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Foreign exchange student enjoying life in NR

Nalin Chaturvedi is beyond excited to be spending his junior year in New Richmond.

The Hyderabad, India native said that New Richmond is totally different than his home town - and that's exactly what he had hoped for.

Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh and one of the largest metropolitan cities in the country, Chaturvedi said.

"It's like the Twin Cities of India," he said with a laugh.

Chaturvedi said he was very excited when he discovered he was coming to America.

"It was one of my top four preferences," he said.

Chaturvedi also would've been happy to be placed in Australia, England or Brazil, he said.

"I love new adventures," he said. "Learning about a new culture is so exciting and fun."

When his mother told him he was headed to America for the school year, he could hardly contain his excitement, he said.

"I had just returned from a soccer game when my mom told me," he said. "I didn't clean up or anything - I ran straight to the computer to look New Richmond up. I was quite excited because I've never lived in a small city before. I thought it would be a good change."

Chaturvedi, who plays soccer on his high school's team and is the captain of a soccer club back in India, said he was excited to play soccer in New Richmond.

Unfortunately, the teams were already well into their seasons when Chaturvedi arrived in America. That meant he wouldn't be able to play varsity right away.

Chaturvedi said he was fine playing on the JV team. He simply wanted to experience American sports.

"In my first junior varsity game I had one assist and one goal," he said.

After that, he was called up to varsity and he never looked back.

"We had a great season," he said. "We were conference champs and I made some really great friends through soccer."

Chaturvedi said he's loved his experience in America so far.

"Everything is completely different," he said. "School is completely different."

Back home, students sit in one classroom all day and the teachers move from room to room, he said.

"There's no environment change," he said.

Another big difference is that American students get to choose their classes. In India, students aren't able to take elective classes until their sophomore year in school, he said. And even then, there isn't much to choose from.

In India, he wouldn't have the opportunity to experience those classes because students are required to take classes specific to their future career paths.

"There's a huge variety of classes over here," he said.

Chaturvedi said he hopes to take one of those electives that wouldn't be offered to him in India.

"Maybe mechanics or interior design or cooking..." he said.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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