UNL student considers herself a global citizen

Malika Kudaybergenov
AGE: 21
HOME: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
MAJOR: Accounting
HOBBIES: Traveling, Meeting New People
FAVORITE SAYING: “Live every single moment.”

Malika Kudaybergenova’s bucket list looks a lot like a passport.

And each empty page is a hundred things to be achieved.

A few years ago, her dream of studying in America became a reality, landing in Lincoln to cross another thing off of the list.

Kudaybergenova now attends the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 6,690 miles from her hometown, Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital city.

Kudaybergenova, a senior majoring Accounting and Finance, dreams of a career with UNICEF, to help children around the world.

“I consider myself a global citizen,” Kudaybergenova says, “and I’d like to continue help people as I move around the world.”

While she got used to American life quickly, a few differences surprised Kudaybergenova.

College in America is intense.

“At my university in Uzbekistan, we only turned in two assignments each semester. In America, we have two due each week,” she says with a laugh.

Other than stressful classes, Kudaybergenova said the other surprise came on the night of her 21st birthday.

“Back home, there are no “bar crawls”,” Kudaybergenova says.

So, when her friends led her from bar to bar in downtown Lincoln with her Uzbekistani passport, America became a little stranger to her.

America’s strange traditions soon became her favorite part when she began another goal of visiting all fifty states.

“I have been to twelve so far and each one is so different,” Kudaybergenova says.

As Kudaybergenova treasures her time abroad, she is proud to call herself an Uzbek.

“Nebraska has become my second home,” Kudaybergenova says with a smile during her third year at UNL, “but Uzbekistan will always be my first love.”

She frequently skypes her family and while she misses them a lot, she misses the food the most.

It’s hard to tell where Kudaybergenova may end up, but it’s certain she will take a little bit of her culture with her. She even has a kind warning for her new neighbors, wherever they may be,

“You can smell my patriotism from a kilometer away,” Kudaybergenova says.

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