Czech, Mongolian students come to Sleepy Eye

Czech, Mongolian students come to Sleepy Eye

Want to experience life in America and improve English skills

January 26, 2015
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer The Journal
SLEEPY EYE - Foreign exchange students from the Czech Republic and Mongolia said Minnesota winter weather is much like they experience at home.
Martina Dietrichova and Enkhbat Zorigt said they came to United States to experience what it's like to live here and improve their English skills. The students are living with Janet and Bruce Lokensgard of Sleepy Eye.
Dietrichova said she visited her older sister Nela last summer in San Antonio, Texas. The visit got her interested in coming to America as an exchange student. "I thought it was amazing. People were so nice and I really enjoyed the warm weather and sun," she said. "It really opened my eyes."

Article Photos

Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Foreign exchange students Martina Dietrichova, left, of the Czech Republic, and Enkhbat Zorigt of Mongolia are new exchange students in Sleepy Eye. They are attending Sleepy Eye High School and living with Janet and Bruce Lokensgard of Sleepy Eye.
Active in aerobics and yoga, Dietrichova enjoys aerobic training including cycling and jogging three times a week in the Czech Republic.
She enjoys reading Harry Potter books and other fantasy and detective stories, something she considers a better leisure activity than playing video games. Dietrichova is interested in becoming a physical therapist.
Although she did not grow up in a traditional religious culture, Dietrichova said she respects the religious, traditions and cultural traditions of others.
She attends high school in Linvinov, a city of 27,397 that is the home of the Czech Republic's largest oil refinery and the HC Litvinov ice hockey team. Dietrichova said she would enjoy attending a Minnesota Wild hockey game against a National Hockey League team with Czech players, especially the New Jersey Devils and Jaromir Jagr, the most productive European-born player who has ever played in the NHL and is considered one of the greatest professional hockey players of all-time.
Zorigt has played basketball, soccer, chess and enjoys chess, wrestling, cooking and driving cars. The winner of a number of math and physics Olympiad medals, he is interested in becoming an electrical engineer.
A native of Erdenet, Mongolia's second-largest city with 83,379 people, the name of the city literally means "with treasure." The city was founded in 1974 in an area where large deposits of copper were discovered in the 1950s.
Erdenet hosts the world's fourth-largest copper mine that employs about 8,000 workers. The Erdenet Mining Corp. is a joint Mongolian-Russian venture and accounts for most of Mongolia's hard currency income.
The city has many shops, a Sports Palace plus a large carpet factory that employs about 1,100 people and produces about 2,000 metric tons of wool per year. Tourists are welcome at the copper mine (with appointments), carpet factory and a large amusement park. A new temple with a large Buddha statue was recently built on the east end of Erdenet.
Ground travel in Mongolia is not for the faint-hearted. It's about an eight-hour drive from Erdenet to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Train connections between the two cities are even more challenging. There is just one train a day, and the trip takes 11 hours.



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