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International Students: A Guide to Curriculum, Customs, and Culture

Being an international high school student in the United States can be challenging, but you’re not alone. Here’s how to succeed as an international student.

You’ve been accepted into your dream boarding school in the USA, and now you’re getting ready to take flight (or perhaps, you’ve recently made it to campus and are still acclimating). No matter if you haven’t set foot on campus yet or you've been here for some time, you may be looking for some inspiration to ensure your time at your new school is worthwhile. Follow these curriculum and culture tips for international high school students to succeed at your private high school in NJ.

Take College Prep Courses

You and your parents decided a boarding school in the United States was the best option for advancing your educational and career opportunities. Make the most of your time as an international student by taking classes specifically designed to prepare you for higher education in America.

Students who take Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses are more desirable to college admission professionals, especially if they focus on STEM fields. Plus, these classes will help you become more accustomed to a large workload by the time you make it to college, and everything you’re assigned there will feel like a breeze.

Be sure to review the school course catalog to determine which classes will refine the skills you need most for your particular field of interest. Don’t be afraid to choose a class or two that ignites your passion.

Familiarize Yourself with American Culture by Getting Involved

It can be intimidating to navigate a new school and friendships by yourself, but the best way to overcome these fears is to take the first step. Introduce yourself to your classmates, and invite your roommate to go to dinner with you, so you can begin to establish the support system you’ll need over the next year.

Participate in extracurricular activities to connect with like-minded people and explore interests outside the classroom. Before you know it, you’ll have a tight-knit group of friends you can always turn to.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

In some cultures, it’s frowned upon to ask questions, but this isn’t the case in America. In fact, questions are highly encouraged because they show your desire to understand. If anything is confusing to you in or outside the classroom, ask your teacher or peers for clarification. By learning to be confident asking questions now while you are still in high school, you will not have any problems raising your hand in a college course — where answers to your questions are imperative to your academic success.

Become a Confident International High School Student

Being away from your home country as you study abroad can be challenging, especially as a high school student. However, by following these tips and establishing a strong support network, you can succeed in your new school. Experience the benefits of studying at a boarding school in NJ by filling out an application today. If you’re already a student and need help, reach out to your advisor or the Director of International Student Services.