Zhazgul Almazbek, 17, is a native of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, who is attending Aberdeen Central. Her host family is the Walden family.
Q. What are your parents' names and what do they do for a living?
A. My mom's name is Mahabat Karypovna Urkunbaeva and she is an English teacher in elementary school. My dad's name is Almazbek Abdramanov Turumkulovich. He works at an Air Force base.
Q. When did you arrive in the U.S.?
A. I arrived on Aug. 17.
Q. What has been your biggest surprise about life in the U.S.?
A. That even in America everything I buy was made in China.
Q. How do you compare the education you receive in your home country to your school here?
A. Here it is much easier than at home. We can choose classes and we have only four classes every day, while at home all of our classes are required and we have 6-7 classes every day. Also, we have 20-21 subjects per week and it is like that (all) year, while here we can have only four subjects per week. In America, your classes are the same every day, and in Kyrgyzstan we have different schedule everyday.
Q. How is the food different here?
A. Americans eat a lot of fast food. I think here people don't cook dinner every day; they can eat frozen food, or just order pizza. At home, we cook a meal every day. Here I really like lasagna, peanut butter, spaghetti and everything baked.
Q. Are there any other differences between the U.S. and your home country?
A. Here almost all teenagers drive, and at home most teenagers don't have cars. We use public transportation or walk.
Q. What has been the most fun since you got here?
A. Christmas was the most fun thing here. Since we are Muslim country, we don't celebrate Christmas, so this was my first Christmas. I really loved it, it was a lot of fun.
Q. What do you miss about your home country?
A. I miss public transportation. I miss that I could just take a bus or mini-bus if I wanted go somewhere, while here I always have to ask somebody to give me a ride.
Q. What did you expect from your stay in the U.S.?
A. I expected that my English will improve very quickly, like after one or two months, but it takes much longer than that.
Q. When will you return to your home country?
A. May 22.
Q. What would you like to do before you return to your home country?
A. I'm in debate now, and I really want to do some sports before I leave.
Q. Is there anything you would like to add?
A. Yes, I want to say that I'm very grateful that I had a chance to come here and experience American life. I'm so happy that I have my awesome host family, who supports and helps me all the time, my awesome friends and my teachers. I will miss all of them so much!
If you're interested in hosting a foreign exchange student call Vickie Moser of Leola at 605-439-3656.