When new students arrive at a school from abroad, there is always an adjustment period where the school and student get to know one another. The more quickly that a student is able to get acquainted with a new school, the sooner he or she will be able to delve into academic life. There are a few things that schools can do, and students can do for themselves, in order to facilitate the student's arrival in a new school abroad. |
General Overview of the School
The first thing to do is to give the student an overview of the school. Show the student all of the major parts of the school's campus, such as the dining areas, the classrooms, and places where he or she can go for help. Make sure that the student feels comfortable on the campus and can find his or her way around. Likewise, make sure that the student feels comfortable outside of school and is able to cope with basic tasks in the new country. Having this basic understanding will help the student feel more confident about being in a new place and less overwhelmed.
An organized school tour is a good way to get a new student acquainted with a school. However, a personal tour is even better. If a fellow student can show the new student around, then the new student will be able to start making some personal connections on the campus.
Points of Interest to the Student
One thing any new student will want to know is where he can find the places of particular interest to him. For instance, if the new student is an avid reader, he might want to know where the book stores and libraries are. If she likes to play soccer, then she will want to know where she can sign up for the soccer team. These are the details that will make a new student begin to feel at home in a new school. Simply asking the student about his or her interests is helpful in recommending places of personal interest to the student.
Meeting a Few New Friends
While it's nice to know the layout of the school, the personal connections a student makes are likely the most important part of settling into a new school. Introducing the student to a few classmates with some similar interests can help the student get into the social scene right away. From there, the student's peers can help him or her to become even more acquainted with the school.
It's also helpful for the student to have a personal relationship with an administrator from the start. A mentor who's also part of the staff or faculty can be sure to accurately answer any questions that the student has about the school, and the staff member can provide a good first impression of the school. Assigning students to have staff mentors or counselors is one way to make sure that new students are well looked after.
Students arriving from abroad will have similar concerns to those arriving at a new school in their home countries. They will want to know where they can carry out their daily tasks, and how they can fit in. However, the key to welcoming a student from abroad is in the personal connections; the student will be keen to see how he or she will be accepted and supported in an unfamiliar cultural situation. A warm welcome and open hearts on both sides are the keys to starting a student off right in a new country.
Jessie Teh writes article pertaining to student life in boarding or international schools abroad. She is currently doing research on boarding school systems in Malaysia and previously wrote this article on the benefits of boarding schools.
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