Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Story

I thought that last blog sounded a bit stuffy, so I wanted to summarize it and add a few more details.

So I'm sixteen years old, a lifeguard, a volleyball player, and a cook.

And now I'm on my way to France.

I've wanted to be a foreign exchange student since 6th grade, I remember getting packets, from my sister, about AFS. I was mesmerized by all the possible nations I go go to. I could go anywhere in the world; speak any language; be with any people; eat any food; and all I had to do was fill out a form.

Well, turns out I had to do a little more work than that to go abroad. Like I had to study really hard to get good grades, I've had to put off homework to complete AFS things, I've probably spent more than ten hours straight completing my application, I'm taking AP classes so that I can graduate with my grade, and I've been working my butt off to learn French.

And that doesn't even account for what I'm going to miss while I'm gone. My first day of 11th grade, freezing cold football games, a season of volleyball and softball, Thanksgiving, Christmas, my golden birthday, Mother's day, prom, my last day of 11th grade, and just being with my family and friends for a whole year.

But the thing is comparing those loses to going to France is like comparing a penny to a million dollars, well at least for me. I believe that the things I experience, good or bad, while aboard will shape me and give me a better understanding of our world.

That's all I really want. I want to learn about the French culture, their morals and values, how they prioritize their lives. With that understanding I want to share with family, friends, and anyone else that will listen what is truly important in life. The things that will make your day a red letter day are the things we should be doing as much as possible.

I also wanted to hit on the whole fundraising thing. I really haven't been fundraising, but I have been working, a lot. Any job apportunity I have been presented I have taken. I want to work and I love to get paid for a good days work, but the thing is, it's not enough. So if you are willing to there is or there will be a ChipIn link that you can donate to. Any amount of money is helpful and all of it is appriciated.

Thank you, please leave comments and questions, I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hi, I'm Abi. I play volleyball and softball. I love to swim, snowboard (just started yesterday), hang with friends, cook, and read in my free time.

I want to go abroad with AFS because my sister was an AFSer to Paraguay when she was my age. Her experience with AFS was one of the best times in her life and I would love to have that experience. I have always known I wanted to be an exchange student so AFS was my first choice.

I really want to gain a better knowledge of other people and I want to get to know myself for who I truly am. I hope to give the people I am living or going to school with a more realistic idea of how some Americans feel about the rest of the world.

My family and friends are all excited for me to get this opportunity. It is not something that comes up everyday and they want me to have a great experience while I'm away. My mother, of course, doesn't want me to leave her, but it must be done.

To become an AFSer the major barrier I have to overcome is the cost to go. I love going to new places, meeting new people, and trying new things. So besides the language barrier, which I am working hard to shorten, I think I will thrive at my new home.

So far I have completely finished my AFS application, set up my school schedule for when I return, talked to my counselor about my credits, got my passport, and had my interview. All I need to do now, from what I understand, is to get my host family, buy a ticket and get myself out to DC or NYC to get on a plane to Paris, France.

Since I just completed my application I have not started fundraising yet but I did qualify for a partial scholarship from AFS Global Leaders. I need to raise about $9,050. It's a lot, I know. But I figure I'll just chip away at it piece by piece.

You can help, any donation - even $10 - makes a difference. If you just can't give money then help me spread the word about my blog. Please forward it to any or all of your friends. And feel free to add me on facebook.

Thank you so much for taking an interest in my blog and have a great day.

Au revoir!!