FLEX Spotlight: Andrea S.

FLEX student Andrea from Montenegro reflects on the past 8 months of her exchange year. 


“Way back in 2015 the process of applying for the FLEX program started. My lovely family and friends were the biggest support while I was waiting for the results of this amazing program which literally has changed my life. Finally, in the spring of 2016 I was informed that I was selected as one of the 16 students who were offered scholarship for the craziest (in a positive way) journey of my life!

In late June 2016, information about my placement (host family) came in and I found out that I will be spending my exchange year in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I still remember the excitement during those sleepless nights. Finally, I arrived to the U.S. on August 9th around 6pm. You would think that I went straight into exploring, well no. Jet leg was a real thing, I slept for 13 hours.

Adjusting to new school and friends was, honestly, very hard. ‘Thinking in English’ seemed impossible! But still, I was never homesick or depressed. Of course, there were sad days just because it was hard to overcome personal fears and different views about the World. I am not a superhero, and I am not saying that I completely did everything I wanted or thought to do but at least I TRIED! Sometimes I asked people for help, sometimes I asked myself bunch of questions about things deep inside of me. I am still exploring, about the world, about my world. With the right people who support me and believe in me it is a lot easier. My American and Montenegrin friends, my parents and host parents never let me down. Although I wouldn’t achieve all of this without faith in myself, faith they all have in me, and support they give pushes me forward!

For 8 months being here I can tell that I changed. I am not a better or worse person, just different – PDO thank you 🙂 Thanks to this program and the experience it provided me with I am really looking forward to meeting even more people and visiting more places. Simply I am looking forward to expanding my horizons!”


Originally posted by FLEX Montenegro, here.