A Whole Life in a Single Year
By Yara Moallem
YES '13, Israel
My name is Yara, I am from Israel, I am fifteen years old, and I am on the YES Program. I was placed in Inola, OK and I am going to share with you one great experience out of many I have had so far.
In my high school I am in drama class, and for Halloween we decided to put on a haunted house to raise money for our class. We called it IHOP - Inola House of Panic - and we worked on it for almost a month, deciding the scenes, the music, our characters, our costumes, decorating, etc. When it was finally time for our show, we were so excited! Everything and everyone looked so scary - it was amazingly awesome. There was a torture chamber scene, a Villain’s Revenge scene, a creepy little girl’s room scene, a dark forest, narrow tunnels for people to walk through, fog machines, spider webs, etc. People all seemed sincerely terrified. The next day our haunted house was the thing everyone talked about, and they all said we did a great job making it look as real as it can be.
We collaborated and worked very hard, but still had our fun, acted silly and spontaneous, and enjoyed ourselves. It was all team work and it made us become good friends. It felt so good being part of a team and working on something that turns out to be such a success.
Coming to the U.S. was the best decision I have ever made. I love my new life and this whole experience I am going through, no matter how hard it gets sometimes, and I will be forever grateful to each person who is responsible for providing me with this life-changing opportunity and making my dream come true.
My advice for all exchange students is to stay strong! And when something is wrong, speak up! Distract yourself and stay busy when you are homesick, and you will see how fast time will go by. Have an amazing year, and make the best of it! Remember, exchange is not a year in your life; it is a life in a year.
Caption: Yara and the cast of scary characters at The Inola House of Panic produced by the drama department in her U.S. high school.