World Learning’s new podcast features recent Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) participants Zarrina (18, from Tajikistan) and Sofiya (17, from Ukraine) as they reflect on their year as high school students in the United States. They discuss ways in which the US differs from their home countries, citing things like an emphasis on critical thinking in the classroom and more independence and opportunities. They offer advice to incoming FLEX students and share insightful takeaways, such as “always be yourself and remember who you are,” even when nobody’s watching; and “if you work hard enough, the world is literally open to you.”
Brigid was Zarrina’s host mom for her FLEX program. Both girls attended School Without Walls in Washington, DC. Brigid works as an editor, producer, and reporter for National Public Radio and Public Radio International, and has lived in Ukraine. She produced and narrated the podcast, with music provided by David Schulman.