“A different environment” — Berkeley High Jacket



Aiko Iguchi

Aiko Iguchi is a third year student who came to BHS from Brussels, Belgium.

Aiko Iguchi, a senior at Berkeley High School, feels that moving to Berkeley during her senior year of high school gave her a new start. The Brussels, Belgium native noticed a difference between her BHS and her alma mater.

“I think it’s really crazy that there’s an open-note quiz,” Iguchi said. “(BHS) has an open campus, so anyone can come and go, but I think that’s really crazy…(Even at BHS) there are fewer subjects. We have 13 subjects a week,” Iguchi said. Told.

Although Iguchi’s private school in Belgium is similar in size to BHS, she has noticed that the people at BHS are very different. “The people here are very open and kind. I previously went to a private school and the environment was different,” Iguchi said.

Although the transition to BHS was difficult, Iguchi is grateful to her counselors and co-workers for making her feel so welcome. “My counselor was very, very kind. And my friends, and people in general, were very kind and open,” Iguchi said. “Now I feel like I’ve lived here forever.”

Iguchi also appreciates the freedom to choose classes at BHS. “I love that there is such a variety of subjects. There are so many subjects to choose from,” Iguchi said.

Iguchi is looking forward to a year of gaining new experience. “He’s just starting to learn about the different traditions and events that we have in America and his experiences in high school,” Iguchi said. “I’m trying to settle down a little more when it comes to school…I’m looking forward to a fun and stress-free year.”

emilia leonardi

Emilia Leonardi is a fourth-year student who came to BHS from Rome, Italy.

Emilia Leonardi came to BHS as a high school senior from Rome, Italy because she was interested in experiencing a different school system.

The first thing Leonardi noticed about BHS was its size. “It was really confusing. It felt like the school was too big because there were so many buildings and it was hard to see,” Leonardi said. Her school in Italy has only one building and students are in the same classroom all day.

Leonardi also noticed differences in the structure of the schools. “[In Italy]you just choose a school…it could be a scientific school or a more humanistic school…you don’t choose the subjects, you study the same two subjects every year for five years.Our high school You live for five years, not four,” Leonardi said.

The school culture at BHS is also different from Rome. “I think Americans are crazy,” Leonardi said after watching Red and Gold Day. “That won’t happen in Italy.”

Being an exchange student comes with challenges like making friends and adjusting to a new school, but Leonardi believes that experiencing such a big change has helped him grow as a person. I noticed. “(It) really helped me focus on myself, actually… you’re on your own, you’re in a different country. You have to get out of your comfort zone,” Leonardi said.

By the end of his year at BHS, Leonardi hopes to be able to look back on a great year. “It was a good experience and at the end I want to say I don’t want to go home,” Leonardi said.

Belen Estefania Oyanadel Alfaro

Belen Estefania Oyanadel Alfaro is a junior who came to BHS from Concepción, Cuba.

For Belén Estefanía Oyanadel Alfaro, a junior from Concepción, Chile, the transition to BHS was easier than expected.

“Getting into Berkeley High School wasn’t as difficult as I first thought, because back home I studied almost every day so that I could speak well and that they could understand me. , I had good friends and good partners, who always supported me, ”said Oyanadel Alfaro.

But when Oyanadel Alfaro came to BHS, it was difficult to leave her friends, family and her old life behind.

“Of course, at first I was sad[to leave]because you already have relationships, you already have a daily routine. So everything is new,” Oyana del Alfaro said.

Oyanadel Alfaro came to BHS as an exchange student to expand her horizons and learn about other cultures. “I think there are a lot of opportunities and staying in another country can open up your vision of the world. I wanted to study abroad in another country with different customs… Berkeley has a lot of diversity. That’s what I like most about it,” Oyanadel Alfaro said.

On her first day at BHS, Oyanadel Alfaro noticed the diversity of the school and the acceptance of the teachers. “(The school) has great teachers who respect all your pronouns and your reason for being,” Oyanadel Alfaro said.

While attending BHS, Oyanadel Alfaro hopes to improve her English and make new connections.

“I’m really (looking forward) to speaking English well… getting good grades, hanging out with nice people and having the support of my teachers,” Oyanadel Alfaro said.

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