The International Community School (ICS) lucked out with two AYUSA exchange students this year: Andrea Szakacs, a 17-year-old from the Transylvania region of Romania, and Liliya (Lilly) Sadyllayeva, a 16-year-old from Kiev in Ukraine.
Andrea is staying with Julie and Robert Francis, who live in Kirkland and have two children (Kai and Kendra) attending ICS. She arrived here on August 30, which was also her 17th birthday and only one day before school started!
Andrea had dreamed of coming to the United States and studying English and Spanish after being called on to interpret between Hungarian and English for a church group that visited her home village. Andrea currently speaks Hungarian, Romanian, German, Italian and English and hopes to someday become an interpreter.
Lilly is staying with Kim and Rob McDaniel, who live in Sammamish and also have two children (Erin and Anna McNamara) at ICS. Lilly arrived here on August 19.
Lilly's dream of coming to the United States was granted by the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program, which is run by the U.S. State Department and focuses on bringing students here from former Soviet bloc countries.
In Ukraine, Lilly studied English for nine years and attended a school that focused on learning English as well as the other subjects. She hopes to become an interpreter and is currently fluent in Russian, Ukrainian and English.