Junior Christian McGlynn is one of the few new students this year. Unlike others, though, this is his first time going to school in the U.S.
McGlynn grew up in Denmark. He spoke a combination of English and Danish growing up. “My dad grew up in Edina, and my mom lived in England and Scotland, so we spoke a lot of English at home. I spoke Danish with my mom, but we could easily speak English together at home.”
McGlynn went to Herlufsholm boarding school, which is a boarding school about two hours outside of Copenhagen. “It was founded in 1565, and was very different from SPA,” McGlynn said.
The ancient buildings of McGlynn’s old school also stand as a contrast to the renovations and “newness” of SPA buildings. “I haven’t been to school here before, but I’ve been in the country. All the buildings at my old school were very old—my dorm building finished construction in 1874. And this is all really new, so that’s probably the biggest difference I’ve experienced,” McGlynn said.
As opposed to the built-in free time of SPA’s schedule, McGlynn’s old schedule was a much fuller day.
“The daily routine was they would wake you up at 6:30 with an alarm, and you would have to be at breakfast at 7:25 at the latest, and class started at 8:05. Then you would go to two or three classes and have study time at 4:45 until 5:45. 6:00 you would have dinner and study time would begin again at 6:30 and continue to 8:00, so two and a half hours of study each day. You would go to bed at 10:30 and it would repeat again the next day,” McGlynn said.
At the boarding school, classes and school years also functioned on a different scale. “You start when you’re six years old, in grade zero, and you do ten years and go to ninth grade—and that is kind of like middle school but encompasses elementary school and some of high school. Then you do three years of college prep. I had finished the first year of college prep at my old school, and then I came here.”
McGlynn’s school also had classes at different levels—A, B, or C—instead of “honors” or “regular” classes.
“I did history, Danish, German, English and social studies at level A, and I did math, business management, and biology at level B, and other mandatory classes at level C,” McGlynn said.
Ultimately, SPA is proving to be a good fit for McGlynn. “[SPA prepares me differently] because I get to go to college in the U.S. The Danish degree would have been really difficult to apply to the U.S. with. It’s a lot easier here.”