Study-Abroad Student Has No Idea How Excited Republic of Kyrgyzstan Is to Welcome Him

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BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN — Excitement spread rapidly throughout the capital of Kyrgyzstan this week following recent news that an American undergraduate student will be spending the coming semester in the small central Asian country. Children are smiling, the economy has been revitalized, and families are busy preparing their livestock for celebratory slaughter.

A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev received confirmation from a University of Michigan academic advisor that a real, living student would be transferring to Bishkek Humanities University for the “dark-sun learning period,” their equivalent of the winter semester.

“I honestly thought it was a mistake at first,” admitted Satybaldiyev. “We haven’t had a foreigner since, well, I’m not really too sure. I mean as long as you don’t count invading borderland ethnic groups and hostile Russian mercenaries as foreigners. But, praise God, our dark time is over. Our beautiful land and people are waiting for the student; we think, and hope, he will learn much here.”

The Prime Minister talked fondly of his alma mater, where LSA junior Jeff Mazor will soon be spending his days. More than just the central hub of the capital city, Bishkek Humanities University offers several courses on goat rearing, radish cultivation, and – new this year – a seminar on not smiling when being photographed.

Satybaldiyev also mentioned many aspects of the Kyrgyz culture that he hoped Mazor would enjoy. “We are very excited for the opportunity to show off our beautiful country, and are eager to impress Jeff with our favorite traditional foods and music.”

Furthermore, provided Mazor has time to tour the country, he will be guided by a tourism industry that has seen 100% growth in just the past week.

The month-long welcoming celebration to be held in Mazor’s honor will begin promptly during the first winter moon of the solstice harvest. Locals have already begun preparing for the Kyrgyz Köchü Festival, the traditional ceremony accompanying the moving of pasture households and sporting events of Er-Enish, Tyiyn-Enmei, and of course, Tushoo Toi.

“We are just so happy. The sun truly shines down on our land. We hope to make Jeff’s experience the best possible and are so thrilled to meet him soon,” grinned Satybaldiyev.

At press time, Mazor realized he had incorrectly filled out his application for study abroad in Spain and was working with his advisor to remedy the situation.

Originally Published: November 2012

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