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The Tritonian

International Students from Spain, Japan Share Initial Thoughts on Attending NDA


“My whole life I have been motivated to study abroad since Spain doesn’t have the best teaching method. When I was presented with this opportunity, I couldn’t choose much. I only got to choose the school, and I thought that this school would be my best option,” said sophomore Nicolas Hernandez Muelas, an international student from Spain. 

Hernandez Muelas is also here along with junior Kai Willcox from Japan. 

“I became an international student at NDA because I wanted to experience a new culture and challenge myself academically and in sports,” said Willcox.

He is living with Dom Mader and his family, a family Willcox has known from Japan since 2nd grade. 

“We were hockey buddies from grade 2, and they were kind enough to accept me as a host child,” he added. 

When Hernandez Muelas stepped foot in the US, he was in New York. 

“My initial reactions were being amazed by all the buildings and organization of the streets,” he shared, “but, when I got to Green Bay, I wasn’t really impressed since the parts I have seen look like the Spanish residential areas.”

While Willcox has been to the U.S. before, this is his first time attending a U.S. high school. 

“It’s been great to explore new cultures and environments. I think Green Bay is a beautiful city, and I enjoy getting to know it better,” he said. 

Hernandez Muelas described his first week as “very chaotic because I constantly got lost on my way to class. But, with the people in the school, I was very impressed with how open they are to new students.”

“My first week has been fun! The love towards school events, including sports and dances, is incredible, as I would love to get involved in them A LOT. The classes are unique and creative,” shared Willcox.

Hernandez Muelas had a different schedule everyday in Spain unlike here where students have the same classes everyday.

“In Spain, I would also have a break at 11:00 for 30 minutes, and I would have a whole hour to eat,” said Hernandez Muelas. 

In Japan, Willcox’s classes start at 8:15 and end at 4:10. He does like that the extracurricular activities and sport activities are more extensive here which he calls “excellent.”

Hernandez Muelas is looking forward to seeing a football game, “going grocery shopping in one of those big stores,” and going to prom. 

Both are excited to watch the Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau field. 

Hernandez Muelas plans to join the swimming team at NDA and even get involved in some of the clubs.

“For U.S. city experiences, I am looking forward to exploring Chicago and New York City. I’ve heard so much about those cities’ food, culture and landmarks,” Willcox said.

He also heard that Door County is a “must visit spot in Wisconsin” and can’t wait to check it out–as well as trying out snowboarding. 

Willcox plans to play hockey for NDA and join some clubs. Next year, he wants to try out for the soccer team since he played back in Japan. 

“While graduating from NDA is not in my possiblities, I plan to graduate in the IB program in Spain or Europe,” said Hernandez Muelas.

“I plan on renewing my visa and returning for another year to graduate,” said the hockey player. 

He is also considering college in Canada, since he has Canadian citizenship.

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About the Contributor
Lily Arkens, Staff Writer
Lily Arkens is in her junior year at NDA. She is in her second year as Football Team Manager, and during the summer in her free time, she loves to golf with her grandpa every Friday. In journalism, she is interested in writing human feature stories and sports-related stories.

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