My School Days in the USA
When I was young, I wonder what is the difference between Chinese and American schools. Last summer, as the 13th exchange student from YunnanUniversitySecondary School to out sister school in the USA, I flew from Kunming to Sitka, Alaska, the USA and began my school year there.
Even now, I can remember how exciting I was to start a new life in another country. On the first day in Mt.EdgecumbeHigh School, we did’t just begin class. Teachers put students in different groups and made them introduce their middle schools. The school that I visited is located in a beautiful place. After introducing ourselves, I selected classes of my first semester — English II, Ceramics, Drammar & Debate, Pac-Rim,. And second semester — contact reading, chemistry, Lit & comp and Trigonometry.
After studying there for eight months, I have discovered three major differences between American and Chinese schools.
First, it’s studies. Classes in America are very exciting and interesting. Whatever subjects you take, you can see every student who attends that class is keenly interested in every question. And they think group work is of great importantce. For example, The chemistry class has so many experiments in which we always work as a group. My favorite one is to use fire to make glass into a square or even a circle. We have three teammates in total. One controls the fire, one makes a square, and the other one will measure the square. In this way, we finally got it done. Studying in America is not as easy as I thought. The most unexpected for me is the American final exam. The final exam only accounts for 20%, which means 80% of my final score comes from my everyday work. So you should try your best to do good job every day in every homework assignment. In this way, we benefit a lot more from our routine studies. The American school also has many different forms of final exams. For example, in the Drammar & Debate class, we prepared a perfume type and then showed it in the school. I chose Humorous Interp. Performing Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. And for contact reading class, we have competitions as a group for new words, and then we went to the coffee shop to talk about our favorite book in this semester.
Second, it’s the school life. Because of the different education conception, compared with their Chinese counterparts, American high school students have more activities. For example, after school, we usually have kayaking, berry trips, making spaghetti and cookies etc. And you can choose to join in different clubs or school volleyball and basketball team. Every weekend is my favorite time. My roommates will make a video about our room and then put on YouTube. Then in the afternoon, people working in church will pick us up, and we will make delicious food or learning different states’ dances. American schools have so many dance parties but most popular is prom. On that day the school will invite professional stylists to come to school to help us pick out dresses, do making up and so on. Over this Christmas, I spent my first snowing Christmas with a native American family. And the next day, we went to sea, playing with whales.
Third, it’s people’s values. This point gives me very powerful feelings. In American schools, almost every student thinks he or she is special. That is awesome. I think that thinking is very great and powerful, because whatever you do, if you trust yourself, you know your own value, and you know what you want, you will try you best to achieve it.
For me, the school year in the American school is very valuable. I’m very glad I have had this chance. I will cherish these fond memories deep in my heart.