A Warm Welcome: Student Coordinator Welcomes Students and Parent to Peninsula Catholic High School

A Warm Welcome: Student Coordinator Welcomes Students and Parent to Peninsula Catholic High School

The New Oasis orientation is only the first phase of welcoming students on their study abroad journey.  Following the New Oasis orientation at headquarters our local student coordinators work closely with host families, schools, and the community to create a warm welcome for the incoming students.

New Oasis coordinator Kay Gude recently transitioned her role at New Oasis to a student coordinator for Peninsula Catholic High School in Virginia. Kay was excited to organize her first welcome for new students and any parents traveling with them, “This was the first time I’ve been able to work with a natural parent and it was very special.” Kay worked hard, with the help of the host families, to make the students and parents welcome memorable.

When the students arrived at the airport Kay took the opportunity to spend some time with one student’s natural mother by driving her to the hotel separate from the student leaving with the host family. Kay recommends this for any student coordinator, “Having one-on-one time with the natural parent allowed them to open up and share any concerns It was also a great opportunity to reassure the parent that I will be there to help, and take good care of their child”.  Kay continued to build a relationship with the mother by presenting her with a welcome basket at the hotel. The basket was filled with comforting items such as hot tea, a personal mug, kumquats, and tangerines.

The host parents hosted the mother and new student their first evening by preparing a traditional American style dinner. The host mother is known for her fabulous baked ziti and enjoyed sharing her tradition with the student and his mother. This hospitality continued over the next days as several host families worked together to organize requirements such as uniform shopping, vaccines, and a tour of the school. The group even attended a Peninsula Catholic basketball game one night!

A special welcome party organized by Kay was the highlight of the visit. Kay worked with the owners of a homestyle Asian restaurant, Ippin Mono Kitchen, to organize a dinner for both new and current New Oasis students and their host families. Kay prepared gift boxes for each student filled with Chinese candies, fruits and novelties. The students took center stage with an honor table in the middle of the restaurant.  Families surrounded the honor table and were introduced to one another. This was valuable moment to help form a cohesive community of host families and students attending Peninsula Catholic, “the students rarely get together socially and some families did not know each other. The energy and excitement of the new students re-energized the students who have been studying here. It was great to see phone numbers being exchanged by the end of the night,” commented Kay. For the new student’s natural mother  Kay said that to do something with everyone made her feel special.  The mother was hugging everyone by the night’s end!

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New Oasis is proud of the dedicated student coordinators that work hard to ensure that students, natural parents, and host families are welcomed into the New Oasis community. Kay’s story is just one of the many warm welcomes that our students received this past month. The team at New Oasis is thankful for thoughtful, caring individuals that make our community special.


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College Advising with Megan, January 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 over 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. This past month Megan spoke with admissions representatives from the following colleges:

  • Vanderbilt University
  • Boston University
  • College of William and Mary
  • Emory University
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Northeastern University

See below Megan’s recent message and information shared with our students. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the next college advising webinar on January 28! You can RSVP by CLICKING HERE.

“Dear New Oasis students,

It’s hard to believe that many of you are at the end of the first semester! If you are a senior, please make sure you have talked to your high school about sending mid-year grades to your colleges. In addition, please make sure to communicate updates such as new awards, accomplishments, and activities to your colleges.

If you are in 10th and 11th grade, now is a good time to begin exploring college and career interests. Websites such as the,,, and can help you to find out more about these topics. You should also take the time to visit college campuses, attend college information sessions with admission counselors visiting your high school, take virtual college tours and attend college fairs. If you’re unsure what questions to ask on campus visits or when talking with admission counselors then you should check out the National Association for College Admission Counseling site which provides information at:  The CollegeBoard site provides questions to consider asking college representatives as well.

If you are in 9th grade, consider joining a school group or club, or find other ways to follow your passion. You’ll develop skills and show colleges you can make a commitment and stick with it. Continue to focus on your classes, and do well. Colleges look at your grades, but they also pay attention to how tough your courses are—they want to see that you’ve challenged yourself. If you have a problem that’s getting in the way of schoolwork, ask someone you trust and respect for advice or help—whether it’s a friend, family member, counselor, coach, or teacher. If you’re having trouble with a class, talk with a teacher, Dean or guidance counselor about what type of tutoring or other assistance is available. Don’t forget, your New Oasis student coordinator can work with our academic team to find a qualified tutor to help you with almost any subject.

As mentioned in my previous blog, to better serve our 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 conversations. Should students seek additional information on these schools please contact the New Oasis Academic Team.”

Click here to read the notes from the college admission meetings.

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Pilot Program: Academic Team Hosts Reading Training Classes

New Oasis is dedicated to improving the quality, and types of services that we provide our students. The 2014-15 school year has seen many new additions, and improvement in our academic advising services. To continue this growth, the academic team will be piloting online workshops over the never several weeks.

Katherine Yang, academic adviser since 2013, is hosting the first New Oasis reading training class on Friday, 01/16/2015. The pilot program will last for 7 weeks and cover 120 TOEFL sentence analysis and 40 challenging reading assignments. The goal of the program is to help students develop stronger English reading comprehension skills.

Following the completion of this program, the academic team will complete an evaluation of the program structure, training materials and overall results from the students participation. New Oasis hopes to extend these types of programs to additional students enrolled in our program later this year.

Katherine Yang, Academic Adviser

Katherine Yang, Academic Adviser

For any questions on the current services, or upcoming pilot programs, please email

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