The trend toward more and more children from early age go to the US for study is becoming increasingly popular. However, how to choose one that best suits the child from thousands of boarding schools in the US remains the sore point of numerous Chinese parents. Usually, the selecting of a school comprises three stages: prior investigation, match confirmation and school visit. We’re going to share what you should know in each of these 3 stages.
As parents, to know about the education philosophy of the preferred private boarding schools in the US should be the top priority when selecting them. The parents need to find out about the school’s facilities and soft power, admission requirements and the proportion of Chinese students in international students. They can use websites such as Finding School, Private School Review and the official website of the school to get the information they want. For the investigation, parents might want to know about things from the following aspects:
■ Learning environment and campus facilities
To check the teachers’ qualifications in teaching the subject could assure an international student coming from afar. Besides, you also need to know about the school’s curriculum setting, the arrangement of fundamental courses (such as liberal arts and sciences), whether there’s any ESL programme for international student, as well as the number of AP curriculum.
For students of a private boarding school, particularly for an international student, the school is like a second home, at the same time, a small society. So up-to-standard facilities in the campus are quite important. You should have a general investigation of the classrooms, labs, sports grounds, medical and healthcare services, as well as the environment and size of the dorm.
■ Admission requirements
Most private boarding schools in the US require the applicants sit in standard admission exams such as SAT, TOEFL and Junior TOEFL exams, each school has its own requirements with regards to test points.
In recent years, Chinese students applying to US schools see a large base and fraud phenomena constantly appear, so the admission officer of US schools tend to give more focus on the applicants’ English communication ability, personality, self-identity, potential and whether they’re able to fit into the school life. Some schools even require the applicant take part in the Vericant interview, results of which will be the basis of their decision. Essays, recommendation letters and extracurricular activities are all necessary materials for application.
■ The proportion of Chinese students
To ensure the school holds a diversified ethnic group of students, the boarding schools in the US have set requirements on the composition of international students. With the growth of the number of Chinese applicants, the competition is becoming rather intense. That means, even if the Chinese applicant is qualified, he or she could still be rejected by the school due to full enrollment.
Basically, a reasonable pre-assessment on the applicant could be made according to such proportion.
Match is a key word when weighing your options in selecting a US boarding school. It is an objective analysis based on the condition of the applicant. This part involves sitting your child down to have a good communication, asking questions as more as you like, such as:
1：Which place in the US do you prefer?
2：Do you mind going to a boy/girl school?
3：Do you mind going to a military school or missionary school?
4：Do you have any special hobby, like musical, drawing, sports or scientific research?
5：Do you need support from ESL, AP, personal tutor or other academic programmes?
The answers to above questions will help you rule out a lot of schools in the lists
Based on the investigation results from the two steps above, a list of preferred schools might be already made out. Now it is time for a school visit, which is of essential importance. Set up two demo classes for the child, if possible, so that the child has a practical experience of the school’s teaching method and to check if the school lives what it preaches.
Successful application to a US boarding school is not an overnight thing. It may take 1-2 years to prepare. Only when the Chinese parents and children get a full understanding of the differences between American and Chinese education can they stand out from the vast sea of applicants and get into the school they desire.
BE Education is well experienced in the application to US boarding schools
● Offer of support in prior investigation
● In-depth talks with children to know about their hobbies and abilities, so to advise which school to go to
● Escort service for your child during school visit, as well as route planning and arrangement of interview with the admission officer or the headmaster of the school if the child meets admission requirements.