Cuban student reflects on high school life in the USA


Geannett is working hard in her newspaper class.

Geannett Alvarez and Dayana Rodriguez

Geannett Alvarez is a senior here at Wisdom High School, and is on track to graduate this year. This is her second year of attending school here in the USA, after spending her freshman and sophomore years at Batalla del Jigue High School in Havana, Cuba. This is her own personal story of her experience attending school in Cuba, and comparing it to her academics here in Houston.

“Education is one of the most important things in Cuba, especially since it’s free, no matter what level of education you’re at,” said Alvarez. “My school experience was unique. I had many friends and my teachers were the best.” 

“It was difficult but not impossible to finish school, because you had to study a lot, and on many occasions, students did not have the comfort and access of exploring the internet. Students in Cuba have to go to a library to do homework. The library provided books, newspapers, etc. All the schoolwork was done in writing, nothing was printed. This is beneficial in some ways, because it’s the traditional way of working and students learn more. Studying in Cuba was a privileged experience I’ll never forget.”

“When I arrived in the United States, I was amazed. Coming to the United States was something I had always dreamed of. When the school year began, it was very difficult. Everything was new to me; new school, new classmates, new teachers. I knew nothing. The hardest part was the language. In my country, we only spoke Spanish, and coming to this school, everything was in English. It wasn’t easy, I felt embarrassed. In my classes, I didn’t know what to do or what to say. It took some time until I got to know people better.”

I made friends and they were able to help me with my English. When I got used to my environment and surroundings, I felt comfortable. I really like school here compared to the school in Cuba because everything is easier. With access to the internet, tasks are easier to complete and everything is within reach. I love school and take my academics very seriously. Coming here to Wisdom gives us the best time of our lives and helps us achieve our dreams!”