Student of the Week: Gulnaza Khalmanbetova
A junior here at Centennial, Gulnaza Khalmanbetova, is an all around fantastic person. She is talented, smart, confident and outgoing. She is a foreign exchange student from Kyrgyzstan, from the HSSE-flex World Heritage Program. Khalmanbetova was chosen for the program based off of leadership skills, essays, grade point average and various tests. She is definitely a great addition as well as someone to know here at Centennial.
Centinal: How long have you been in America and how long are you staying? Would you like to stay longer than the program offers?
Khalmanbetova: I came here in October and I leave in March. I would like to stay longer but I want to graduate. I am excited for the time I am here and different activities like prom.
Centinal: What made you want to be an exchange student in America?
Khalmanbetorva: I am very interested in American culture and when you see more, you learn more. I also wanted to improve my English. I wanted to see and learn about similarities and differences in American culture and Kyrgyzstan culture.
Centinal: Besides Kyrgyz and English, what other languages do you speak?
Khalmanbetova: I speak Russian, Turkish, and Uzbeck.
Centinal: What hobbies or activities do you do in you is free time?
Khalmanbetova: I love dancing, art, listening to music, making music and knitting and saima ( similar to knitting) . I play the piano, guitar and ooz komuz (a traditional Kyrgyzstan similar to the harmonica). I also love shopping at Forever 21 and Charlotte Ruse.
Centinal: What is your favorite food you’ve had in America?
Khalmanbetova: I don’t know what food is American, but I really like Chinese.
Centinal: What is your favorite American custom you’ve experienced?
Khalmanbetova: I really liked Thanksgiving and Halloween. For Halloween I went as Michael Jackson. I love the way he dances; we have similar dancing styles.
Centinal: Are you homesick being so far away from your family?
Khalmanbetova: Yes, but I really like the Hopkins (family she stays with). They are a very warm hearted family and very supportive. I am able to stay in contact with my family and I am so glad we have technology because we Skype.
Centinal: What has been your favorite moment at Centennial?
Khalmanbetova: Being in Spectrum! It was really fun and I was able to meet new people. I am really excited to be in the African-American talent show now.