Cholpon Muradilova ’11
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan/Brimley, MI
Hello everyone! My name is Cholpon M. and I am a sophomore at American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan. In 2010-2011 I was a FLEX student in the U.S. and that unforgettable experience in America has led me to learn more about other countries, their cultures and traditions. I decided to explore East Asia. One month ago I was sitting on a plane and I had exactly the same feeling of excitement that I had when I was flying to the U.S.
Finally I am here, in Daejeon, South Korea! I was the happiest person in the world when I met my old Korean friend Bin. She was also an exchange student in the U.S. and I remember we promised each other that no matter what, we WILL meet somewhere again, and it happened! She picked me up from the airport and my journey began. We ate traditional food, saw many beautiful places and shopping malls in Seoul and visited a Taekwondo center. I felt that I was a special guest when all kids were performing Taekwondo only for me.
That day we talked almost all night with Bin about our host families, friends, school and the cool time we had in America…Now I am an exchange student in Linton Global College (Hannam University) and I am experiencing real students’ life – I live in a dorm, eat with international or Korean friends, study and have fun at the same time. In one month I have visited some of Korea’s biggest cities, including Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon and the most beautiful one, Busan. We had a trip to Busan with a Kyrgyz delegation, and it was my second time meeting with them. I made many Korean and International friends and it’s always interesting to talk and spend time with them, because every day I learn something new. From the very day of my arrival I have noticed that people here are very kind, hospitable and they will always help you. They take a slight bow in order to greet each other, they use both hands to give or receive things, you have to hold it with one hand and other hand has to touch your elbow. I think respect is the main aspect of their culture.
I adjusted easily probably in part because of my FLEX experience, and I am grateful for it. I have learned a lot of things from being an exchange student, and one of them is “Don’t miss even a single chance to learn and experience new things, because they can lead you to more. Don’t waste any time!” I have only one semester, consequently it has to be active, unique and a breath-holding part of my life. I will do my best!