This summer New Oasis organized their first local new student orientations. Over 120 new students and 75 parents participated in 3 days of orientation in Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. For many students and families, this was their first time visiting the United States.
Local coordinators and academic, homestay and marketing support staff from the company’s home office all worked together to lead students and accomplish many goals for orientation. Students received help setting up bank accounts, cell phone service and completing required vaccines or physicals. The students were also taken on a shopping trip to help with school uniforms or other comforts for their new homes.
In addition to completing these requirements, the homestay and academic departments worked with students to help prepare them for the cultural differences at home and at school. Interactive workshops were conducted on:
- What it Mean to be an International Student/Important Documents
- The Keys to Understanding the American Culture
- The American Host Family
- Table Manners
- The American Education System
- Excelling as an American Student
- New Oasis Academic Services
- Media Use for International Students
Students asked questions on everything from preparing for the SATs to deciding which clubs to join. Yun Liu, Academic Advisor, from the Herndon office attended four of the seven orientations to help prepare the students for the academic differences. “The orientation not only helped the students understand the basic differences between the American and Chinese high school education, it also informed students what it means to be an excellent students (including) what kind of person American colleges are looking for, and how to leverage the education resources in the U.S. to fully develop oneself and to become a well-rounded person,” said Liu.
Parents were provided an opportunity to visit a local partner school and learn more about the differences in the education system. This provided a great forum to answer their questions on the academic expectations for their children. It was also a great way to highlight the many opportunities that students will have in their new communities including clubs, sports and volunteer service.
Everyone came together the final night to enjoy some much needed fun! Amusement parks, local museums and other attractions were enjoyed by students, parents and the New Oasis team. After a busy few days everyone enjoyed sharing in laughter and creating memories in the local community.
The orientation’s all concluded with warm greetings from the student’s host family. Tammy Becker, Homestay 360 Manager and Host Mom, was excited at the student’s progress, “You could see the students confidence growing each day. They began to open up and ask questions and express concerns. Seeing the students put into action the things we had discussed and practiced throughout the week was remarkable. They greeted their host family with confidence.”
Overall New Oasis is proud of the work we accomplished to help our new students. We have already been discussing how to make next year’s orientations even better!