Foreign exchange student loving Cross Creek


Keven Seidel


She always introduces herself with a bright smile and her brilliant eyes.  Her presence emanates and she seems to have a very interesting character. Nargilia Gia Mendigulova is one of Cross Creek’s foreign exchange students this year. She comes from a country called Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is a state in Central Asia surrounded by China and Kazakhstan.

Mendigulova has always dreamed about seeing something different in the world than her home. She heard all those great stories from the exchange students coming back from America and she knew, “I want to go to America. I want to make new friends and see how it is to be an American teenager.”

At the beginning of August, Mendigulova set out on a three-day journey with 59 other students from Kyrgyzstan, traveling to the United States. Having arrived, Mendigulova admits, she was just tired and exhausted.

“I just wanted a shower and a bed,” she said. Then all of the students were driven to their host families.

 Mendigulova is currently staying with the family of Mr. Beasley, who teaches U.S. History and Individual Law at Cross Creek. She is very happy with her family.  

“I do really like them,”  she said.

Mendigulova said her first day at Cross Creek High School was overwhelming. She wasn’t used to such a great number of students in a school. However, the most significant part of her first experience was the kindness of Americans.

 “I thought, wow, the people here are so nice and friendly,” she recalls. Mendigulova does really enjoy going to school here, and in contrast to other students, Friday for her is the day in the week when she feels the saddest. That’s because she has to be away from her new friends for the weekend.

She is very glad to be able to spend the next year in the United States and hopes to improve her English skills and strengthen her personality.

 “For me, this is not just a year in my life,” she said. “ It’s a life in one year.”