Today I found out that I've been selected as a finalist for the YES Abroad program. Along with six other US high school students, I will be spending a full school year abroad in Turkey! We will attend a Turkish high school and stay with host families during our exchange.
To get to this point, all the applicants have done a lot of work and had to endure seemingly endless periods of waiting. After submitting applications by January 11, we had to wait until February 29 to know if we were semi-finalists! Then we had to wait another month for the In-Person Selection Event (IPSE) in late March. 90 semi-finalists were flown out to Denver for a weekend of group evaluations, country tables, and individual interviews. And, of course, after the event we had to wait another three weeks until finalist notifications. For most of us, the wait paid off! YES Abroad is sending 55 high school students from the US to nine countries with significant Muslim populations (eleven before Egypt and Mali were cancelled) to live and study for a whole school year.
Now the next period of waiting - 2 months until the Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) in DC, then about another 2 months until I leave for Turkey!
See you in DC!