We asked our AFS students to tell us about some teachers that have made a difference this year while they are studying in U.S. schools. Here’s what a few of them had to say about how awesome their teachers are. Thank you to all of the educators around the U.S. who welcomed an AFS exchange student into their classroom this year.

College of pictures of students and teachers that reads Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! 2024

Yannis from Senegal nominated Idalia Heredia from Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
“Mrs. Heredia is always checking on me to see if I need any help in class, knowing that English isn’t my native language. Additionally, she’s really curious about my country and my culture, always asking questions about it whenever she can. She also lets us listen to music if we want to when we need to do some assignments.”

Yannis and their teacher, Ms.Heredia

Hamza from Egypt nominated Timothy Wallner from Navarro Early College High School
“Mr. Wallner, my incredible theatre teacher, has had a profound impact on my life. His unparalleled wisdom, unwavering support, and unconditional love have not only shaped me as a performer but also helped me navigate the darkest moments of homesickness. With his guidance, I’ve discovered a sense of belonging and purpose, and I cannot fathom a year without his inspiring presence. He is a true mentor, a beacon of hope, and a constant reminder that the power of love and kindness can transform lives.

Hamza and their teacher, Mr. Wallner

Lana Bo from Germany nominated Danny Lobo Leon from Belfast Area High School
“Our Spanish teacher Mr. Lobo has had the greatest impact on my exchange because he‘s just always there if I or the other exchange students need something. I don’t take Spanish at my school but every time we walk past his room or see him in the hallways we have a little dance party. He cares about us a lot and it‘s always a fun, great time with him.”

Lana and their teacher, Mr.Lobo

Rita from Japan nominated Grant Bohlke from Dallas Center-Grimes High School
“Mr. Bohlke from my U.S. History and Western Civilization class has the greatest impact. He is very understanding of not only different cultures but also people. He always tries to communicate and connect with each and every individual. Mr. Bohlke has opened a whole new door for me by allowing me to look at history from another perspective. Now I love learning about world history and diverse cultures even more.”

Rita and their teacher, Mr.Bohlke

Margarita from Armenia nominated Jennifer Rosebrook from Arcata High School
“During the first two weeks of school, I was anxious about failing my class because English is my second language, and I struggled with unfamiliar terms, constantly needing translations. However, Ms. Rosebrook’s teaching style made psychology captivating, and now I’m deeply interested in the subject. Her efforts to keep us engaged and curious in every class are just incredible. Over the past seven months, I’ve learned a lot of valuable things about understanding myself and others. I’ll always be grateful to Ms. Rosebrook for her support during this crucial stage in my life and for her amazing work helping students like me.”

Margarita and their teacher, Ms.Rosebrook

Claris from Sierra Leone nominated Matthew Cipollone from City Neighbors High School
“I have had a great experience with all my teachers. The one that had the greatest impact on my exchange year is Mr. Matthew Cipollone. My teachers in the US have been so amazing, but Mr. Cip (as we call him) is so special. He is my POD advisor and he is like a counselor. Mr. Cip has helped me out in printing out all the documents I need and all my achievement certificates that I wanted hard copy of. No matter how busy he is, when I need something he is always there. He is always interested in my life and in what I do. He always tells me that he wants me to have pleasant and successful year. My words just can’t express how grateful I am for having him, but he has been amazing.”

Claris and their teacher, Mr. Cipollone

Hammad from Pakistan nominated Mr. Gomez from Timberline High School
“My Pre-Calculus teacher, Mr. Gomez, has had a great impact [on] me. For last two years, I have been struggling and hating maths. I thought that I will never be able to pass maths in a good way. While [selecting] classes I had a choice to skip this class, but I overcame my fear and took one of the toughest maths classes [in the] US. On the first day when Mr. Gomez gave students instructions to [write a short] letter, I wrote whatever my heart instructed. I am very happy and grateful that not only Mr. Gomez received my mathematics problems solving abilities, but now I have this class as my favorite subject as well. He has been always there to help me out. Sometimes after school he pays special attention and gives time to me. I will definitely say that if today I [have an A] in my Pre-Calculus [class] then Mr. Gomez is the reason behind that. Indeed he is a calm and a wise person who knows how to lead everyone together in class. I will miss him alot after returning back to my country.”

