Interview with Argentinian Student
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In a new departure for the Spanish Department, Marie-Lys Roche from Griffin D block is exchanging with an Argentinian student from St George’s College in Buenos Aires. Delfina travelled from Argentina to spend a month at Rugby at the beginning of term. Here are some of her reflections on the experience:

Marie-Lys:

What are the differences between a school day in Rugby compared to Argentina?

Delfina:

I found the school routine very different from Argentina, mainly because I’m not a boarder in my school. Compared to St. George’s College, the days are more varied; here you have long and short days, compared to my school where we start classes at 8am and finish at 4:30pm every day, having 2 hours of sports on Tuesday and 3 hours on Thursday. In the mornings the biggest different was chapel; we do have chapel but only once a week and I found the service very different from ours as we don’t sing. Another difference I noticed was the size of the classes. Although in my school there are fewer students per year, each class has more students in it compared to some of the classes here, which I really enjoyed. For breaks we usually stay outside in the campus as we don’t have boarding houses to go back to. Also, for lunch all the school eats at the same time in the cafeteria, which means it takes a long time to get the food and it’s very noisy, so I liked the system here as I was able to meet people from different years.

Marie-Lys:

What was the highlight of your trip?

Delfina:

I consider that going on an exchange is a very different experience and was completely new for me. What I enjoyed the most was getting to experience a “new lifestyle” by being a boarder in another country as the routine is very different from my usual school routine. I also loved being able to meet tons of new people in the house and in classes. I was able to try a variety of new things, I had the chance to try different sports like netball, rifle shooting, and fencing, which I had not done before. I also liked the Italian lessons, as it is not taught in my school and probably I would never have done it if I hadn’t come here. Another highlight of my time here was during leave-out, when we went to London. There, I learned more about the U.K and I saw a new side of this country by visiting historical places, going to the theatre/exhibitions and spending the weekend with Marie-Lys’ family.

Marie-Lys:

How did you find sports here, compared to Argentina?

Delfina:

The main thing I liked was the huge variety of sports students can choose from. Compared to my school, Rugby has a lot of sports we don’t have, like netball, badminton, squash, rifle shooting and fencing. Also, in my school our main sports are rugby and field hockey that students can do all year round, but it is compulsory to do the sports according to the season. In my case I do hockey all year round but we have to do the swimming season, then hockey season, athletics season and football season. Which I like as it makes you try many different sports.
What I enjoyed the most about sports in Rugby were the different sports I had the chance to try out. I did netball; at first I found it difficult to keep my feet on the ground when I had the ball, as I play a similar sport in Argentina (handball) and I’m used to catching the ball and keeping running, but it was really fun. Also after school hours I went to fencing and rifle shooting, that are not at all common in Argentina. It was my first time doing both of those sports; at first it was difficult but with time it got better and I loved them.

Marie-Lys:

Was there a big cultural difference?

Delfina:

One of the differences between England and Argentina is the food. Here we ate dinner a lot earlier than I usually do at home. In Argentina we have tea around 6/7 and then dinner at 9/10, but it was not difficult to adjust to the timing. It was also interesting to experience brunch here as it is really common, whereas in Argentina we don’t have it as much. Usually on Sundays in Argentina, families will gather in a house and have a barbecue. What’s also different from my school is that there are students from all around the world; here there are lots of students from different countries and cultures. It was great to be able to meet people from different parts of the world. Even though at my school there are foreign students, Rugby has a bigger diversity of people.

Marie-Lys will be spending her month in Buenos Aires after her GCSE exams are over in June – watch out for the second instalment in September, telling us all about her experience there!

Marie-Lys Roche (G)