Questions and Answers with Rauf Dadabaev

Rauf is a foreign exchange student this year at Norwalk so to learn more about him and his home country Tajikistan, I sat down with him to ask some questions.


Kasey Ludlow

Q: Where did you live before the United States?

A: “I lived in Tajikistan which is in the Persian region and I lived in the capital Dushanbe”


Q: How did you get the chance to come to the United States?

A: “There is an exchange program FLEX. It is pretty competitive and I found out about a scholarship during my 11th year of school. So I applied for it and won it.”


Q: How is school different in Tajikistan?

A: “School is pretty different. In the US, you study for 12 years, but in Tajikistan, you study for 11 years. I have actually graduated from school so I have a diploma from my school in Tajikistan.”


Q: What is your favorite part of American culture?

A: “I really like sports here. In Tajikistan, we don’t do sports in school, so if you want to do a sport, you have to go to a club to do sports.”


Q: What is the biggest difference between Tajikistan and America?

A: “The biggest difference is that America is more diverse which is really cool so you can speak with people with different points of view, like a different religion or stuff like that. It is really interesting to find out about different cultures.”


Q: How different is the weather in Iowa compared to Tajikistan?

A: “In Tajikistan, there are four seasons, but it is all warm. In winter the coldest it gets to is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.”


Q: How long do you plan on staying in America?

A: “I’m planning to stay until June, and after that I will spend a few months in Tajikistan. Then I am going to college in Europe, and I am deciding between Poland and the Czech Republic.”


Q: How many languages do you speak?

A: “I speak three languages; Tajik, Russian, and English. I can also speak Farsi, which is Persian, but not at a good level. I actually graduated from a Russian military school, which is located in Dushanbe where I lived. In Tajikistan we have a military part of Russia, so they have a special school for guys who served in the military part of Tajikistan. I graduated from there because my father was working in that part.”


Q: What do you miss most about Tajikistan?

A: “I don’t miss a lot, but probably food the most.”