AFS Exchange Students described their experiences to their younger peers at Thurston Middle School about leaving home at age 16 to attend high school in a foreign country.
Laguna Beach High School ‘07 graduate Hayley Simon spoke no Portuguese when she arrived in Brazil in 2005 and her volunteer host family spoke little English. Speakers Daniela Hormazabal and Bayron Guajardo, both from Chile, also spoke little English when they came to Laguna Beach to study abroad. Now they are all multilingual and internationally connected with other students from around the world.
To encourage more student participation, Laguna Beach’s AFS chapter is offering $1,000 scholarships towards program tuition for LBHS students. With planning and online classes, it is possible to graduate on time and spend a semester or year abroad.
AFS is also selecting host families now for the 2012-13 school year. Call local AFS liaison Barbara Hawthorne at 949 376-5913 for information or visit www.afsusa.org to see program details or to submit a host family interest form.