A regional volunteer exchange program was organized from 6th Jan 2019 to 11 Jan 2019. We had a total number of six volunteers who participated in this program which included two volunteers from Nashik, three volunteers from Anand and one volunteer from Vadodara. The hosting chapter for this program was Bangalore. The participants didn’t only have fun during this program but they also learned about the intercultural aspect of an exchange program. Overall the program proved to be a life changing experience for the volunteers and everyone appreciated the impact that it did upon them personally and interpersonally. We’re thankful to wonderful volunteers of Bangalore chapter for being a great host. 

“This was my first individual travel, there were a lot of things came up to me, like from the beginning, experienced first flight, to travel alone in metros, learned to make friends from being strangers to being the closest people I know now. When I first met the other volunteers, they were total strangers for me, but at the end of the trip, we all shared a great bond between us. I came to know about how to be self-independent. I got a great host family; my host mom was nothing less than my real mom. Right from waking me up to my likes and dislikes about food, she took care of everything. I learned many things about Bangalore and I also got answers to stereotypes which we have about Bangalorian people. From this trip, I learned how to survive in a different city, unknown place, how to get composed in difficult situation and most importantly how to be independent.”

— Mansi Shinde, Volunteer, Nashik Chapter

“First, a big thank you to AFS India for giving me this opportunity to explore and experience the different culture of India. My host family and I shared the amazing experience through this exchange. Volunteers were also very kind and helpful to us, they gave their best efforts to make our exchange enormous. Though the exchange period was for a week it was likely to be more than a month. This exchange made me more independent. Last but the best part of this exchange is that it gave me the lifetime relations with my host family and with the Bangalore volunteers involved in this program. Thank you once again to each and every person of this program which made my exchange unforgettable”

— Himadri Anand, Volunteer, Vadodara Chapter

“Before I went on the exchange… I thought that as we are going to the metro city, I will not be able to see the authentic South Indian culture and the life over there must be so modernized n fast, but when I stayed there, I saw that being a metro city it was fast and technological but still, the culture of South India was absolutely conserved. I learned many things from this program like I learned to use Ola/Uber, I learned how to use metros, and also the importance of being punctual etc. I also met many people there and I made so many new friends. The people over there were very kind and friendly. Overall it was a very amazing and inspiring experience”

— Vrinda Patel, Volunteer, Anand Chapter

“Being on the exchange program I have learned a lot of new things,  also I became more self-independent.  Learning about new culture and the lifestyle of a different state is itself a great experience.  My host family was awesome. They were very cooperative and helpful. The culture over there was also very inspiring as almost everyone knew three languages in Bangalore. The school visit was also a great learning experience. Overall it was an amazing experience.”

— Urja Patel, Participant, Anand Chapter

“If I talk about the impact of this program, I’m sure that along with learning a lot of intercultural values and ideas, I also came to know about how everyone is so similar to each other even after belonging to different states, cities, and religions. We paid a visit to GCIS school and the principal told us how impactful the AFS programs are in connecting a local school to a global platform in numerous ways. The exchange was only for a week but it gave a lot of learning. It was very tough to believe that we all will be sharing such good lifelong bonds with each other being from various states. It made me believe that “if you are good, the world will always be good with you.”

— Bhupesh Khairnar, Volunteer, Nashik Chapter

“The Bangalore trip was amazing, I got to know about new people, new culture, different city life. Coming from a non-metropolitan city, it was my first time to travel by metro. I traveled first time in metro and it was a great experience. At last, the impact what the trip made on me was that even small, little things can make you happy!”

— Rushiraj Parekh Volunteer, Anand Chapter