A Unique Perspective on School in the U.S.

Adapting to a new school is not always easy to do, but can you imagine adapting to an entirely new country? That is exactly what senior Jong Ho Lee had to do last year when he came to study at Jesuit High School  from his homeland of South Korea. Jong not only had to transfer to a new school as a junior, but also had to assimilate into a new culture. As a foreign student, Jong has a unique perspective of high school life in the United States.

Jong noted that the biggest difference between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea was in the two countries’ school systems.

“School is very different here in the United States,” Lee said. “In Korea, we stay in school for 18 hours a day. We do all of our free time activities in school, like soccer and hanging out with friends. In the U.S., a lot of free time activities are done outside of school because school ends earlier.”

Jong’s favorite aspect of high school in the U.S. is the length of the average school day.

“In America, you have a lot more freedom to do what you want with your free time,” Jong said.

According to Jong, the college application process is also very different.

“The whole school year [in the Republic of Korea] is focused on getting you ready for one test that determines where you go to college, unlike America where the academics focus on different things.”

Overall, Jong is enjoying his time here in the U.S., and he especially likes Jesuit. “The people at Jesuit are more diverse than those in Korea, and in school it seems like everyone is closer with each other than students at Korean schools,” Jong said.

Jong’s perspective on life in the U.S. is intriguing, and is a reminder that the world is filled with cultures and traditions that differ from our own. Jesuit is fortunate to be able to host foreign students like Jong Ho Lee so that our students can gain a wider perspective of the world.