Foreign Exchange Student Purses Her Dream of Living in American Culture

Foreign Exchange Student Purses Her Dream of Living in American Culture
Photo by: Evan Olson

As a foreign exchange student from Kutaisi, Georgia, Tea Tsnobiladze expands outside of her comfort zone on a journey studying abroad in the Americas at NHS. 

With a preference to be called Tika, she cannot contain her excitement about this opportunity to pursue her dream of living the American culture. 

Tika did not waste any time when taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to risk it all and leave her home country behind to see what the American culture would unravel for her. 

Leaving the only place and culture she has ever known, Tika finds herself feeling uncertain about leaving her friends and family but determined that she will be fulfilling her enterprise toward studying a new, different part of the world, something she has never been given the chance to do.

Walking down the high school halls, as innocent as a lamb  to the separated grades and wide varieties of different class courses, Tika finds herself falling in love with the American version of high school. 

Neenah is extremely different for Tika when compared with her home country. The World Population Review database shows Kutaisi, Georgia with a population of 178,338 people. No grades are separated by levels or by buildings;  all are combined together. Whereas in Neenah, Wis., a population of 27,525 people, with only 2,002 people at NHS, something completely out of the ordinary for Tika. 

Tika shares a passion for studying English here at NHS. Growing up, Tika found herself studying the English language, but found herself falling even more in love with the English language while studying here, in the states. 

Tika’s favorite place here in the United States is NHS. She finds herself waiting every weekend for Monday just so she can come back to school to learn and spend time with her friends. 

“I thought it would be hard to get used to everything here, but it’s so easy. I feel like I’ve been here forever.”

Uniquely, Tika finds enjoyment and passion in school. Yale News took a national survey and found that 75% of high school students express only negative feelings toward school. Tika is a part of the 25% who loves going to school and physically cannot wait for the next day to roll around.

Looking forward to what else has yet to come in the year, Tika plans to expand her knowledge and experiences in the United States as much as she can. 

Through thick and thin, Tika is ready to take on more of her American culture dream. 


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