Azerbaijani student comes to America

Azerbaijani student comes to America

This year MSHS has a surprising number of foreign exchange students; Nazrin Agharzayeva is one of the 9 exchange students. Agharzayeva is from Azerbaijan and is spending her first year of University attending Manitou Springs High School through the FLEX program.

Photo by Maddie Conarro

Q: Why did you come to America?
A: America was my dream country since 2nd grade. We had an essay about our biggest dream, when I told my class about America they laughed at me and acted sarcastic about it, that was one of those things that inspired me to come here. Then I found out that there was a great opportunity called the FLEX program for high school students. Most of the exchange students from European and Asian countries pay to come here but I did not pay anything, it was a free program.

Q: Was America your first choice?
A: America was my first choice, it is and it will be, I’m planning to live abroad and America.

Q: Who is your host family?
A: Emily Lord’s family is hosting me here, I’m really happy they hosted me because I have heard from my friends in other states that they have problems with their family. That was one thing I was afraid of when I came here because I didn’t know what kind of host family I would get, but I’m lucky because Emily and I have many common interests.

Q: What do you like most about America?
A: School and some people!, here you don’t have to study 17 subject for
11 years like in Azerbaijan. I studied all 17 to 20 subjects every year in my country.

Q: What do you miss most about Azerbaijan?
A: I miss some of our national food, my friends, and my family sometimes, but I’m not homesick.

Q: What is your favorite thing you have done in America?
A: Everything I’ve done here was fun, everyday is a new experience for me.

Q: What is the weirdest experience you’ve had here?
A: The definition of friendship, some people here treat their friends differently. They will be nice to me one day and act like they don’t know me the next. That hurts not only me, but also some other exchange students.

Q: Favorite American food?
A: Mac and cheese with truffle! Yummy!

Q: What languages can you speak?
A: I speak 4 languages: Azerbaijani, Turkish, Russian, and English. I used to learn Chinese and Japanese for 2 months, and Spanish when I was in 5th grade, but then I stopped. I started to learn Korean, then  when I came here I took Spanish. But I’m planning to learn as many languages as I can, languages are cool!

Q: If you could tell Americans one thing about your culture what would it be?
A: Azerbaijani culture is one of the unique cultures in the world because it’s not completely Asian and not completely European, it’s mix of different cultures, it’s more like Caucasian.

Q: What about your country do you think would surprise Americans the most?
A: There are many surprising things, but one of the important ones is the name of my country.

Q: How different is school in your country? Easier? Harder?
A: My school was way harder, we had 17 to 20 subjects a year, no class choice, 8 classes a day, 15 minutes for lunch break, uniforms, not any fun classes, we don’t use any calculators, we have 2-3 exams to enter the university, and studying, studying, studying!

Nazrin also has many different interests such as gym, swimming, soccer, drawing, fashion design, movie making, writing, and blogging. She has also won national and international awards for many of these hobbies. She also enjoys volunteering, playing the piano, and singing.

By Maddie Conarro