By Igor Stojkov (YES 2019-2020, Chaska, N. Macedonia, placed by Greenheart Exch in Northwood, NH)
I am Igor Stojkov and I just returned from the YES Program 2019-2020. I was placed in the state of New Hampshire, up north. It was really cold and snowy- just perfect for me. Participating in the YES Program in any way, starting from the application and all the way until departure from the US, and after with the Alumni activities, has been the most exciting period of my life. The moment when I was notified that I will be travelling to the United States was one of the best moments of my life. Also, what comes after it is really exciting. How cool is that you are waiting to be informed whether you are going to be placed in hot Florida, or somewhere in Hawaii, or maybe in Alaska, or maybe in rural Iowa? Once accepted, you can be placed in any of the 50 States in the US.
My State was New Hampshire. I was really close to the city of Boston, and I actually got to enjoy a live Boston Celtics game in late January. The program is full of opportunities. I learned how to ski and I actually skied a lot while living in New Hampshire (I would never dare to put on skis before going to the US). My host community was full of lakes, and I spent a lot of time on a boat and swimming. Hikes, car rides, beach days, and many many other things are things that will make your experience memorable. Every state has its own advantages – and fun fact about New Hampshire is that it’s the first State to vote in the Primaries, so I got to meet one of the Presidential nominees for the upcoming 2020 Presidential elections! I also got to visit Florida, swim with dolphins, try a roller-coaster for the first time, and even ate some crocodile bites ( and burger with CRICKETS in it) !!
The best thing about the program is attending American High School. In my case, I was placed in a very small and not really diverse school, so I had the advantage of being new and interesting to everyone. I was accepted very fast and I made tons of friends very easily. I didn’t miss any opportunity – I attended every basketball or volleyball game that was played in the school. I attended every dance, and it is a tradition that the students vote for the dance’s king and queen. And yes, I was the Homecoming King for the dance! Felt really good!
It is very hard to try to mention everything in a few paragraphs, because the YES experience can’t be told, it can just be experienced. I encourage everyone who is eligible not to hesitate and to apply. YES Program is a life changing program.
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