(Past) Student Feature: Priscilla in Portugal


Dennis Racket

Priscilla in Portugal: Former Warrior Priscilla Wallace details her experience at her new home and school in Portugal.

Imagine moving across the world to a country with golden architecture and overwhelming history. Everyone speaks the same language and are congruent with one another, fitting like puzzle pieces, and you are the American-shaped edge that does not align quite like it did back home. Foreign in every way, Priscilla Wallace is the American girl with blonde hair and a bubbly personality now in Portugal far across the world from everything she has ever known. 

School in Portugal is certainly different from the experience on Northside Parkway. For starters, students in Portugal cannot use their phones at any point of the school day, they cannot wear makeup, and if their hair goes past their shoulders, it must be in a ponytail on school grounds. In class, students must speak English, but at lunch they revert back to Portuguese, leaving Wallace lost and confused. “I go to an international school so the dynamic isn’t super different, but there are some things that really threw me off when I first started here,” Wallace said. “For example, PE was around two hours long today!”

Culture, culture, and more culture! While living internationally can be an intimidating reality, there are some unbelievable aspects that accompany the Portuguese experience. Diversity is present in the US, but it does not compare to Wallace’s new school. “The diversity at the school is definitely the best part. Everyone is so welcoming and supportive,” Wallace said. “Only around half of the students in my grade are actually from Portugal. Everyone else is from all over the world: Egypt, Lebanon, Russia, France, Japan, Brazil, Angola, South Africa, and so many more. It’s amazing!”

New places like Portugal give rise to extraordinary experiences that will shape Wallace’s perspective and understanding of the world for the rest of her life. While the mighty 11 stories and Warrior spirit will always hold a place in Wallace’s heart, the architecture, culture, food, and beauty of this new country is overwhelmingly exciting, as well. Nós sentimos falta de você, Priscilla!