NUHS in the Eyes of an Exchange Student

NUHS welcomes Claudia Dieguez.


AMERICAN DREAM - The Maudal family makes dreams come true for foreign exchange student Claudia Dieguez.

New Ulm High School welcomes students from across the world each academic school year, as the school offers great academic options for students of all interests. This year’s Foreign Exchange students are Fadlan Holao from Indonesia and Claudia Dieguez from Spain.

Back in Spain Claudia lives about fifteen minutes outside of Madrid in a suburban area. Madrid has a population of 3.166 million so coming to New Ulm is quite the change for a sixteen year old to face. According to Claudia, Madrid has ten schools in the area along with a couple malls. To pass time in Spain, Claudia goes out to eat and goes shopping with friends. On the weekends she likes to go to the nearby lake and water ski with her family.

Coming over to America was a little bit of a challenge for Claudia, as most would expect. Luckily for her this isn’t her first time coming over to America. Two years ago she was able to stay with an American family in Philadelphia during the summer. She stayed for two months and was able to explore the city of Philadelphia and Boston. That summer she was also able to visit her cousins for two weeks who live in Washington D.C.  During those two weeks she went to Chicago.

Even though she has more experience in America than most foreign exchange students, she still faces some challenges with schooling. Claudia said, “Some of my classes are difficult because I don’t fully understand what my teachers are saying or telling me to do.” Claudia is a fluent English speaker; however, she has a more difficult time processing and understanding the language. Claudia also said the first couple weeks were the most challenging because she didn’t know anyone very well  so when she needed help she would just learn things by herself.

The schooling system at NUHS is also different from Claudia’s previous school. When asked what the schooling is like in Spain compared to here, she said, “In Spain the schooling is different because high school students can not pick the classes they want to take like you can here.” Claudia also said very few students play high school sports – most of the students go to other sport centers to participate on teams that are better than the ones at school.

Claudia has been enjoying her eight months here so far.  She played on the girls tennis team in the fall and she spends her spare time hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Claudia said her favorite American food is Mac and Cheese because they do not have that in Spain.