Meet our new foreign exchange student: Ariana Isma Zaki


New Foreign Exchange student, Ariana Isma Zaki

Carrie Fox, Staff Writer

This 2021-2022 school year, we have a new foreign exchange student named Ariana Isma Zaki, who is currently a sophomore. She is in a funded program called Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program to the USA conducted by AFS. She was interested in coming to America and thought this was a good chance to participate in the program. I asked Ariana a few questions so students could get to know a little bit about her.

Q: What is the name of your hometown and country?

Ariana: “I was living around Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia.”

Q: What do you notice that’s different about your old school and CHS?

Ariana: “The High School I was going to in Malaysia doesn’t have any elective subjects for the first three years of study and we would be given the chance to choose our class in our 4th year of study. We have a dress code everyone has to follow, and we also have our own uniform to compare with CHS and other American High Schools. Our classes differ according to what grade we’re in and our exams result.”

Q: What do you like about CHS so far?

Ariana: “The things I love about CHS would be the student and the teachers because they are so nice and welcoming that I don’t feel like an outcast. They’ve been teaching me all sorts of things without fail and I’m sure there’s a lot more for me to learn as it has only been my first week of school.”

Q: What don’t you like about CHS so far?

Ariana: “The thing I don’t like would be walking from class to another as it washes away the excitements I have for the next class and sometimes it takes a lot of walking to get to one place. I don’t really hate it, nor do I love it.”

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

Ariana: “During my free time, I would listen to music, scrolling through the internet or maybe text my family or friends back in Malaysia as they’ve been missing my presence.”

Q: What is life like in your home country?

Ariana: “There’s a temperature difference between here and Malaysia, so back when I was in my country, we used to try to escape the heat by staying at home or going somewhere that has air conditioning to cool off and that’s why I’ve been loving the weather here since the day I arrived because it was super hot in Malaysia.”

Q: Does living in America seem more difficult or easy compared to your home country?

Ariana: “Living in America for now has been difficult as I’m somewhere I’ve never been to and living with my host family who was a stranger I’ve never met before. The culture and the lifestyle is totally different here and so I’ve been learning everything and it feels like starting from zero. But thanks to my lovely host family, the friends and the teachers I’ve met here, they’ve made everything seem easier than what it looks like.”

Q: Who is sponsoring your visit to the U.S.?

Ariana: “The YES program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government. I hope this amazing experience of mine would inspire people to get out of their comfort zone and gain a whole new experience to be kept as a lifetime’s memories.”