Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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photo by Malcom Luna

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New School Year, New Country

Starting a new school year coming from a different school can always be a little tough, but starting a new school year coming from a different country is a whole different story. I sat down with senior Sara Vazquez Quiroga to get to know her and to talk about her experience so far as a foreign exchange student from Spain.


Holly Pratt: Why did you want to come to the States as a foreign exchange student?

Sara Vazquez Quiroga: I wanted to come for the English, to help me be able to speak it better. And for the high school experience and just to be able to live the “American life.”

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Pratt: What’s been the hardest thing to get use to?

Quiroga: Food. In my country it’s healthier.

Pratt: What’s the biggest difference here?

Quiroga: Bigger, bigger, bigger. Streets are bigger. Everything’s bigger. In my country the roads have two lanes and here there’s like four. Also in my country I lived in a flat and everyone here lives in houses.

Pratt: How did you learn to speak English?

Quiroga: Well, in Spain English is mandatory. Everyone must learn it. I started learning English when I was about six when I went to academy.

Pratt: How is school different?

Quiroga: Here there are more opportuinites available. At my school there were only two sports more for boys like football and hockey.

Pratt: Are you involved in any sports at West?

Quiroga: Yes. I played tennis at my old school and I’m on the tennis team here.

Pratt: Do you have any places that you like to shop that are in Spain and here too?

Quirgoa: I like Hollister and Abercrombie, like that style of clothes, but there’s like only one Hollister in my whole city and about only two in Madrid.

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New School Year, New Country