Hammad and their teacher, Mr.Gomez

Vesa from North Macedonia nominated Phillip Calcagno from Blue Springs South High School
“The best teacher I have ever had was my psychology teacher. He was by far the most funny, smart and understanding teacher I have had. He always helped me when I had trouble [and] had great discussions.”

Vesa and their teacher, Mr.Calcagno

Virgie from Indonesia nominated David McCullough & Carol Campbell from Wellesley Senior High School
“My English teacher and my Math Support teacher [are] the best teachers I’ve ever had. For my English teacher, he always say my English is getting better and it makes me confident to practice more. He also always support me if I feel hard with his class. He’s really really good, I love how he teaches me. And for my Math Support teacher, she’s really good. She’s always appreciate everything that I did. Her good words make me feel so comfortable. She’s really supportive.

Virgie and their teacher, Mr. McCullough

Cecilia from Indonesia nominated Jim Tennies from Chautauqua Lake High School
“Mr. T has consistently been a huge encouragement to me and my decision to pursue an engineering degree. In addition to giving me resources and options for graduate degrees, he always has a strong enthusiasm for educating students (particularly in creating an attractive classroom environment)! One thing about him that I will never forget is how supportive and lovely he is with his students. When he returns our assignments, he always leaves us remarks on sticky notes as an indication of his appreciation for each of us. He has been an inspirational figure, and I’m happy to have a cheerful teacher who will always add to the magic of my exchange year!”

Cecilia and their teacher, Mr.T

Mariam from Ghana nominated Jennifer Russell from Davenport High School
“My U.S high school teacher who has had the greatest impact on my exchange so far is Ms. Russell, my dear physics teacher. Ms. Russell is not only one of the best teacher I’ve had in my life since I started school, she’s just a really nice and fun person and makes learning physics fun. Back in my home country, my physics teachers are very strict and barely have any time to actually get to know their students, we only just do the theoretical parts of physics and that’s it. Ms. Russell has made me realized that physics is way more fun than I thought. I love physics even more, it’s my favorite subject now. Ms. Russell also wrote my recommendation letter for CEW and I got selected! During the IEW, I shared a snack from my country with her and she also gave me a snack from her country. How fun is that? She’s just really nice, and I believe that’s all that matters.”

Mariam and their teacher, Mrs.Russell

Nithin from India nominated Kyle Scudder from Walnut Hills High School
“My time to speak teacher Mr. Scudder had a greatest impact on my exchange year so far because he is so friendly with me, he supports me. He helps me whenever I have question or problem regarding school or subject. Even though he is a time to speak teacher, he taught me some American culture. He wrote the letter and worked for my Civic Education Workshop without hesitating and finally I got selected and [I am] going to DC. Now, I don’t [have] class with him. I feel sad.”

Nithin and their teacher, Mr.Scudder

Maryam from Kenya nominated Heidi Ganshert from Argyle High School
Mrs. Ganshert is so fun, she is understanding, funny. Always there when I need help. She treats me and everyone in class as her own kids.”

Teona from North Macedonia nominated Robyn Pagington from Westfield High School
“My pre-calc teacher from 1st trimester left the biggest impact on me. She is just such a positive person in my life. Her approach on teaching math made me believe I am capable and would like to continue studying math in my higher education. Now, Miss Pagington has also become my long distance coach for track:) Her effort and constant support during every practice has a large impact on my improvement. She has been there through my whole exchange year. During races her cheering and motivational words was a big factor that made keep going. ”

Teona and their teacher, Mrs. Pagington

Elif Ayse from Turkey nominated Barb Andres from New Lothrop High School
“My English 12 teacher, Mrs. Andres, has had a great impact on my exchange journey so far. I learn a lot in her classes about the US history as well as how to be a better person, the effort she puts in her classes to teach us something is priceless. She taught me to look deep into the things happening around us. Analyzing books with her is so much fun, it’s like solving a mystery. You learn about culture, history, people and more. I am so happy to be her student in her class.”

