIS) through the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program. The YES program was created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of State to promote international understanding, development, and peace.

I am thankful for the way my host family and Marshalltown have welcomed me. I am grateful for all of the opportunities available that I do not have back home. I was on the basketball team and participated in 4H Club. I have also encountered unexpected experiences and relationships I will forever cherish. Playing soccer in the really cold weather has been a real treat.

My plan is to take what I learned about life in Iowa to improve my community in Saudi Arabia. I want to thank IRIS, my Placement organization in Ames and last but not least, I want to thank my host family, David, Linda, And Calvin Halvorsen in Marshalltown. I will remember them forever.