Transferring from abroad

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Moving to a new school district can be stressful for a student, but moving to a district in a new country can be even worse. Many students started school at NYC after first spending a few years in schools abroad. They shared their experiences.

Upon beginning in NYC, some were most worried about the language barrier. Sophomore Niyati Neupane explains, “I didn’t know how to speak English, so I couldn’t communicate with anyone.”

Others felt different because of the lack of uniform. Sophomore Vince Plasencia recalls his Filipino school’s uniform of “a white polo and black pants.”

Some were shocked by American traditions. Junior Amanda Lin said, “Coming here, I didn’t know what the National Anthem was.”

Niyati observed that “Asian schools drill and make you memorize” by “hitting students in class.”

Having attended British-style schools, Amanda and freshman Razita Irawan had unique experiences.

Amanda atteneded Egypt’s Maadi British International School. She describes, “We were required to learn French and Arabic. Instead of learning the Oregon Trail on the computer, we played educational games on [BBC bites].”

Razita’s first school in Indonesia was a British-system school. “After transferring from a British to Indonesian school, I moved up a grade,” she mentions.

Social Studies teacher Chris Hackney went to school outside of the US, but he did not have a typical South African school experience. He says, “When I was in South Africa, your average schools were segregated by race. My school, because it was private school run by the African Methodist church, was mixed.”

Vince feels attending a Filipino school helped shape him. “Being chosen for [school] competitions and being the top in the class established the standards I have for myself,” he concludes.