Since I began working with BFF in 2018, I’ve been the Community Advisor for students from 23 countries across four continents. It’s expanded my worldview so much more than I could have anticipated. From learning about cultural norms to school systems to religious practices across the world, I’ve gained so much knowledge, including insights that I probably wouldn’t have received even if I’d been able to visit all of those countries. At the same time, through seeing my city, state, and country through the eyes of an exchange student, I’ve gained a new understanding of my own home. Ultimately, though, what has been the most rewarding has been having a chance to support these teens through a life-changing experience, and hopefully guide them on their journey to adulthood. Staying in touch with students for years after they leave BFF has meant that I’ve seen the lasting impact of student exchanges, for everyone involved.