Everywhere you look, you see political campaign signs, billboards, and media ads. Even if you are not currently in the United States, it is important to understand the U.S election process as the outcome influences all countries. While the presidential candidates get the most attention, in this election, citizens will also be voting for seats in Congress, which is where laws are written and passed. Congress consists of two chambers: House of Representatives and Senate. All 435 seats of the House are up for re-election, and 33 seats of the Senate.


Developing new habits is not easy, but as you have returned to school you have seen the importance of needing healthy habits to be successful in your social, physical, emotional, and academic life. Last month we talked about the Habit Loop and how we need to be consistent with a new routine to create a new habit. This month we are focusing on how small changes add up to big results. Let’s look at ways you can start this school year with little steps to build better habits.

Welcome back to a new school year!  Whether you are learning virtually from your home country or attending in-person classes, we are glad to have you part of our AHLI family. Our Staff, Directors, Coordinators, and homestay families have been eagerly preparing for you to join us. Of course, this year will look different than previous years; however, with challenges come new opportunities.

The end of the school year has come and gone- without fanfare, celebrations, yearbook signings, parties, and farewell hugs. Many of you may be reading this from your home country. Others may still be in the U.S., but sheltering at home to finish your studies. It’s understandable you are struggling with disappointment or even anger that your plans did not unfold as you had hoped.

Last week, we looked at depression. We discussed what some of the symptoms can be, and the importance of talking to others if you feel you might be depressed.  This week, we’ll look at things we can do to help us reduce the risk of becoming depressed. We'll also look at what we can do to help us overcome being depressed. 

This month’s blog is focusing on mental health, specifically depression. It is a 2-part series that will continue next week.

By now you all have heard of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  This is a new virus that scientists had not seen before, and therefore is called a ‘novel’ virus.  The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, meaning a disease that is present across the whole world.

It's that time to get serious about your future, specifically your college application and essay! This month's guest writer is Mike Shank, Guidance Counselor at Shalom Christian Academy in Pennsylvania. Mike has been at SCA for 28 years, hosted 13 students and young adults. His sons, Ian and Sawyer are both students at Shalom Christian Academy.

Happy 2020! Happy Chinese New Year! This month we have a guest writer sharing about an American tradition. Brian Kelly is an AHLI Student Director for schools in Maryland and one in PA. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  For most of you, it is the last week of school before Winter Break.  Depending where you live, you may be experiencing the beginnings of a very cold, snowy winter, or for others, winter may be feeling quite warm, and sunny!