On Saturday we spent our day in Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. First we went to the Farmer’s market, where they had dozens of stands selling different kinds of foods.
After that, we walked through Madison and shopped a little bit. The streets were really pretty and unique. There weren´t very many chain stores or restaurants, most were boutique kind of shops. Some of us had food at a burger place and some chose to eat a salad (probably the first and the last healthy restaurant meal on the whole trip).
We found some new cool stores and also some pretty familiar stuff.
We also checked out to see the capitol of Madison, which is a gorgeous building in the middle of the city. The on the right has the view from a balcony of the building.
Later that night, all of us went to Saara´s host Becca´s house, where her parents had cooked us some really good food. Unfortunately we don´t have any pictures from that part of the day, but we had a lot of fun and went home with a full, happy stomach.
We had our first day of american high school on Monday, 1st of May. We’ve definitely noticed some things that are done differently in American schools (or at least in McFarland) than in Finnish school.
Everyone has been really welcoming at the school. Especially during the first week, people seemed genuinely interested in us and why we’re here. I think people are definitely a little more outgoing here especially towards exchange students than in Finland.
The school days are a little different too. We have A days and B days every other day. We have different subjects on each days. A days some of as have for example US History and Study Hall (a class where you can work on your homework, we do our blog stuff during this hour), and then again on B days we have Lifetime Fitness and Photography.
A picture from the school´s art hallway
One of the differences between the high school here and school in Finland is the freedom. Over here the bell tells you when the class starts and ends. Even if you’re done with your work 5 minutes before the end of class, you have to wait for the bell until you leave the class room. Also, in some classes you need to ask for a specific restroom pass in order to be able to go to the bathroom.
Then obviously the food. The food options change from day to day, sometimes there is pizza, sometimes burgers or cheese sticks. There are also some salad meals you can buy. Most of us bring our own lunch to school because the lunch at the school costs money.
On the left Anni´s lunch from the school and on the right Essi´s lunch brought from home. :))
Just like in Finland, the way of teaching differs depending on the teacher. Some teachers have more lecture type classes, some have the students more involved. But something interesting that we’ve noticed is that the teachers and students (or ”kids”) talk to each other like friends. There are often also more than one teacher in the classroom, especially in freshmen classes.
Also something that we´ve noticed is that kids don´t really bother to dress up nicely to school. They mostly come in sweatpants and t-shirts. Jeans and a nicer shirt are considered as a pretty fancy outfit over here.