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BHS Blueprint

The student news site of Blaine High School.

BHS Blueprint

The student news site of Blaine High School.

BHS Blueprint

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Tristan Anderson
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An International Student, Abroad with Regrets, but Hopeful for the Future

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Geometrically faceted world map in golden colors.
 

Every year, students from all over the world travel to various countries in order to seek new opportunities. Meeting people with all different kinds of backgrounds from all over the globe. However, sometimes things don’t go out the way that we want them to. Sometimes life chooses a different path for us to travel through. But these experiences shouldn’t pull us back down, but instead be opportunities for us to learn and grow from. 

 

Marc Hill is a 17 year old Blaine High School senior currently living in Minnesota. From Irish descent, they moved to the US after learning abroad. Being a part of several clubs including Speech and Debate club, Marc has become a leading student at Blaine High School. But what experiences did Marc gain from both the Netherlands and the US, and what lessons can he take from them for the future? 

 

What countries have you lived in? 

 

I have lived in both the Netherlands and the United States. 

 

What was your life like in the Netherlands?

 

Well, I went to an international school there that spoke English. We didn’t really interact much with the Dutch public. We went shopping in the city, well, we lived in the city. I met a lot of people over there in the international school who I became friends with, and we’re still friends to this day. We play video games together. Also my sister had a chronic illness at the time, and so this severely limited our options at the time for y’know, what we could do at the time. So that was certainly an experience. And the effects of that just meant that we couldn’t really appreciate all the opportunities that we could’ve had over there. That’s a regret but that’s not in any of our control. And she’s almost better now so that’s good. 

 

How does living currently in the US compare to that experience?

 

Well, as I said in the ideal of that experience I feel like I would have more interaction with the community because it’s more walkable and a more interconnected society than this one is. But given the unique circumstances including the language barrier and my sister’s illness, we weren’t able to take advantage of that. One of the more stark differences as I said is the language. Yes, we were in an urban and walkable environment but we didn’t speak the language, and everyone else spoke our language being English. So you got the sort of feeling that you couldn’t eavesdrop on anyone and everyone could eavesdrop on you. Also this was the case in the school because we had people from all over. We had Israelis, Indians, Italians, Polish, and French. And they all had Italian, Polish, French, and Hebrew, I only had English. So I didn’t have that community that some of these other groups had. While as here, I don’t know, do I have that? I’m not sure. One of the things I decided about when I moved back here was that everything was in a language that I knew, but I was leaving my friends. I was in like 7th grade so I was just learning how to y’know, behave socially, and so I was regretting not being more outgoing in that school. But this gave me the opportunity to be more outgoing in America and basically reinvent myself because, all my past stupidness or awkwardness no one knew about. In that international school that I went to, there was a lot of diversity as I said. A lot of people from all over. And it’s just a different perspective on identity basically, and more focused on your nationality than your race. There was a lot of diversity there, while as here it isn’t to be taken for granted. There it was, but here you have to seek out other people. Because as a white person I can go my entire experience just in a white bubble. I don’t want to do that so I don’t, but I have to make that conscious choice. 

 

What kind of hardships did you face when you first got into the US? 

 

Well for one, I didn’t really have any social connections. I had just forgotten or never learned parts of American culture for example just the measurement system and I was no longer accustomed to the winter. To be honest I wouldn’t say there was much hardships there, it was more the mourning of what could’ve been if everything went perfectly in the Netherlands, which it certainly didn’t. Of course also, finding my way back to the international community that there is here. 

 

And if you could go back there, would you go?

 

Oh absolutely. Knowing what I know now, I would take better advantage of all the opportunities there. But we have to learn that we can’t just do that. We have to take our lessons and move forwards, not back. We need to realize “oh I had that opportunity, I’m gonna look out for it in college, I’m gonna look out for it in the workplace”. 

 

Well currently then, what are your ambitions after graduating high school? 

 

I want to go to a good college. A good design school where I can learn design. And I want to design things for an international audience. And I want to save the world, somehow. 

 

What is the most important lesson that you’ve learned so far in your life?

 

I don’t know I’m like 17 lol. If I had to say. Take your chances, do the thing. Seize your opportunities. 

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