My AFS exchange


This post is about AFS (Intercultural Programs) and everything around it. I’m writing this in june, so before my departure.
First of all, AFS is short for American Fields Service. AFS is originated short after when WW1 started. I don’t know a lot about how it begun, but I know how it is now, so I’ll tell you something about that. Last year AFS celebrated their 100th birthday.

AFS is an organisation that has not many employees, it’s all about volunteers. Most of the volunteers are people who went on an exchange themselves or who are a host brother or sister. The volunteers help people like me, who didn’t leave yet. They also help the people who came back from their exchange.

I had been thinking about studying abroad for a long time. My best friend told me she also wanted to do that. So we went to a representation in Kortrijk. Then we made an account on the AFS site. We had to fill in a lot of practical information and we had to write a letter to our futur family. Your host country couples you to a host family on the basis of that file.
In november 2015 I went on my first weekend with our comité. Our comité is called KIP, because it’s the area of Kortrijk, Ieper and Poperinge. It’s actually a very cool name because ‘een kip’ in Dutch means ‘a chicken’.
At the end of the weekend full of workshops, we had to choose our country. I actually wanted to go to a country that speaks French, German, English, Spanish or Portuguese. I ended up choosing Brazil, Latvia, Turkey and Portugal. My parents were very surprised that I chose Turkey, Brazil and Latvia, because we didn’t know anything about those countries. I had to make the choice completely on my own. We couldn’t see our parents anymore, I found it very hard to choose all by myself. I remember that I was stressed out at that moment.
Then, a month later, we received an e-mail with the country the computer chose for us. I had a feeling that I would get Turkey, because everyone was kind of negative about it. At first I was a little bit disappointed. But now I couldn’t wish for another country!
I already started learning Turkish with Duolingo. I really want to know the language, because it’s actually such a beautiful language!
I don’t know where in Turkey I will be staying. I will get an e-mail with my host family and host city in the following months.
I can’t wait!!
(btw, my best friend will be staying in Latvia for 3 months.)