Coming from the capitol city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Sleepy Eye may seem like quite a culture shock. But foreign exchange student Unurjargal Batbileg (Uuni for short), is taking it in stride.
Uuni is attending Sleepy Eye Pubic School as a senior this year. Having already graduated from high school in Mongolia, Uuni said there are subjects here that weren’t taught in her school back home that allow her to further her education.
Creative writing is one course that is new to Uuni as well as a United States government course. She was also involved in tennis this fall and plans to take part in basketball this winter.
The United States is not entirely new for Uuni. Several years ago she was in Washington, D.C. to study English and she said that experience made her want to come back and study.
While the culture of Sleepy Eye is very different from Uuni’s city back home of over one million people, she said that the school days, in some respects, are the same as the schools she attended in Mongolia.
Besides her native language, Uuni also has a repertoire that includes English and Russian with a one year stint studying Chinese. However, Uuni said with a laugh, she can only introduce herself in Chinese.
Uuni left behind an older brother and her parents in Mongolia. While she said it was hard to leave her family behind, the experience of studying in the United States will be worth it.
Uuni is staying with host parents, Dave and Judy Rubey.