Shania Roshan from Tanzania is not one to shy away from the spotlight. Placed in Cherokee, Iowa by IRIS she has packed her experience full of activities and adventures at Washington High School. While maintaining straight A’s, she has become a very active member of the engineering club, NASA club, and speech, where she does choral reading and ensemble acting.

Shania at Mount Rushmore
Shania and her host family at Mt. Rushmore.

The upcoming school talent show is another venue to showcase her talents. Shania formed her own lip snyc group, did most of the choreography herself, and will be performing in front of the whole high school! Her host family says this is a natural fit for her since she’s always singing and dancing around the house. It seems as though nothing is too big for Shania, and this social butterfly has even signed up to be an announcer during basketball games! When she’s not singing, acting, or studying, Shania volunteers at her local museum cleaning historical artifacts and welcoming guests.

During this first semester, Shania has had an whirlwind of experiences, most notable was her host family’s trip out to Wyoming. Along the way she got to see Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, the Grand Tetons, and even rode a horse for the first time! Her host parents said, “we just love sharing this country, our culture, and our home with Shania.” Back home in Iowa, Shania shares in their culture by attending youth group with her sister and going to hockey games almost every weekend with the family.

Shania at hockey game
Shania enjoying the family’s favorite sport: ice hockey!

Her local coordinator, Kelsey Hartnett adds, “I am so happy I’ve gotten to know Shania. She has an inquisitive mind, always wanting to learn more and share about herself in return. She has an outgoing personality and I feel that her ability to bond with people, as well as her determination to be the best that she can be, will get her very far in life.”

Shania exemplifies what it means to be an exchange student and has already made a lasting impact on her host family. They constantly remark, “hosting Shania is one of the best things to ever happen to us.” Their experience with her makes them want to continue hosting exchange students in the future as a way to learn more about the world. There’s no better sign of a great ambassador than a person who can inspire others. Shania is that great ambassador.

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