It was a very good year even if I had some hardships to go through!

Greenheart Exchange has been a sponsor of the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa since 1985. In our first year, we helped seven Spanish students find host families and attend high school in the U.S. on the J-1 visa. Now, we welcome over 1,000 participants each year who live with American families and study in high schools all across America. Here’s Maialen from Spain telling us about her exchange year in the U.S.

“I most enjoyed seeing all the differences between my culture and theirs. I also enjoyed traveling around and visiting Mount Rushmore, observing the wildlife, such as buffalo, deer, and goats. Making new friends and hanging out with them and trying new food.

My biggest challenge was to make friends at the beginning of the year. To make new friends I tried to participate as much as I could in the school activities, and I also reminded myself that everything has a time and that I need to be patient and not fall into desperation.

Advice for a new exchange student:

“I would tell them to take it easy, to do things step by step, and that everything will come when the time is right. I would also ask them to get involved in the community as much as possible, volunteering, participating in school activities, etc., that will help them to get to know more people. And finally, to have a good time and to try as many new things as they can.”

I would rate the Greenheart Academic Year/Semester Program 8/10. It was a very good year even if I had some hardships to go through. I think I’m a more mature person than I was last summer.

The most memorable part was when I went to Hawaii as an exchange student for a week. It was absolutely a beautiful and interesting experience. I made new friends, I volunteered, I got to know a little bit of their culture and I enjoyed being surrounded by such a beautiful nature.

Interested in hosting a student like Maialen? Visit to learn more, to Meet our Students, and to apply.