American Mom in Spain Reveals Stark Cultural Differences: Education, Naming Customs, and More

American Mom in Spain Reveals Stark Cultural Differences: Education, Naming Customs, and More

Emily Sanchez, an American mother of three, currently residing in Spain, has been shedding light on the significant differences between the two countries.

Through her viral videos and personal experiences, she offers glimpses into the various aspects of daily life that have surprised her and her children since their move to Spain.

Educational Contrasts: A Shift in Perspective

Emily starts by delving into the disparities within the education systems of the United States and Spain.

She explains how, in Spain, school grade placements are determined by the calendar year, while in the US, it is based on the school year.

For instance, in the US, a child typically begins kindergarten if they turn five before September or October, whereas in Spain, it aligns with the calendar year in which the child turns five.

Schooling Options in Spain: A Wide Range of Choices

Emily goes on to discuss the plethora of school types available in Spain, ranging from “infantil” to “public infantil” and “Concertado” (semi-private and semi-public) to fully public and fully private schools.

She emphasizes that attending a public school isn’t always necessary, as the options are numerous and can vary depending on one’s location.

Communication in Schools: A Different Dynamic

Emily highlights another contrast in the realm of education—the communication between teachers and parents.

While, as a teacher in the US, she frequently communicated with parents via email, in Spain, such direct and frequent interaction between parents and teachers is less common.

Academic Rigor: A Stricter Approach in Spain

Discussing the rigor of the education system, Emily observes that in Spain, the level of work expected from students is notably more demanding compared to her experiences in the US.

The curriculum requires children to learn more each year, reflecting a heightened academic challenge.

First Names in the Classroom: Informal Teacher-Student Relations

Emily shares an interesting cultural nuance: in Spain, students often address their teachers by their first names, signaling a more informal and egalitarian approach to education.

This differs from the US, where a more formal “Mr.” or “Mrs.” is typically used.

Last Names and Marital Customs: A Surprising Tradition

Emily touches on the practice of women not adopting their husband’s last names in Spain upon marriage.

This custom often leads people to mistakenly assume that her husband is her brother due to the shared surname.

In Spain, women commonly retain their own names after marriage, and when they have children, they often combine the first of each spouse’s surname to give to their child.

Cultural Richness in Cross-Cultural Experiences

Emily Sanchez’s insightful videos offer a valuable perspective on the cultural differences between the US and Spain.

Her observations showcase the richness and diversity of the human experience across different countries and the fascinating nuances that can be discovered when cultures collide.

Bridging Cultures Through Shared Experiences

Emily’s journey as an American mom in Spain highlights how personal encounters with cultural differences can lead to mutual understanding and appreciation.

Her willingness to share these experiences allows viewers to see the world through a different lens, fostering cultural exchange and encouraging dialogue about the diverse ways people live their lives around the globe.

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