OBERLIN — Clara Medwid, 16, will be calling New Delhi, India, home for 11 months.
The Oberlin High School student will be spending her junior year abroad, taking classes at a co-educational high school in New Dehli. While her classes will be in English, she will be speaking Hindi at home, which she is preparing for through the use of a Hindi/English dictionary, audio tapes and a tutor.
Medwid was chosen as an American Field Service ambassadress through her application and successful interviews. She was selected to study in her top choice, India, which as a history buff, she chose for its budding democracy. To alleviate some of the expenses of the program, she was awarded a $1,200 merit scholarship by the AFS Oberlin chapter.
Medwid is the first AFS participant to go abroad from Oberlin in eight years, but she is not the first AFS participant in her family. Her mother, Sam Lyle-Medwid, studied in Australia in 1977.
Lyle-Medwid believes her experience will be memorable and enlightening.
“It will be a life-changing year for her. I believe she will go on the plane as one person, and come off as another,” she said. “As a teenager you already grow so much, but in a different environment and with a different family, I am sure she will grow even more. It will broaden her horizons in so many ways.”
This past year, the Medwid family hosted an exchange student from Switzerland. Isabel Contra, 16, spent the year experiencing the life of an American high school student, even being afforded the opportunity to play on high school basketball and softball teams.
AFS-USA is an exchange student organization, getting its start about 60 years ago. Its mission is to “work towards a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences … through a global volunteer partnership.”
Each year, the program exchanges more than 13,000 students, young adults and teachers from more than 40 different countries.
Contact Maria Sellers at 329-7155 or email@example.com.