Elif and their teacher, Mrs. Andres

Muhammad Salaar from Pakistan nominated Krista Mckim from Rockville High School
“My AP language and composition teacher, Ms. Krista Mckim has the greatest impact on my exchange year by far and helped me settle in and learn more about the language in fun and educational ways and has kept on supporting me.”

Venâncio from Mozambique nominated Beatriz Rabanal from Newton High School
“She is able to understand my problems and give me a solution. For example: in the first weeks of school she gave me advice on how to get into the school education system, as the system is different from my country, I wasn’t used to it, so it was very complicated at first, but she gave me advice on how to do it. And because it also gave me another new dream. I want to speak several different languages. [Because] she is another new inspiration for me, I want to be multilingual like my teacher.”

Noori Rashid from Pakistan nominated Chris Seep from Marshall High School
“Chris Seep is the teacher who has brought a great impact on my exchange year. Whenever I enter his class it makes me to smile and the way he makes me understand the US things and ask about Pakistan brings a good communication. I always wait for his class, because it is so fun to be in his class.”

Ezzeddine from Lebanon nominated Louis dicesare from West Irondequoit High School
“I think Mr.D has the greatest impact on my exchange so far, since he always ask me questions about my home country to inform the other kids. He allowed me to do a presentation in his class about Lebanon and Palestine. Also he supports me when the stuff were going badly in Lebanon.”

Elisha from Ghana nominated Carolina Ibarra from Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
“Mrs. Ibarra has always been very helpful to me anytime I need it especially in class. She has helped me become the artist I’ve always wanted to become. She has also inspired me to be more like her when I grow up.”

Elisha and their teacher, Ms.Ibarra

Jaliyah from Suriname nominated Christopher Brookholt from Lakewood High School
“My English teacher Christopher had the greatest impact on me because ever since day one one of his rule was to participate in his class. At first I didn’t like it, but because it was for a [grade] I started to participate and the more I did it the more confident I became in my English speaking.”

Benigna from Mozambique nominated Karlee Freihammer from Cashton High School
“The teacher who has had the greatest impact on my echange so far is Miss Freihammer, she is my U.S Government teacher and was also my volleyball coach. She is young and that is why she becomes an inspiration for me, as a coach she always did her best to make us successful during our games, thanks to her dedication we won many games. As a teacher, she is also an inspiration, sometimes I wonder how someone so young can be so responsible and with a great heart and always willing to try her best. She showed me that age is not a factor that limits us, but rather makes us capable of achieving whatever we want.”

Benigna and their teacher, Ms.Freihammer

Layar from West bank nominated Cara Roberts from Wilde Lake High School
“My art and engineer design teachers. They made learning fun and we did a lot of cool projects in class.”

FNU from India nominated Lee James from Eastern Senior High School
“My history teacher made a great impact on me because in History we study about the world wars and the past activities happened all over the world. I studied about them in India too but here I am learning from [an] American perspective how this country was doing during world [wars].”

Josephine from Kenya nominated Kyle Czerak from Batavia High School
“My biology and Math teacher because they are lovable, caring and always there whenever I need their help. They have made my classes to be the most fun classes I have.”

Roda from India nominated Laura Findahl from Columbus Unified High School
“Miss Fendal has a greatest impact on me on my exchange journey. During my first week, she invited me for Indian dinner. Which made me feel so special. She is always there to help me [and] give me [a] ride if I need. She is always helpful to me. Thank you so much Miss Fendal for making me feel that [you’re] always there for me.”

Roda and their teacher, Miss.Fendal.

If your school would like to have an AFS exchange student join you next year from any of 80+ different countries, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we’ll help you get started!