One girl between 2000 other students, trying to find the rooms and experience the American High School life. I successfully survived my first week in Landstown High School. And to be honest with you, it’s not that bad at all. But there’s a lot to talk about, because yes, it’s totally different.
Let’s start with the schedule, I’ve chosen seven different subjects (English 11, US History, Oceanography, Math Analysis, French IV, Journalism, Photography) but I might change the math because I need to figure out if it is too difficult and I probably drop my French because we repeat the basic tenses.
My school day begins at 6:45 with taking the school bus, and I am still really liking their outside, but they are really not beautiful from the inside. Me and my hostsister went there both for the first time, because she is an exchange student from Spain. We sat in the first row what we learnt is not the best thing to do, because it’s always empty. Everyone wants to sit in the back…
Then you go to your first block, you always have 4 classes every day and they are all 90 minutes long (that’s like 2 lessons in Switzerland). And there’s an A-day and a B-day, you start your week for example with an A-day, the next day will be a B-day, then there’s again an A-day and so on. But my week started with a C-day, where you visit every A- and B-day classes and they are only 45 minutes long, but that’s only in the first week of school.
I think my most special subjects are Journalism, Photography and French IV, so here’s what makes them special or what they are about:
Journalism: My Journalism class was definitely the most open one, we talked a lot and I met some very nice people. The teacher told us that we will do a newspaper for our High School and write about for examples events or what’s happening in our school.
Photography: In Photography we will of course take a lot of pictures and we will get to know three different programs: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
French IV: You probably think French is not that special, you’re right. But we have so called “distanced learning”, since we are only eight students in this class there won’t be a teacher in our room, everything is on a TV. There we see our teacher, who’s in a different school in Virginia Beach. On each desk there’s a microphone and if you want to say something or you have a question you press a button and the camera zooms in on you. I don’t really like this way of teaching, I think it’s not personal at all and that regular classes are better.
The students in my school were very quiet at the beginning, I mean for most of them school is not their favorite thing to do. But it makes it really hard to talk to all the people. Most of them started to ask me a lot of questions about Switzerland, as soon they realized that I am an exchange student (see “11 Questions people asked me in High School”). So the best thing is to find an excuse to just tell them that you’re not from here, for example ask if it is the right room or something else and yes I did that a lot. Same thing with the teachers, I always went to them, told them who I was and from where I am and they were very interested. Overall the teachers are very motivated and try to make the students interested in the subject.
11 Questions people asked me in High School
- Do you speak swedish?
- So you moved here?
- Is it different?
- What do you do on the weekends?
- How do you like it here?
- How’s the chocolate?
- Do you miss waking up and seeing the mountains?
- Do you have a beach in your hometown?
- When did you learn English?
- Was it difficult for you to learn English?
- Do people there wear Lederhosen?
And of course everyone wants to translate into swiss german. Most Americans are really impressed that we learn four languages (english, french, german and swiss german).
So I hope you enjoyed this little insight in my new High School life in Virginia Beach!