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The 411: Youth

My memorable exchange experience

My memorable exchange experience
Foreign exchange student Anton Tkachenko climbs a rock wall.

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May 23, 2012
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They say “America is another name for opportunity”; well, now I know that for sure!

My name is Anton Tkachenko. I am a World Heritage exchange student from Ukraine. About a year ago, when I signed up for a U.S.-sponsored exchange program, I could not even imagine what incredible experiences were waiting for me. I could not picture myself in a better place than Texas, and I definitely could not dream of a better American family than mine.

I came here alone, with no parents or friends, so it was my host family, teachers, and new American friends who made this place my second home, which it always will be.

So, I would like to say thank you to World Heritage Student Exchange program/FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange scholarship program) for giving me this great opportunity, and to my American host family (the Ramsdells), who were always there for me no matter what.

Also, to my local area representative Carlos Zaldivar, for a lot of exciting moments; to the teachers of Floresville High School, Mr. Steele, Mrs. Haag, Mr. Reyes, Mr. Trujillo, Mr. Jarzombek, Mr. Pfluger, Mr. Kasprzyk, and Mrs. Bloemer, for their enormous patience and support; and of course to my American friends, and to all the people here who were so nice and welcoming to me!

This year has changed my life forever. It made me more mature, responsible, and determined. I am proud to say that I have spent a year in Texas learning about American culture and living a life of an American!

This year was undoubtedly full of experiences, and something I’ll never forget!

If you are interested in hosting an exchange student yourself, please contact my area representative, Carlos Zaldivar, at 210-875-4143 or



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