Coming on program can be both exciting and scary for our exchange students as well as host families. There are many unknowns about how the experience will go. But if both student and family are open to the experience, it is a wonderfully fun and fulfilling experience. This is exactly what Ayusa YES student, Mashal from Pakistan, has been experiencing with the Jameel Family in Arizona.
“When I was going to come in USA and I didn't get information for my placement, I always wished to get an amazing and loving family.” This is exactly what Mashal shares she has received from the Jameel Family. They have opened their home and hearts to her and have helped make her exchange year wonderful.
Her host parents, Ronda and Mohammad, have helped Mashal throughout the program to ensure that she has a great experience in her community without feeling too homesick. Her host dad shared with Mashal’s natural family “She is in save hands; we will treat her as our own kid, don't worry.” “My host mom is the same as my real mother; she had never given me a chance to miss my family,” shares Mashal. She helped find costumes and outfits for Mashal for Halloween, Homecoming, and International Education Week – of which Mashal was one of our winners!
When Mashal felt a little sick in December, Ronda was there for her. “She held my hand, hugged me, and told me, ‘I am your mother; you are my responsibility. Let me know if you need anything.’”
Even though there is still a few months left in the program year, Mashal already wants to come back to visit the Jameel Family. “Every moment I have spent with my family is awesome and special for me. I won't forget their love, their help, nothing. I will always remember them and will make them proud.” Even Mashal’s host sister says, “I won't let you go, you are my sweet, lovely older sister."
“I nominate them for the Host Family of month…Indeed they are not only the Host Family of the Month but FAMILY OF EVERY MONTH.”
To submit a nomination for Host Family of the Month, send your story and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org!