Written by Milagros Gomez, a visiting 3rd quarter student from Saint Dominic School in Tandin, Buenos Aeries
On December 27, I took a leap of faith by getting onto a plane to the United States of America, where I will spend the next nine weeks of my Summer holidays, living with Ms Gabriela Saenz and her family and attending Village Christian Academy.
My first week of school, which was supposed to begin on January 3, actually was cancelled because of snow storm, so I would say that my first proper day was on January 9. The thing that immediately crossed my mind when I saw the school building and how big it was, was that I would definitely get lost. There were so many classrooms and stairs which confused me a lot, and for someone like me who is not good at orienting myself…let’s just say that it was a warning sign. I had to pay attention. I didn’t know where to go most of the time, and I had to ask for help more than once, help that people gladly gave me. It’s been four days now and I’m gradually getting used to it, but the first day was a complete different story. I guess that everyone who arrives to a new school faces the same problem, and when you finally learn your way around the building it doesn’t seem so big anymore but there’s always that initial moment of doubt that tells you ‘will I ever actually find my way around here?’. But thankfully, I did. Once I organized my schedule and the courses I would be taking, I was assigned a student ambassador, Emily Dawson, who took me to my first class which was AP English with Mrs. Robinlyn Mitchell. To be honest, that’s been my favourite subject so far because I really like literature and that’s exactly what we do in that class. Some other subjects that I had this week were Anatomy, Bible, History and Art. Most of those I had never taken before, so it was a new experience for me!
If I had to describe the week in one word, I would say different. Different classes. Different routine. Different school. Schools in Argentina and schools in United States are very different; the way the classes are taught, how much time the classes last, how many of them we have and especially the time periods, like lunch break or recess, are all really different and definitely not what I’m used to. Lunch time is what is harder for me to adapt to, because it’s mandatory to stay at the school and we don’t have a lot of time to eat. Back in my school, we can choose if we want to stay for lunch or not, and we have one hour more or less to eat, while here we have thirty minutes which is not nearly enough.
It will take me a while to get used to the way things are here, not just inside the school but outside of it too and, to be honest, I don’t think I will ever completely do that, but considering I won’t be here for long I don’t think it will be so much trouble. Despite all this, I am actually really enjoying my time here and having a lot of fun. I met a lot of nice people that have been really welcoming, students and teachers alike, and they make it a whole lot easier to adapt, or try to adapt to school life here.