Spaniard comes to JHS

Kelly Lu, Staff Writer

Welcome our new student, Cristobal Estalella Silvela, who came all the way from Spain! Growing up in a big city, Cris is excited to learn more about American life and more English in the process. He speaks Spanish, English, and some French. He is also a fan of American TV shows/movies and says that life here is very similar to what is portrayed in the films.

There were of course some surprises he discovered along the way in moving to a whole new continent. “..Mostly everything is different. The food that you eat is different from the food in Spain, and the church is different,” he says.

The typical school day in Spain and the typical school day here was also easily contrasted. Where Cris goes to school, the classes are very difficult with stricter teachers and quite a lot more homework and tests. On top of that, the school day begins at 9 in the morning and ends at 5 at night. Now you know to reconsider before saying school in Jacksonville is tough!

Other than the course difficulties, another difference is that you are only legally required to be in school until grade 11. Education beyond sophomore year is optional and they call it an obligatory education. However, most students do finish high school! It’s similar to how Americans can choose whether or not they go to college. Furthermore, instead of the grading scale being A-F, Spaniards grade with numbers 1-10, 10 being the best possible score. Cris has also noticed that in the U.S. schools offer a lot more different types of courses than in Spain.

This international student is used to using public transportation like buses and trains to get places. In a smaller city in America, that’s not as convenient.

“I like that I have everything [at home] – I have all my friends, but I don’t like that there’s so much traffic. It’s always busy. In here, I like that the school has everything, and the school has so many places to go like the soccer field. We don’t have that in Spain.”

Despite missing his friends, Cris is ready to learn more about American life in Jacksonville and experience new things. Here is one thing he’d like to teach us in return! In Spain, you say “¿Qué pasa pibe?” when greeting a friend. “What’s up, dude?”