My first surprise was that I was selected. The biggest surprise was yet to come. I had studied French since 7th grade, so I figured AFS would send me to France…or Switzerland….or maybe Belgium. That would be cool. Imagine my shock in finding out that the host family with whom I was matched resided in Tehran, Iran. An amazing adventure was about to begin. In many ways it is continuing today. The world was not so “global” back then. There was no internet. No cell phones. My window on the world consisted of Walter Cronkite’s voice filtering in from the next room as my Dad watched the evening news…. And, of course, those annual presentations from our exchange student. I did not know anything about Iran. Suffice it to say, that the learning curve was rather steep. AFS was not kidding around with that motto!
I credit this experience with initiating, for me, some of the global competencies that I am committed to encourage in my students. And that dreaded presentation in front of the whole school? I couldn't stop talking!