School System Differences through the Eyes of a Spaniard

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School System Differences through the Eyes of a Spaniard

Taken by Tisha Ramadhina

Taken by Tisha Ramadhina

Taken by Tisha Ramadhina

Tisha Ramadhina, PaperClip Staff/Writer

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Alejandro Rueda, 16, is a Spanish exchange student who currently attends Portsmouth High School. As a first-time study abroad student, he was afraid of what would happen and how his life would change in America. He had a hard time adjusting to English and the standard of living in the United States, because the lives of Americans are so different than life in Spain, especially when it comes to the food and the education system.

Most exchange students have a hard time initially adjusting to their new school and new environment. The American and Spanish school systems are completely different. Rueda said that the education in the United States is more relaxing than in Spain. The big difference is that in Spain students have more than seven different subjects per week, while at PHS, students only have four to five classes and go to those classes everyday. Another huge difference is that students in Spain stay in one classroom and the teachers come to their class, while in America the students go to the classroom they are assigned to. Rueda doesn’t like when he has to “be in class for 90 minutes,” but he likes the idea that he only has four classes.

Rueda also prefers the school time in Spain, because the school starts at 8:30. Next year, PHS is changing the start time to 8:30, which made Rueda say that he regrets coming here this year, because of next year’s later start time.

“Like everywhere you go to someplace new, it’s hard to start a new life, but here the people are very nice and friendly to me,” Rueda reported during the interview.

He is enjoying his stay so far in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and only has had a little bit of a shock culture because he already knew a lot about American culture before he came to the United States.