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Heart Life – The International Perspective

Cindy Pineda, Class of '17

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Each year at Sacred Heart High School, we welcome with open hearts several new international students. International students come to the United States from other countries looking for a strong education and taking on the challenge of learning a whole new culture. The Forum decided to ask a few international students their thoughts about Sacred Heart High School and about being an international student. When asked what they like most about Sacred Heart, Peter Lin responded ,”The teachers are very nice. Everyone is very friendly to international students.” Irene Ruan, a senior international student, believes that Sacred Heart is very invested in helping out the community, even if it is just a small donation for canned food drive.”

The students were all asked what makes studying at Sacred Heart High School difficult. Many of our international students agree that the most difficult challenge for them is trying to learn English. Therefore, quite a few of them declare that English is their least favorite subject. Another difficulty in attending an American high school is the American lunch. Helen Chen and Tracy Lui explain that many of the foods regularly offered at our lunch bar are not foods they would eat in China. In particular, Helen explains that she rarely eats foods that are raw, so salad is not a choice for her. Tracy says, “I do not like the taste of many American meats and prefer traditional Chinese food.” In spite of struggling with mastering the English language and seeking lunch options, our international students are still enjoying American studies.

One additional aspect of American student life centers on the differences between the American culture and the students’ home culture. A primary difference is the way of thinking. One student believes that Americans are more welcoming. For example, when Americans meet a new person they will give someone a hug; in China they would simply say hello. Another student said, “Americans are more optimistic since they are less stressed about education and love doing activities.”

When asked what do they miss most from their country, almost half of the students said their family members since they don’t see them everyday. They also miss their food since American food is so different.

One of the main reasons that international students decided to pursue an education at Sacred Heart was that they wanted to get into a good college and be more prepared for their future. Yun said,”I wanted to learn a different culture and get to practice it myself.” Many of the students wanted to experience a whole new culture, while still getting a good education. Frank Li compared the United States to a melting pot since different people are blended together in this country. Here Frank stated that he can meet all kinds of people with different backgrounds. Irene went into depth about the type of friends she has made along the way , saying, “I have friends who have Irish, Scottish, African, Italian, and many other ancestries and I enjoy learning about the traditions and the values of their society.” An American tradition our International students truly enjoy is celebrating Thanksgiving since they like turkey and they obviously do not celebrate that holiday in their home country.

By gathering the information of their likes and their dislikes, The Forum members have learned a great deal about the international students. Our International students are very honest and respectable and are a huge asset to our Sacred Heart family.

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Heart Life – The International Perspective