Roxana visiting the Grand Canyon

Canyons and Cultures

A Moldovan in Flagstaff

Hi! My name is Roxana, and I am a Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program student from Moldova. I’m thankful to this program that was a bridge for me. I moved from where I started to where I am now, in the U.S. I live in the beautiful city of Flagstaff, which is in Northern Arizona. My life here is very interesting thanks to my host family and to the very creative school FALA (Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy).

Every day, I have the opportunity to speak with different people, share my culture, and learn more about America. Thanks to my sister I met a lot of friends very fast. Every week we meet with friends. We watch movies, discuss different topics (including my country), walk through the town, and have a lot of fun.

My parents are also a very big treasure to me. I am thankful to them every day as I discover or do something new. Just in a month, I've visited a lot of well-known places and gotten much more aquatinted with American culture. I've been to the Grand Canyon, in Sedona, where for the first time I touched a snake. I've also enjoyed Downtown Flagstaff, Mars Hill, a fair, and a Mexican Festival. I also saw the sun eclipse—something I've never seen before. 

I also try to show them my culture and traditions. I cooked them our national dishes twice; we celebrated the Independence Day of Moldova; and I’m usually telling them something about my country and how it is different from the U.S.

I feel that my exchange year will be much more interesting, because this is all just the beginning. 

—Roxana (FLEX, Moldova), hosted by the O’Neil family (AZ)