Mariami, a FLEX scholarship recipient is a high school exchange student living in Michigan. She shares her thoughts on the idea of happiness and her exchange experience:

Happiness is having them. I cannot describe living with Crouse family better through any other another words. This is the place where you can always feel love and support. Every moment we spend together is unforgettable, and full of joy. Their amazing nature made me love them after the day we met.

From the first day I felt great support and love from every family member, and I feel that I am real part of the family. Our interests, and characters are greatly similar, and if sometimes we do not agree with each other, every opinion is still respected. I love Jess and Ben because of their caring, sweet, trustworthy, encouraging, loving characters. I love how sweet, joyful, polite, honest, and hard-working my siblings are. You cannot be sad with them. They make you  smile anytime.

I always try to express my appreciation and great love to my family members because every day they do so much for me. I made handwritten ‘thank you’ cards for all of my family members for Thanksgiving, and I was so happy when I saw how excited they were. For my (host) dad’s birthday I wanted to make something different that could make him smile. I thought a lot and decided to ask all the exchange student at my school to write ‘Happy Birthday’ and birthday wishes in their languages for him. All of them did this with great pleasure. Ben was so excited and said that was one of the nicest things anyone has done on his birthday. And I was happy that I made him happy. I have an amazing family and feel like a real daughter of Crouse family. I will always love them and will never forget my experience of living with this fantastic people.”

Interested in finding your own happiness as part of a global family? Consider hosting!