Seventeen year old Kristina Zimblyte arrived in Cannon Falls from Lithuania on Aug. 15 as the most recent Rotary exchange student. "I will remember this day all my life!" she exclaimed.
Kristina began her stay this year with the Anderson family of Cannon Falls: Les, Jeanne, Kirsten, Kelsey and Danielle. During the year, she will have two more host families providing her with additional opportunities to experience "life in the U.S."
Already fluent in the English language (she took six years of English language classes in Lithuania), Kristina expressed, the desire to polish her proficiency. "I really want my English to be perfect."
As a young girl, Kristina dreamed of visiting America. Now here, she is anxious to see this "amazing country," to "know the culture of America," meeting its people along the way.
With a zeal to learn the politics and government of America, Kristina plans to study political science after her graduation in Lithuania, so that she can compare national politics and governments of the world.
Back home Kristina's family maintains contact with her on weekends by Skype and emails. Though she misses her mom, dad, grandparents, friends, and cat, Kristina exuded, "I love America! I hope this year will be the best and I will remember it all my life."
The Cannon Falls High School (where she attends classes) is, according to Kristina, very different than her school in Lithuania. The newness and modernity of the school impressed her.
Highlighting some of the differences in the schools, Kristina indicated that students in her country must bring their backpack to every class as the schedule varies daily, and that she attends 45 minute classes every day, with 10 minute breaks. Additionally, food and drinks are not allowed in the Lithuanian school.
Another first for Kristina is playing team tennis, a game she loves.
She finished music school in Lithuania, playing piano for seven years and now regards it as a hobby.
Kristina will return to Lithuania to graduate from her city high school, "Ukmerges Jono Basanaviciaus Gimnazija," after completing her senior year in America. Her graduation from Cannon Falls High School won't count toward completion of her education in Lithuania. Kristina's plans are to finish high school at home and then attend the University.
A meeting early every month with other Rotary exchange students living in Minnesota and Wisconsin will culminate with a tour during their last month here to see famous places in Chicago, New York, Washington DC, and Florida.