Global Education

New students from Ghana experience South

By Justin Quinn
Published: September 2010

Imagine moving across the world, continent to continent, and arriving at Newton South High School. What expectations would you have?  How different would it be?
Cousins Bernard and Patrick Kufour found out as they started school at South this year after moving from Ghana.
THis fall, the two seniors entered South, the first time they attended an American school.
Bernard moved from Kumasi, a quiet residential area and a comfortable place to live.
Patrick lived in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.  He described the city as “pretty fun but warm out there.  Both cousins have family in the United Kingdom and Ghana, as well as in the United States where they are staying.  It was hard to leave family and friends, but they are excited for the new opportunities Newton has to offer.
Patrick went to a private school in Ghana before coming to South, as did Bernard.  Bernard attended the Opoku Ware boarding school, an all boy’s establishment located in Ghana.
Before this, he attended the Ridge School, a British middle school.  These schools educated people from all over the world and there was a great sense of diversity among their peers.
Although the rigorous courses both at the schools they attended in Ghana and at South are challenging, there are many differences between the schools.
“The classes are very good¦In Ghana, they are pretty hard but there is not much homework, Bernard said.
Patrick shared that sentiment, one many students at South believe.
“I think I have adjusted to my classes so far except for the homework part, he said.  He also noted the differences in resources between the schools.
“The technology [at school in Ghana] is not as developed as here.  It is more modernized [at South] than Ghana.
Despite these adjustments, both Bernard and Patrick are making their mark here at South and having fun while doing it.
They each expanded on their interests to become more involved in the culture of the school, particularly in sports. In Ghana, Patrick played soccer but was inspired to switch fall sports after moving to Newton.
“When I was in Ghana I used to play soccer, but when I came here I wanted to try something new [and now] I play football, Patrick said.  “The team I had in Ghana wasn’t different compared to the one here. We were a family.
Bernard continues to play soccer, now on South’s team.  He noted that there is “more motivation over here when compared to the teams he played on previously.
In addition to soccer, Bernard may want to play basketball in the winter, a sport he especially enjoys.
His team even reached fourth in the national tournament for his league in Ghana, a success he is proud of.
So far, life in Newton has been an exciting and interesting experience for Bernard and Patrick and both are excited to see what the year will bring.  “Well now I think I like South¦ It’s pretty cool and I’ve made a couple of friends, Patrick said.  Bernard added that “it’s all the same in a way.  It just depends on how you react to it.

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