International students share surprises, differences between McNick, home schools

Students from Germany, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and Vietnam chose to study McNicholas High School for the 2019-2020 school year instead of their home schools.

The international students have now studied almost a full quarter of their year in the U.S. and The Milestone talked with them about wh

at they were most surprised by at Rocket High as opposed to their education in their home countries. Of the seven international students (junior Duru Bekircan from Turkey, junior Adrian Montaves Blanco from Spain, senior Jianheng (James) Guo from China, sophomore Hayeon (Hallie) Kim from South Korea, sophomore Maya (Miyuh) Kissler from Germany, junior Quan Le from Vietnam, and sophomore Jakob Stern) from Germany. three responded to the interview.

How is the education experience in the U.S. different from home country?

 “I’m amazed at using calculators in class because in Turkey you can’t use them in math.” — Duru Bekircan, Turkey

“I’m surprised to take the same class every day because there are different classes every day in Germany.” – Maya Kissler, Germany

“I was amazed to make my own schedule. In Korea, I’ve been studying a class for a year. Of course, the class is different every day. In my home school, I had to carry all my textbooks and luggage, or use a locker, but it’s convenient because I use my laptop to teach classes.” – Hallie Kim, South Korea

The exchange students were interested in different educational styles and cultural differences. At first, they were worried that courtesy and lifestyle would be a problem due to different cultural differences, but they said that they seemed to be gradually adapting.

What is the hardest part of being a exchange student?

“When I first came to American school, school uniform rules were hard.” – Duru Bekircan, Turkey

“I was confused by other languages while taking classes, so I was worried that I would miss my homework and the test.” – Hallie Kim, South Korea

“I was very careful because of the different cultures that my actions might make others feel bad.” – Maya Kissler, Germany

The exchange students have many favorite classes in both their home countries and McNick, and now can not only learn from other ways of teaching in their favorite subjects but also learn something new or interesting about it.

Has anything surprised you that you weren’t expecting? What are your favorite classes so far?

 “My favorite class at this school is American history, because I’m interested in history.” — Duru Bekircan, Turkey

“I think the art class is the most interesting to come to this school, because art makes me comfortable and I like art. Another interesting class is Spanish, where I can learn many game terms.” – Maya Kissler, Germany

“My most interested class is theater. This is a class that gave me courage and confidence in awkward schools outside of my home country.” – Hallie Kim, South Korea

McNicholas High School international students are all still trying to adapt to new cultures and teaching methods and making better grades, as well as making memories.

For more on the international students who will be at McNick through May, check out McNicholas welcomes seven international students published Sept. 19, 2019.

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