Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • 0

College Advising with Megan, March 2015

To better serve our students, New Oasis has improved our college admissions advising with the help of our Academic Coordinator, Megan Aquilante. Megan has more than ten years of college advising experience.

Until recently, Megan served as a Guidance Counselor at Complete College Planning Solutions. She will provide her expertise to our students through monthly on-line presentations and meeting directly with our college admissions advisers.

Dear New Oasis students,

We are now halfway into the second semester and many seniors are aware of their admission status at colleges and universities. If you have received acceptance offers from more than one college and are undecided about where to attend, you must work on choosing which college is best for you. If you are not sure which college you prefer, you should evaluate your options and make a decision. Consider the following:

  • Visit or revisit campuses, research the school’s website or take a virtual tour
  • Evaluate your Goals and Priorities
  • Assess each college against your requirements
  • Create a Pros and Cons list for each college

Make an informed decision and notify your college of your attendance by May 1.

In addition to senior college planning, it continues to be important for juniors to become aware of items that should be completed each month for their college planning purposes. If you are a current 11th grade student, please make note of the College Planning Checklist for the month of April:

  • Prepare for the SAT I or SAT II Subject exams held on May 2, 2015 and register by April 6, 2015
  • Continue preparing for the April 18, 2015 ACT test if planning on taking it
  • If you are in AP courses, get ready for the AP exams next month to be held May 4-May 15, 2015
  • Continue researching colleges and developing your college list
  • Take a look at some college applications and consider all of the different pieces you will need to compile
  • Start to think about two teachers you would like to ask for letters of recommendation for college, preferably a teacher from junior year or your upcoming senior year
  • Consider asking for supplemental letters of recommendation. These would be from a person such as an employer, a coach or an adviser from a school club or an activity outside of school. Make sure this person has a good understanding of you and your strengths

In addition to the above checklists, to better serve its students, New Oasis is committed to communicating with and collecting admissions information from different colleges and universities. Our goal is to help students better understand admissions at colleges and universities. We hope you find our ongoing college admissions research useful, and are delighted to provide some highlights of these recent conversations. Should students seek additional information on these schools please contact the New Oasis Academic Team.

University of Colorado, Denver
Information provided by Clay Harmon, International Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator (Asia Specialist)

  • Q: How do you review international applicants when evaluating domestic applicants? Are they reviewed by the same office or separate offices? Are international students held to the same standards as domestic students? A: There are two separate admissions office, one for domestic and one for international students (sub unit of International Affairs office, ESL, study abroad)
  • Q: How do you figure out a student’s GPA if they have both a transcript from China and one from their US high school? A: We evaluate the Chinese transcript in house and combine the GPA from both China and US school on a 4.0 GPA scale. We do not see a repeating a course taken in China at a US high school as problematic
  • Q: What is the most important part of an international student application? A: We are not over-saturated with Chinese students so we tend to be more flexible. Overall some things that can help an international student stand out are the following: Understanding what UC Denver is all about and why they want to attend there, interesting major that is chosen could help, look for individual interest, purpose and what they want to study, essay not required but UC Denver loves to receive optional essays to help the student stand out

Stony Brook University
Information provided by Stacey Acquaro of Undergraduate International Admissions

  • Q: How do you view international applicants when evaluated domestic applicants? Are they reviewed by the same office or separate offices? Are international students held to the same standards as domestic students? A: We do have international admissions counselors within the admissions office to help review the international students. We evaluate students within the context of their experience for curriculum taken, international students held to same domestic student expectation of GPA and test scores. Approximately a 90/100 GPA needed, but some majors more competitive than others. Student can submit TOEFL and not submit SAT, but some majors need SAT such as engineering and business. Students should be aware they could be admitted to the university but not their desired major.
  • Q: What is the most important part of an international student application? A: If interested in engineering then participation in competitions for engineering along with summer camps. Stony Brook is also very focused on the essay and want to see students involved in clubs as that will translate to their college careers
  • Q: How do you evaluate the SAT if required of applicant? What does your school consider as a competitive Critical Reading score for the SAT for an international student? A: On average we like to see 1100-1200 range for the CR and Math sections combined (we seek a minimum of a 430 CR to show English proficiency but overall want students to have 500-600 on each part)

University of Wisconsin, Madison, information provided by James McManus Admissions Intern, Office of Admissions and Recruitment

  • Q: How do you review international applicants when evaluating domestic applicants? Are they reviewed by the same office or separate offices? Are international students held to the same standards as domestic students? A: The process looks similar for domestic and international applicants, the main difference is that TOEFL is required for international students (do have international and domestic counselors working together, a lot of overlap…counselors have regions of China to help best understand those areas) If a student did majority of their courses in China, then the application review would require more of an international counselor role. The majority of international students are from China at University of Wisconsin.
  • We look closely at extracurricular activities and academic history. Taking challenging courses important. Focus a lot on writing. The “Why are you applying to Wisconsin?”essay is important. The admissions office wants to see some specific thought put into it. The admissions office likes to see leadership roles or abilities on an application as it shows initiative.  The optional activities statement is really important.
  • If a student demonstrates their interest in writing about their visit to the campus or makes note of a conversation with professor to the admissions counselor in an e-mail, this information could be added to the student file. However, the applicant pool is so big that admissions can’t really track demonstrated interest.
  • Q: What is the most important part of an international student application? A: Academic preparation, breadth of coursework, good GPA trend, specifically looking at TOEFL score and the writing (not only for content but English proficiency. We desire a polished level of writing and look for students to have the ability to handle their reading and writing in the college classes). Overall, want to see the student/Wisconsin fit.
  • Q: How do you evaluate an international student’s transcript? A: The admissions office will review international transcripts the same as domestic. We rate the rigor of coursework, and if a student struggles in English class, but takes on a college prep or honors humanities course or US History course that tells us the student is willing to work hard and take on challenges. We like to see breadth of classes on the transcript.

Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Instagram

  • 0

New Oasis staff gathers for Inaugural Student Coordinator Summit

Photo Mar 21, 9 27 01 PM

The Homestay 360 team at the Coordinator Summit

From March 20-23, New Oasis staff from 11 states gathered in Sterling, Virginia for a weekend of training, networking and teambuilding.

The New Oasis Inaugural Student Coordinator Summit began on Friday evening, as Homestay 360 Managers met with newly-hired student coordinators over dinner, to welcome them to the team and prepare them for the upcoming training sessions.

Saturday morning was a time for the new staff to partake in an orientation of sorts, learning information familiar to returning coordinators. The new coordinators learned procedures and policies before meeting the headquarter staff and returning coordinators for lunch.

“It’s important for our coordinators to understand the culture behind many of

(Our coordinators) left united, as New Oasis, innovating a new way to think about Homestay 360,” said Suzy Fitzpatrick, director of the Homestay 360 Program.

“Our local coordinators are the lifeline of our program. They embody the vision and mission of New Oasis, and to that, I am committed to ensuring we are providing them with the resources it takes to advocate for our students,” she said.

Saturday afternoon marked the official kickoff of the meeting, as Sean Chen, president and CEO, presented opening remarks and kicked off the afternoon sessions.

Photo Mar 21, 4 55 58 PM

Dan Brown, program manager and student coordinator, presents “Customer Service.”

Coordinators heard presentations related to communication, academics, understanding New Oasis’ tutoring services, customer service, travel policies and more.

“It was inspiring to see the passion from the entire team,” said Tammy Becker, Homestay 360 Program manager.

“The coordinators were engaged, inquisitive and showed a great deal of enthusiasm. They openly shared their insight, ideas, and suggestions regarding a variety of student and host family topics. This idea-sharing helped everyone to see that varying approaches to the same situation can yield very different outcomes.”

Saturday ended with a staff dinner at The Bungalow Lake House.

On Sunday morning, the coordinators were introduced to various methods for recruiting and retaining host families.

  • 0

China trip update: the team has returned!



Updates courtesy of Kathy Freeman, director of partnerships, U.S.

It seems like only yesterday leaders from our partner schools departed on a trip to China. A short two weeks later, the team has returned to the United States.

Throughout the course of the trip, the team bonded as a group and established friendships to last a lifetime.

The group was divided into three teams and each had the opportunity to visit a student’s home, have dinner together and exchange gifts. This experience served as a highlight of the trip for each of the school representatives.

TableThe group visited with a Chinese family, one that was friendly, warm and inviting. The student, Joyce, said she hoped to study at Covenant Day School, in Charlotte, North Carolina, next year. She lives with her mom, dad and her mom’s parents.

“Joyce’s grandmother prepared one of the best meals I have ever had,” said Kathy Freeman, director of partnerships, U.S.

“They prepared many delicious dishes that represented local Hangzhou cuisine. After dinner we visited and shared experiences.”

Jay Morin, from Cheverus High School, and Lisa Barlow, from Covenant Day School, joined Freeman for the visit. Jay immediately connected with Joyce’s father, because both could speak Japanese!

On Sunday, the team took the Bullet Train to the city of Nanjing for an education fair. The school representatives had a wonderful time experiencing the bullet train. They were all fascinated, traveling roughly 189 miles per hour.

At the Nanjing Fair, the team interviewed nearly 40 students, all of whom were bright and academically-focused.

After a nap on the train, the group returned to the hotel in Hangzhou, where they celebrated the birthday of Penny Peng, a member of the New Oasis China Team.

The team awoke early and visited a competitive high school in China, affiliated with Zhejiang University. The school is progressive, with more than 1000 students. Approximately 70 of its students choose to study in U.S. universities after graduation.mmexport1427116621494

After the school visit, the school representatives enjoyed several hours of shopping at the Hefang Road Market and purchased gifts to bring home to colleagues and family. Shortly after, the team saw the theater production, “Songcheng Eternal Love.”

While waiting for the show, Jay Morin was selected to be the subject of a traditional Chinese knife-thrower. He was a great sport, and everyone enjoyed the performance.

Before leaving Hangzhou, the team drove to the mountain outside of the city and visited a local Tea Plantation. Everyone learned about green tea, experienced picking tea leaves and sampled tea.

The team left Hangzhou and headed on to the airport to catch their flight to the city of Chengdu. Arriving in Chengdu, the team was greeted at the Shangri-La Hotel by a Giant Panda!


For more information on the China trip, contact Kathy Freeman at kfreeman @