Talieva enjoys school in America

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Talieva enjoys school in America

Senior Datkaaiym Talieva checks out a book in the library.

Senior Datkaaiym Talieva checks out a book in the library.

IMAGE / Elizabeth Ashley

Senior Datkaaiym Talieva checks out a book in the library.

IMAGE / Elizabeth Ashley

IMAGE / Elizabeth Ashley

Senior Datkaaiym Talieva checks out a book in the library.

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Foreign exchange student Datka Talieva, senior, arrived in Flint from her home country of Kyrgyzstan in August 2018.

Kyrgyzstan is a central Asian country with a warm climate.

Talieva said the the climate was different than that of Kyrgyzstan, a central Asian country with a warm climate.

“I like Michigan. It’s a very beautiful place, but it’s too cold,” Talieva said. “My country is a lot warmer, and it’s always freezing here.”

Talieva found Kearsley to be surprising and intimidating at first, but, over time, she has gotten used to how KHS functions.

“It was surprising at first because school here is very different from schools in my country,” Talieva said. “At first I was scared because it’s such a big school, but I’m pretty used to the way things work now.”

Talieva discovered new hobbies in America, like playing basketball.

“It is my first time playing the real sport, and I’m really happy to be playing it,” Talieva said. “I’ve been getting much better.”

Singing and music has been a large part of her life in Michigan, as well. Talieva said she enjoys learning from Mrs. Renee Kotzian, choir teacher.

“I love singing in her class, and she’s teaching me music that I’ve never gotten to learn about before,” Talieva said. “She’s always helping me after school.”

Kotzian enjoys having Talieva in class and thinks Talieva has offered a new insight to her and the students of the class.

IMAGE / Elizabeth Ashley
Senior Datkaaiym Talieva is an exchange student from Kyrgyzstan.

“I really enjoy having Datka. She’s brought a whole new perspective to the class,” Kotzian said. “It’s really interesting how she’s interested in music and (has) been participating so much. I think she’s  going to do great.”

Kotzian also believes that having a foreign exchange student is extremely positive for her and the class.

“It’s really good for any of us to get to know the exchange students,” Kotzian said. “We can learn so many new things, and it’s really nice to learn and to know that, as humans, we’re all alike but have our minimal differences in our day-to-day lives.”

Talieva’s friends are a huge part of her life in Kearsley, and one of her closest friends from KHS is senior Mary Wheeler.

“It’s really cool having a friend that is from another country because you get insight on what it’s like socially in other countries around the world,” Wheeler said.

About her friendship with with Talieva, Wheeler said, “It’s just kind of sad sometimes because at the end of the year I most likely won’t get to see her in person again.”

Talieva has also voiced her own thoughts and feelings on returning home and how bittersweet it will be for her.

“I miss my home, honestly,” Talieva said. “I’m definitely going to miss the people and the culture here.”

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