Being an exchange student at Faith this year has been an amazing experience, and it being my final year in high school altogether only makes it more special. I come from Brazil and I have never studied in a Christian school before – I studied in private schools all my life, but Christian schools are hard to find back home. My class was a regular 30 student class, a little smaller than what I had here at Faith, but they weren’t the closest together. The first thing that struck me was justly this: the class unity was phenomenal. There is not a single person that I dislike and that has not received me in the family with wide open arms.
It was a struggle to me to come without knowing anyone and I was afraid that I wouldn’t bond in with the class or make any good friends, but I was proven wrong by a very receptive senior class and I am happy to say that some friendships I made here will be lifelong. I also had the opportunity to connect with other exchange students and hear their perspectives on life and on the world around us, which gave me much more understanding about different cultures and enriched my cultural exchange even more.
I got the opportunity to understand American culture in a way I wouldn’t have if I had come in college and I was able to have the American Highschool experience worthy of being in a movie – homecomings, proms and all. It was an extremely enriching experience, not only personally and culturally, but spiritually as well. Being in a school that prioritizes spiritual growth and that is constantly preaching Gospel truths has been very encouraging, and I’ve been able to learn and grow in my faith a lot this year.
I also was able to participate in the school play, Arsenic and Old Lace, which was a great experience. I got to meet new people and help in one of the big school events, and I absolutely loved being able to do so. The play was a great time of fellowship and learning, and I am very happy to have been a part of it.
Overall, this year was the most memorable year of my life thus far. It was a childhood dream come true, and I feel extremely accomplished in all areas of my life – I could not have made a better decision than to come over for my senior year. I am extremely thankful to God and both my families for making this experience possible, and for making it as good as it has been. I’m going back to my country with a feeling of “mission accomplished”, with several new friends and experiences, and with a heart closer to the Lord.