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!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Whether this is your first Thanksgiving in America, or your second or third, we at AHLI are happy to have you as part of our homestay program.  We hope by now that you are beginning to settle into your new school year.  Fall is always a time of new transitions, but it also reminds us to have an attitude of gratitude for the year that is almost over.