Alumni Spotlight: Maxiane Petit-Papa

Maxiane is a young sixteen year old girl living in Haiti hoping to one day be able to influence the country in a positive way.

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Why did you choose this program?

I actually did not know about the program (Oxford Royale Academy) before being presented the opportunity to participate in it. When I first found out about it, I looked at the program's blogs, articles, pictures, and reviews to get a feel for what it would be like to actually be there. The courses and reviews that I saw made me even more interested in having the chance to be able to go and have this experience.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

On my own, I had to buy new clothes to be able to adjust to the weather, pay for appointments at different embassies and pay for the plane ticket (with the help of my school) just to list a few. ORA helped by sending confirmation letters of my acceptance to the program which was very crucial at the embassy appointments that I had. They also offered a coach service that I could take from the airport to my destination directly (with a fee of course).

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

When signing up, choose subjects that you are interested in or think you might enjoy, it will make having homework not so bad because you will most likely try to do your best in the subjects you choose. Also, one of the mistakes I made that I would not like others to make is: think the program is uptight and strictly about work, it is NOT. There are plenty of opportunities to have fun/socialize with other students, which is another way of learning also!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day would be having 3 meals a day with two morning classes and an afternoon workshop every other day. Between the morning classes, there is a break to have snacks and drinks and relax. After the morning classes, there are afternoon and evening activities. These activities are the perfect opportunities to either do some homework or go have fun through sports, games, or even guided tours of the city.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My BIGGEST fear was flying and navigating the airport. I had never flown before so I was pretty freaked out about what was going to happen, especially because I would be flying on my own. To not let stress get to me, I asked my parents, family friends, and YouTube how to navigate an airport and who to address in case I had a problem. When I got to the airport, it was not difficult at all to navigate! I followed the signs and when I was confused about where to go, I talked to TSA agents who were really nice and helpful.