Uzbek students experience American culture at WJ


Sam Falb, Online News Editor

Yesterday at the student commons, 10 student athletes from Uzbekistan’s capital city of Tashkent, along with five coaches, three facilitators and two interpreters came to WJ to learn about American culture and mingle with WJ students. The tour was headed by Craig Esherick, former head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, and backed by the U.S. State Department.

This isn’t the first time foreign students have made their way through a Montgomery County school’s doors. About 67 groups have come in the past, including Chinese, Indian and Pakistani delegations. In this year’s pool, the student group was made up of highly trained karate athletes, some in the company even claiming black belts and the title of world champion.

“[The visit is] designed to better relations with various countries around the world,” Griffiths, an organizer of the event, said. “All the countries ending in -stan for instance, we’re trying to get better relations and we’re doing that through sports. Through sports, people make friends.”

While the group ate pizza and chatted, students born thousands of miles apart learned about the unique cultures they were presented with. Students that could speak Russian and English were especially encouraged to attend the event, as the majority of the Uzbek students do not speak English.

“[Americans] are as nice and as kind as the people back home in Uzbekistan and I’d love to see more of that,” Uzbek student Sabrina said. “I’m going to New York soon and hope I enjoy that as much as I’ve enjoyed Washington. I invite you all to go to Uzbekistan and I’ll meet you there!”