“ FLEX inspired me to ….” Olga Bostan FLEX Alumna 2015

April, 27 2016

When you’re only 19, talking about “the experience of a lifetime” might sound like something exaggerated. However, just the thought of my FLEX year brings back so many powerful emotions and incomparable memories that this is the only way to describe my American dream, and I’m sure most of my FLEX friends can relate to that with the same intensity.

FLEX inspired me to… challenge myself.

One year abroad is not only an amazing adventure full of new experiences. Besides how fun it was, what made my exchange year truly an unforgettable one was the challenges I had to face and the changes that they prompted within me. The time I spent in the United States was a leap to maturity for me. Exposure to a new culture and a new language and the need to establish new relationships pushed me, at times none too gently, out of my comfort zone. Every time I conquered my fears when faced with a new situation, I added a new dimension to my personality. I believe my American experience led to many changes that would have probably not occurred this early in my development. In fact, what can be better than exploring the USA while being on a journey of self-discovery and growth at the same time?

FLEX inspired me to… embrace diversity.

Brazil, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Thailand, Norway. This is just a short list of countries I learned so much about with the help of my international family. My FLEX experience would not have been so unique if it wasn’t for the wonderful people I’m so thankful I had the chance to meet. They taught me that a different background, religion, skin color or nationality mean so little when real human interaction and true friendship mean so much. This is why my American experience was an eye-opener, it made me not only accept diversity, but understand it as something that can teach and therefore, benefit each individual within a group through the various cultural exposure it provides.

FLEX inspired me to…be a good citizen.

While in the United States, I learned about and practiced civic engagement. Civic engagement is a vital force to many communities which helps them grow and make a difference by developing a combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation among its citizens. An important part of my American experience was volunteering. Lending a helping hand to those in need, for example, gives true meaning to “good citizenship”. By playing an active role in solving social, economic, and political issues on a volunteer level, we can promote good will and improve quality of life. Therefore, after being a part of the American society, I became very aware of the genuine importance of civic involvement and I try to contribute to the development of my community whenever I have the chance to.

The 10 months I spent in the United States of America were the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that made me engaged with the world around me as well as helped me learn so much about it. It was truly the experience that changed my life for it inspired me to dream bigger, accept challenges and believe in myself no matter what.


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American Councils for International Education is pleased to announce that Fall 2018 Professional Fellows Program application is open now through March 30th, 2018. Apply to become a #profellow on a fully-funded, six-week legislative #fellowship in the US! Applicants must be aged 25-35, work in public sector or NGOs, and citizens of Moldova. Don't delay, apply now at: https://ais.americancouncils.org/pfp