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Carrie's Study Abroad Experience

Recalled back upon the time as I choose to go broad for study, I considered a lot of factors such as locations, climates, diversity, teaching quality, etc. And finally, I decided to go to Mater Dei Catholic High School in San Diego, California. I remembered clearly that as I visited the school that day, students I saw all smiled to me, thus giving me a welcoming atmosphere.

And later I found out that 2019 was the first year that they started to open applications to international students. So, I really appreciate that I have a very good English environment.

After I came to the US for study, there are several aspects different from Chinese high school system. In the US, students get fully developed in several fields besides academic learning. In our spare time, we play sports, practice instruments, do group projects, go out for field trips...And here’s the relationship between teachers and students is more like friends, you can directly ask questions to teachers here instead of raising your hand and standing up. Besides, our daily class will start at 8 and finish by 2:30, leaving students more time to pursue their own interests. It sounds like studying in the US does not have any pressure. However, it is not very true just seeing on the surface. Our teachers always assign us homework ahead of time, it is not like in China, students complete the daily work assigned by their teachers. Here we need our own time management. If you know a big project is coming up, you had better leave enough time for that while take care of your other trivial assignments. Teachers will never remind you to hand in your homework, instead, it’s your responsibility to remind your own business.

As you can see in the name, my school is a Catholic high school. Honestly, I never get to know about any religions before. Although I’m still an atheist, I still find learning something I don’t know is interesting and really helpful to broaden my mind. After fitting in this environment, I make friends from different cultures and challenge myself to take AP and honor classes. And I also start to learn cello and tennis in addition to my academic study. I even started my own dance club at school and got elected as a club commissioner after entering the school student council. I would say this abroad experience really benefits me a lot, and I really appreciate every moment I spend with my teachers and friends.

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