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International student spends year in Norwalk, takes first steps to becoming a cultural ambassador
Dulguun Batzaya gives a presentation to Norwalk High School students in November, telling them about his home country of Mongolia. Batzaya is spending the year as a student at Norwalk High School.

Norwalk High School has some visitors from out of town this year. Dulguun Batzaya is spending his last year of high school at Norwalk, Iowa. 

Originally from Mongolia, he said that he wanted to study abroad because “I had some academic goals in mind and I also wanted to see what it’s like, like studying abroad and stuff.”

When asked how he was accepted to study abroad, he said that he had to write a three-part essay and attend in-person interviews asking what he would do in oddly specific situations. 

“‘So let’s just say you went to America, and you have a host brother who sneaks out at 11, and the host family have rules that say you can’t go out after 10. What would you do?’” he remembered them asking.

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Dulguun also said that studying abroad will help prepare him for his college adventure in the future.

“I’m enjoying all these new opportunities and stuff,” he said. “New people, new life, I guess?”

He also talked about what he had been a part of while staying here, like taking the journalism class or playing American football.

“Football’s pretty fun,” he said. “I kind of had no idea what it was in the first week.” 

To learn more about football and how to play, he was tasked with watching different football movies such as “Remember the Titans.”

Dulguun said he is trying to get as much as he can out of his study abroad experience.

“Since this is a leadership program, I’ve been trying to improve myself academically,” he said. “I’ve been trying to gain some skills and abilities that I can use as an alumni; that I can use to contribute to my community back home.”

After he graduates, Dulguun plans on studying in international relations and diplomacy. He said that before he had come here, he had volunteered for organizations, and got involved with community outreach stuff. He also said that being a foreign exchange student helps because he now understands two different cultures, and that he wants to continue his journey of being a cultural ambassador to countries.

“I thought it would be pretty cool if I continue this journey of being a cultural ambassador, you know?” he said.

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