Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hello! I see you've found my blog.

My name is Nikki and I'm 16 years old. I'm from Madison, a medium-sized progressive city in southern Wisconsin. I recently was accepted to be an exchange student for a semester with AFS (American Field Service). AFS is a non-profit organization that sends students around the world to live in foreign countries and experience new cultures. AFS-USA sends over 1,500 students abroad each year.

I was accepted to live for a semester in Chile, my first choice. I don’t know where I’ll be living yet, or with what family. I should find out sometime in January. I leave in late February and come back in late July. The application process was very involved, including a doctor’s checkup, sending my transcript, getting teacher recommendations, and a family interview. My parents have been very supportive emotionally and financially throughout this process, but let me do most of the work.
I have a couple goals for this exchange. First and foremost, I want to greatly improve my Spanish. Being immersed is the best way to do that. Also, I’d like to make friends from around the world, become more independent, and feel confident outside my comfort zone. I often feel uncomfortable being “different”, but part of going on exchange is being different, and I’m going to try to embrace that.

This opportunity is a significant financial investment. Because this is my dream, I want to be involved in the fundraising process. AFS encourages students to raise money. Last summer I earned more than $1500 working at our local boathouse. I’m trying to raise another $1500 through donations and other fundraising efforts. I am contacting you now to ask for your help with this fundraising process.

Please consider making a donation towards my exchange. I plan to keep this blog updated regularly before and during my exchange so that you can stay in touch with my adventures. You can donate through the "ChipIn!" widget in the upper corner of my blog, or send a check to me. If you need to get my address, don't hesitate to email me at nikki.niewold@gmail.com.

No donation is too small. Every dollar i raise helps me get closer to my goal. Even if you do not choose to donate, please stay updated on my experience by checking my blog or emailing me. Additionally, if you know anyone who might be interested in helping me sponsor this experience, please pass on this blog link.

Thank you so much for your time. I'm excited to get started on this adventure!