“In Russia if a student does not understand or cannot do a math problem, the teacher does not care,” Kate said. “The student is on his own, and if he fails, the teacher is not concerned.”
While Vlad comes from a more urban area than Kate, his experiences in his home school are similar. “We all wear uniforms, which for boys are suits and ties,” Vlad said. “We take many more classes each year than in American schools, since we have eight or nine subjects at a time. All classes do not meet each day, so the schedule is more like what American students find in college.”
Vlad said that his Russian school starts at 8:30 a.m. each day, with 20-minute breaks between each class to visit with friends; breaks that he misses here.
Vlad lives with his host parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bibby. At home in Russia he lives with his mother Natalia and his 9-year-old brother Stepa. He enjoys GHS.
“The classes are fun, the teachers are very helpful, and everyone is very friendly,” Vlad said.
According to Vlad, pop culture is not all that different in Russia. His American friends have enjoyed listening to his recordings of Russian rap music which sound amazingly like American rap.
Vlad likes most of the foods he has been introduced to in Geneva, but he definitely misses some Russian favorites, like pancakes and sweetened milk.
“Russian pancakes are much lighter and thinner than American pancakes, and the milk is not quite the same as your canned condensed milk,” Vlad said.
Matluba Turekulova is from Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan. In Taldykorgan, Matluba lives with her mother Zhanar and her grandfather Tolegen, and like Kate, is an only child. In Geneva she lives with Mr. and Mrs. Richard Arndt, and daughter, Summer. An older son, Nathan, no longer lives at home.