How does a new student feel?


Photo of the empty campus taken by Alice Ragusa.

As soon as I arrived at Village, I felt very disoriented. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t speak English well – the only help that I was given was a girl who followed me during the first day to make sure that I could find all the classrooms.


Initially, it was very difficult to interact with other kids or participate in lessons unaware of the topic being discussed.


It may seem unimportant or useless, but more help during the first few days would be the best thing for new students, to have a point of reference until you meet your classmates or until bonds are established by forming friendships.


All this becomes more difficult if you come from different countries where the language becomes another obstacle. If you find it difficult to communicate or understand, integration becomes even more difficult for both the new student and the peers, who not being able to communicate, will probably tend to pull back and remain a little more closed off. 


What can we students do to make new students feel more comfortable and open up to the class faster?


The first thing to do is introduce yourself, to make sure that they can tell a little bit about themselves and make themselves known; you can ask their name, where they are from if they like the school, and many other things.


Be patient if they ask you any questions and be willing to help if they need it; if they are in your class, you can help them with the program, and with the assignment and after the class you can also show them around the school, maybe during lunch.


Finally, I would say make sure that they don’t feel uncomfortable.


The best tip for newcomers is to always believe in yourself, don’t be scared. I know that at the beginning it is complicated, but do not break it down immediately, especially if you don’t know the language. Initially, it will be difficult, but later on, you can be sure that you will be really well, just keep a positive attitude.