Foreign Exchange The Differences Across Countries


Cody Heifner, Staff Member

We have many students at CHS, including foreign exchange students. There are differences they experience here in comparison to their home countries.

One difference is the dress code, “I’m from Brazil.” Gabyrell Rocha says. “In Brazil, we dress much differently, we use to have uniforms. Here the students can wear whatever they want and I think is pretty cool because they can express themselves”.

“In Tunisia, you are not allowed to wear flip-flops or ripped jeans at school. Other than that it’s pretty much the same,” Youssef Aridhi says.

“People never wear any kind of sports clothes at my other school. We never wear basketball shorts for example. We also don’t really have a dress code. We can wear ripped up jeans if we want, but if you come to school naked it’s different of course,” Berend Stal from the Netherlands adds.

Another big change is the curriculum of Cabot vs the curriculum of other countries.

The curriculum in Tunisia is so different from the one in the US. In Tunisia, you can’t choose your classes. We have 13 subjects that we have to study every year. And school starts at 8 am and ends at 6 pm. And at the end of your senior year, you need to pass the baccalaureate which is a standardized test that guarantees you a place in a university. Another thing is that in order to graduate high school you need to speak at least 4 languages,” Aridhi comments.

We have to do a lot more in school, we got more tests. Here we’ve got more homework and we don’t get grades for homework only for tests,” Stal also comments.

The food in the cafeteria is also a big difference between Cabot and other countries, “We eat a lot of dairy products in the Netherlands; cheese, yogurt, and milk. In wintertime, we eat something that is called stamppot. It’s mashed potatoes with any kind of vegetable mashed with it. And there goes a big smoke sausage with it,” Stal says.

“The food here in the US is so different. In Tunisia, we love spicy food, pretty much all our food is colored red. And we also eat all our food with bread. Which is something not common in the US,” says Aridhi.

“We’ve some kinds of different foods, but not too different, just lunch. In Brazil, we usually eat pasta with beans and rice and some kind of meat. Here I usually eat chicken and french fries for lunch,” Rocha says.

Countries also have different rules than here in Cabot. “I think that the dress code is a little bit stricter in Tunisia. Also, I was surprised when I found students eating and drinking in class because you can’t do that in Tunisia,” Aridhi says.

.“In the USA they’ve their own state rules, and in Brazil, we just have the whole country rules and everybody has to follow them,” Rocha also comments.

. “In school, it’s not that different from here. We have to be at school early the next day if you are late,” Stal concludes.