written by Mrs. Augustina Dancel-Matias, Acting Dean of Northwestern University

Just recently, on February 11, 2019, Nataniele Casini, AFS 2018, was reunited with Ms. Emy Paz Buted Raval, 1969 AFSer. (See Attached Photo) Ms. Raval had stayed in Minneapolis in 1969. Mr. Casini is presently being hosted by the brother and niece of Ms. Raval, Atty. Roy Raval and Therese Zsa Raval-Torres since November 2018.

It was on July 23, 2018 that Northwestern University (NWU) opened its doors as HOST SCHOOL for two AFS participants from Italy – Nataniele Casini (17, Loro Ciufenna, Arrezzo) and Valentina Capraro (17, Dieve Di Soligo). The University had engaged in short-term intercultural exchange e counters with ST. Stephen’s University-Canada and English Camp for Japanese but for a period of 2-weeks to  2-months.
This is the first time NWU had hosted participants with AFS and with a period of ten (10) months.

Nataniele Casini was welcomed by the family of Agustina D. Matias and stayed at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. John Mark Bartolome in Brgy. 48-B Cabungaan, Laoag City but due to some changes in the household set-up he had to be moved at the City Proper with the family of Atty. Roy Raval and daughter, Therese Zsa Raval-Torres still in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Even so, Casini joins Mrs. Matias and Kurt, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Mark Bartolome, for a daily luncheon in school.

Valentin Capraro was brought to her host family -Mr. and Mrs. Steven and Mary Ann Santos at the Brighton Parkplace, Robinson’s Homes, Brgy. 36 Araniw, Laoag City.  Both Casini and Capraro are currently enlisted with the Senior High School (SHS) Program of Northwestern University – Grade 12 under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Track since July 2018.

The AFS Intercultural Exchange Program did not only open a wide variety of opportunities but rather opened a wider range of learning experiences as individuals, as to cultures here and abroad and made the parties involved –the Host Family, the School, and the participants – the value of family beyond imaginable terms and beyond their own families. The AFS Programs would definitely be of great help in helping produce global citizens who may and would make our world be a better and happier place.