Saturday, October 10, 2015

AFS - Going Places

My name is Marisa Arsenault and in February, I'll be starting the adventure of a lifetime. I will spend a semester in Argentina with AFS Intercultural Programs. I will live with an Argentine host family and attend high school.

My mom was an AFS student for a full year to Argentina, and I’ve grown up hearing stories about her experience. Her host sister was amazing and they've stayed in touch via Facebook. As proof of the impact of her trip, I was named after her host sister! We hosted an AFS student from Chile when I was eleven. It was fun having another older sister and to hear Paloma’s English improve on a daily basis. I’ve known since that time that I wanted to be an exchange student too. I have such a deep love for the Spanish language, stemming from being in the immersion program since kindergarten. 

I'm looking forward to improving my Spanish and I think a semester gives me just the right amount of time to become part of my host family and connect with Argentinian culture. Not only that, but a serious career option I’m considering is International Affairs and the Foreign Service, so living abroad will give me a taste of what that sort of work will feel like. When I return, I plan to share my experiences with all who will listen! I hope to go back to my elementary school and give presentations on Argentine food, music and culture and to support fundraisers for student scholarships so other students can study abroad.

This summer I worked as a lifeguard to raise money to cover the cost of the program. I'm also babysitting and doing odd jobs to earn as much as possible, but I could still use some help. I've joined the "Sponsor an AFSer" program, an online fundraising tool provided by AFS to allow potential sponsors like you to make easy, secure (but non tax-deductible) contributions to my AFS program fee. I'm also happy to work for your sponsorship by doing jobs around your house. No contribution is too small; every little bit will help me get closer to my goal!  

Thank you so much for reading this! I would greatly appreciate it if you'd forward this message to anyone else you think might be interested in sponsoring my AFS experience. Keep checking back here to keep up with my adventures once I'm actually assigned a host family and I arrive in Argentina.

To sponsor my AFS program, please click the Donate Now button to make a non tax-deductible contribution directly to my AFS program account. Thank you for your support.