Exchange Students Visit Ms. Chesley’s Classes

March 27, 2017

On Thursday, March 16, Ms. Chesley’s classes hosted three students.  Andrei Muresan is from Spain, Nikita Sadok is from Ukraine, and Kerven Myradov is from Turkemenistan. Andrei and Nikita are in Arapaho this school year while Kerven goes to Southern Valley. All wanted to experience school in a bigger, diverse school like Lexington for at least a day.

Classes met in the community room and were joined various periods by students from Mrs. Benson, Mr. Arias and Mr. Brockmoller.  Each of the boys presented a short slide show of his respective country and talked about his country’s customs, culture and values.  

Andrei is from Vallodolid, a city of about 350,000 in northwest Spain known for its medieval religious sites and the Christopher Columbus Museum.  Columbus died in his city in 1506.  He spoke about regional food and says he misses a dish of raw octopus.  Andrei talked about the tradition of bull fighting, a sport that he personally finds cruel, and the famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, which he would like to join as a runner someday.  

Nikita is from Zaporizhia, a city of over 750,000 in southeastern Ukraine.  His city used to be an industrial center dependent on coal, and it has three power stations, one driven by coal, one hydroelectric, and the third a nuclear power station.  Nikita’s school requires him to learn in his Ukrainian language but also he speaks Russian, English and pretty good French.  His teachers write by hand all his high school grades, and every week his parents have to sign his grade sheet.  Nikita showed pictures of his colorful national dress with red being the primary color.  He showed celebrations of New Years and Easter in his country.

Kerven is from the capital city of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, a city of over one million.  His city boasts more than 500 “white” buildings, all built with white marble.  Turkmenistan is bordered by the Caspian Sea, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Khazakhstan.   It has an Olympic village and the national sport is soccer.  Kerven played high school football for the first time at Southern Valley.  His country is 90% Muslim and along with Switzerland and Austria is one of the world’s three officially neutral countries.  

All three young men spoke passionately about the benefits of student exchange.  Nikita and Kerven are FLEX students, or Foreign Leaders Exchange.  FLEX students all come from former Soviet Union countries.  Andrei’s exchange program is private; every year the wealthiest man in Spain funds 250 exchange scholarships for young Spaniards.  All three young men are here on scholarship, meaning they are here by application and lots of hard work.  They encouraged LHS students to try student exchange or to become a host family. Nikita, Andrei and Kerven all said exchange broadens perspective and makes one less likely to believe stereotypes.  The best advantage is making great lifelong friends around the world.