Aqsa Munir (iEARN-YES 2012-2013)


Whole Year Report

One Year In United States of America

I arrived in America on August 14th 2012. Meeting people from different countries, talking, sharing, and listening to them was in itself a great experience. I was learning and teaching at the same time, but as they say, it was just a start. I was excited and fully pumped up about how I was going to spend my exchange year in the United States.  Coming from a busy city with a population of 9 million people in a small town with a population of thirteen thousand people was a culture shock for me. I had never thought of experiencing a life with people who are independent, where I will have to push the button up to turn the light on and learn to say “the magic words” for whatever I did or was about to do. Well this was where the experience started.

I never thought I would take part in activities such as key club, leadership and sports like track and cross country. I know these all are the things that I have never done before, but practicing them and experiencing how each one of those arts is like, is one of the greatest feeling of all times. The Country where I belong from is not a place where a lot of people have pets. In The United States, one of the things that I experienced was that almost every family has a pet. They just treat them like their own family member. They talk to them, they sleep with them. They even play with them, which at first I thought was strange. But after spending a couple of months here, I think pets are not that bad and they are good friends!

When I sit down and start brainstorming things that I have done and am doing in my exchange year, my imagination never stops. I always think of more and more things that I have taken part in. One of those would be volunteering or community service. When I was back in my country, I had never done community service before, but because we are exchange students, we are always encouraged to do community service. I have taken part in different community service activities, and up till now, I have a total of one hundred and five hours of community service hours. I have tried to serve my host community with great variety and magnitude. I worked with different clubs and volunteer and I also 

passionately served as an ambassador for my Muslim faith and Pakistani culture by giving presentations about my country to breakdown stereotypes and misconceptions, and I am sure I have been very successful in that up till now. Giving presentations about my country has become a favorite job for me. Till now I have given 65 successful presentations at different places around the town and another one is scheduled for later this month. After which I will have a nice figure for my presentation count. 

I had also applied for International Education Week (BUBW) April 17-19 and I got a chance to attend that workshop. I was presented a certificate on the last day, I have been taking part in different activities since I’ve been here, and have tried to make my year wonderful! Listening to what people think, and what their perspectives about my country Pakistan and all Muslim people around the world are, is just very hurtful. People have such wrong misconceptions and ideals about how we are like. Giving presentations I think is a great way to clear all the misconceptions and become a bridge between both beautiful countries and beliefs. I’d like to thank all the people who have become a great help for me, for making my exchange year successful! And I hope I’ll keep up with the work that I have been doing!                                 


Sanjan Nagar School, Lahore 

See Also: Foreign Education Tours