Meridian ISD welcomes student from Republic of Georgia

Meridian High School welcomed an exchange student from the Republic of Georgia this semester. According to Principal Kristi Kinney, she was recently chosen as student of the month through the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program as the September Southern Area Student of the Month. Out of 4,500 students applying for the exchange program in Georgia, she was one of 80 selected to come to America.

The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program provides scholarships for high school students from Europe and Eurasia to spend an academic year in the United States, living with a family and attending an American high school.

The student, Elene Jguburia, is sponsored by Richard and Elissa Prost.

“It’s quite different than America,” she says, speaking of Georgia. Local students always ask about the fact that there is no age limit for drinking alcohol in the Republic of Georgia. “It’s been a bit difficult to adjust because it’s quite different from America culturally. They have more freedom here.”

Jguburia is trilingual. She’s often translating from Russian to Georgian to English. She’s learning Spanish currently, and plans on becoming a translator. She wants to learn German. Her host father teaches at the school and has helped her make friends. One friend, Sheila, has helped her adjust and keep up with everything.

“It’s really hard to understand Texas accents,” she says.

She plays tennis, runs cross country and is involved in FFA, which is new to her.

Jguburia is very thankful to her host family and friends for helping her adjust.

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