America Connected Us

international student voice mariya yurian
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When they met online,  there was a 12 hour difference between them. Thanks to the United States, they were able to kindle their love!

While in her home country of Kazakhstan, Mariya Sultanova wanted to improve her English.  She went to a language website where users can practice speaking to others who also want to improve their English skills.

Soon enough, she was practicing English with Yurian Rodriguez. He moved to Miami, Florida from Cuba five years earlier.

Then conversations moved to Facebook.

And Skype.

During 2011, Mariya and Yurian talked for five months. Soon they both became just too busy. He worked and she had to study. Conversations were put on hold later that year.

Mariya’s hard work paid off. One year later she came to the United States to study at Pittsburg State University in Kansas.

The sparks started flying again. Mariya was now in the U.S. and only dealing with a one hour time difference.

Mariya visiting Yurian in Florida
Mariya visiting Yurian in Florida

“He invited me to spend the winter holiday with him,” Mariya said. “First of all, it was scary! I didn’t really know him, but I was interested to see him.”

During winter break 2012, Mariya flew to Miami.

“You’re even more beautiful in person!” Mariya laughed over Skype explaining Yurian’s first reaction to meeting her in person.

Five days after arriving, Mariya and Yurian decided to be an official couple. She stayed with him for one month.

“I got to know his family, Cubans have big families!” Mariya giggled.

Even though they grew up pretty much a world apart, they have similar cultural foundations. Especially when it comes to families.  It’s important to respect and take care of family. So does the couple have any struggles? What advice would they give dating someone from a different country?

“LEARN SPANISH!” Mariya laughed. “But seriously, don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s a new experience in your life. If he or she really likes you, it’s a good chance to try it. It’s more interesting to have a partner from another nationality. It’s fantastic.”

But soon enough, Mariya will move back to Kazakhstan. She is an exchange student and only in the U.S. for one year. The couple is already prepping for the 12 hour difference again.

“Maybe writing journals, sending messages if we can’t talk,” Mariya explained. “Also, send pictures from back home so he can get some experiences of my home country. We’ll also go to Cuba in the summer.”

But what matters now, they are student voice mariya yurian

“We met in America. A country of all nationalities. America connected us!”

international student voice magazine ambassador
Mariya is an ISV Ambassador! Click here to learn more.









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