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In their own words

English-language learners reflect on the differences between their native countries and the U.S.

"There are many things here we don't have in my country. I do like it, but I miss my mom. The teachers are very nice here, and if you want to work hard you will. I don't really speak English very well." -- Kloranne Kambou, Congo

"There are lots of differences between China and the U.S. -- the language and the habits, the way you learn. My friends in China, the same age as me, have to study hard to go to a good high school. Everyone wants to go to the great school, so they have to study hard and take many tests. But here it's the first year of high school, so I don't need to worry about it." -- Connie He, Guangzhou, China

"My mom won the lottery for a green card. She has a lot of friends here and decided to come to the U.S. and have a better life than there. Life in Russia is very different than here. Here you can get wherever you want; you just have to study for it." -- Henry Matevosyan, Moscow

"The school is really hard here, but you learn more." -- Arnie Calderon, Guadalajara, Mexico

"Students here are friendly. I cannot speak English, but they talk to me. I think in Japan that maybe cannot happen. If there's a boy from some foreign country who can't speak Japanese, I think not many people would talk to the person. Here it is more accepting. In Japan, the classes are fixed for everybody, but here we can choose." -- Yuta Okada, Tokyo

"Gunn is really different from the school I had before. You focus on multiple things here, like sports. In China you study more. It's advanced with a lot more homework. They don't care very much about sports." -- Yilei Yu, Wuhan, China

"I like it here -- the weather, the friendly people. The school day is way longer but it's like -- I don't know how to explain it -- it's different, it's better. You learn more." -- David Stelzer, Eimeldingen, Germany

— Palo Alto Online staff

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