Hello class! It’s the last week!
So this week I chose to interview a high school friend of mine. Her name is Nora. She and I were assigned to be speaking partners through my program. We would meet up once a week for lunch or coffee. Each time we would sit and chat in English (her English is almost perfect and I know hardly any French), however it when it came time to order, pay the bill, or something of that sort she would teach me the phrase and make me use it. It was very beneficial! I know feel confident in most restaurant and café situations!
What school do you go to?
College Saint Michel.
While in the US the term college refers to the education you receive beyond high school, in Belgium it is quite different. Our college is the equivalent of their university. College Saint Michel is a high school, not a college!
What was a typical day at school like for you?
Waking up at 6 to get ready, school starts at 8h10. Then break at 11h till 11h15. Classes till 12h40, then a lunch break till 13h35. And then classes till 16h10!
In Belgium they use military time, so 13h35 = 1:15 pm and 16h10 = 4:10. What time do you guys usually get out of school?
Were there any classes you were required to take?
I have to have math, sciences, English, Dutch, French, religion, geography, history and physical education. The hours of each depended on the option we decided to choose. Economics, social science and Latin were optional classes as well.
This is quite the class load don’t you think? How many subjects do you guys have each day?
How many years does it take to graduate from high school?
It takes 6 years.
Isn’t this crazy! In the United States it only takes 4 years, however in Belgium they have one less year of college.
Did you play any sports? If so was it for a school team?
I did play volleyball, but not for a school team. However there were actually football and volleyball team.
What she means by football is our version of soccer. In Europe American football isn’t a very big sport, but they call our version of soccer football. Sport teams don’t seem to be as big in Belgium, unless of course it’s soccer! What sports do you all play?
What sorts of extra curricular activities are offered?
Italian classes and that’s it.
This doesn’t seem like a whole lot compared to the art classes, language classes, and clubs offered by many schools in the United States. When I was in high school I was a member of many different clubs. Do you guys have any clubs or do any extra curricular offered through your school?
What was your favorite class?
Like I said, her English is impeccable!
What did you like to do outside of school?
Play music, write and sing.
Nora is an amazing singer and songwriter! She is working on recording her own album! Her voice is absolutely beautiful. She once played at one of my favorite places in Belgium, called Delirium! Here’s a video if you’d like to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plb_1mfK_qQ
How many years did you take English classes?
This explains why her English is so great! I’ve only taken one semester of French so far. In Belgium students start taking language classes at a very young age. It is pretty common for students to know two or three languages before they graduate from high school. Do you know any languages besides English?
What is one of your favorite high school memories?
My trip to Malta. Incredible journey with all of my friends.
Her school took an optional trip to Malta, which she’s told me all about! I was quite jealous, because schools in the US don’t tend to do things like this. She said that traveling throughout Europe is easy compared to what I told her about traveling in and out of the US, so this is probably why her school was able to do something so great!
I hope you all have a great end to your semester and a wonderful Christmas break! I can’t wait to meet you in January with all sorts of goodies for you. I hope you’ve learned quite a bit through my posts about Belgium. I would like each of you to come up with one question for when I come to visit! Thanks for reading!