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Haider’s Year Abroad

IRIS thanks all of our host families past and present for giving our YES students the opportunity of a year abroad. Your generosity and kindness is appreciated both by IRIS and YES students!

Haider, our YES student from Pakistan, is attending school in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He is a very active student in his school, his community, and his host family. Here is what Haider has to say about his time abroad so far:

Haider, Senior High School Homecoming 2017

Hi. I am Haider from Pakistan and it’s been a while living in Fort Dodge. I really like the town and people over here. They are really helpful.

I am a junior at Fort Dodge Senior High. I am taking fun classes, like Dodger Men Choir, Art Studio, and Theatre Performance. My favorite class is Understanding Social Systems because I really like social working. I am looking forward to joining the basketball and soccer teams when the seasons start at Fort Dodge Senior High.

I have tried a lot of new dishes here which mostly all of them are really different from my home country, but they are really good! One of my favorites is cheeseballs, and my favorite place to eat in Fort Dodge is Community Pizza.

Where I am staying right now usually Sundays are chore days, and I am responsible for vacuuming and cleaning my own room. I understand and accept families have different rules, but I know I can adjust myself [to my host family].

In school activities I am engaged in International Cultural Club, and I am looking forward to joining speech club in the upcoming days. I am friends with a lot of people at school. They all helped me a lot getting started with school overall, and especially my classes.

I love people in Fort Dodge because they really love and support exchange students. A lot of people helped me to start [getting familiar] with the places in town and introduced me to a bunch of people.

So far I really enjoy living in Fort Dodge mainly because of my host mom, and other people too. She is really helpful and supportive. I feel so lucky to be a part of this town, and I am hoping to spend the best possible exchange year here.


If you or someone you know in the Fort Dodge area is interested in hosting, feel free to contact IRIS either by phone (515) 292-7103 or by email

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