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The end of your high school exchange year is approaching... Can you believe it? It is easy to get wrapped up in preparing to return home. Remember to try to stay in the present moment, and continue to show those around you that you care for them and value the experience that you have had in the U.S.

Ask yourself, ‘what kind of impression did I make on my host family and teachers in the U.S.? ’Here are 6 great ways to leave a positive impression and show those around you that you’re grateful.

  1. Show gratitude. A simple way to show your gratitude is to simply say, ‘thank you’ to your host family and teachers; let them know that you’re grateful for them helping to make your experience in the U.S. a positive one.
  2. Stay engaged. Stay present and try not to get wrapped up in returning to your home country and your future plans. Do the best you can to stay engaged with your host family and school, and continue to immerse yourself in the people and culture around you.
  3. Write a letter or make a card. Sometimes it can be challenging to express 9 months of feelings and gratitude face-to-face with someone. Spending some time to write a thank-you letter or card to your host family or teachers may be a good way to express your thoughts.
  4. Write a list of things that you’re grateful for. Make a list of things that you love about your host family, or things they’ve done for you that you appreciate.
  5. Frame a photo. Do you have a favorite photo of a memorable experience in the U.S. with your host family or school? Print and frame it to give as a gift and keepsake. A picture is worth a thousand words!
  6. Make a traditional food to share with your teachers and classmates. Make a treat from your home country to bring into school and share with your teachers and classmates to show them that you are thankful.