Applying to boarding school as an international student or a Third Culture Kid (TCK) presents unique concerns. It’s one thing to choose to have your child attend a boarding school, but it’s quite another when your child is in another country and many time zones away. It’s even more important that the family understands the school culture, the values the school embodies, and the other attending students on campus.
Just as in working with domestic students, international students go through various phases to learn about boarding schools:
At RNG International, we’re often the international or expat family’s eyes and ears since they are too far away to do many visits, if they can do any at all. Knowing we have personally visited hundreds of boarding schools, families have appreciated being able to trust us to look out for their child’s best interests throughout the process by helping to identify schools that will be the right fit for them.
There are at least five logistical challenges when working with international or expat families
We can help to manage all of these details and keep the process moving forward in a timely fashion.
One concern we hear again and again from our international families is centered around the cultural sensitivity a particular school has for their students from abroad. It is very important for students to be in an environment where the faculty and staff is aware of and appreciates the diversity and differences overseas students can bring to their campus. Rebecca has been presenting to boarding school audiences and writing articles on this topic for over 17 years, so it comes naturally to her to think about these issues when touring schools. These are also issues that Michelle faced as a Third Culture Kid boarding school student herself. When great distances separate families, it is extremely important everyone feels comfortable about their school choices.
There is a special heartache for the parent of the lonely child. More than academic, athletic, artistic or any other success, parents seem to first want children to feel loved and accepted… to have friends and be invited places, to have a tribe. So, what to do. Is boarding school a good idea for this…read more
Challenge is a part of the normal transition to college. The difficult parts of life are the parts where we learn and grow. And, sometimes students struggle an extraordinary amount and require support. Here are five signs a college student may benefit from extra support: 1. Communication: What is communication with home like? Are students…read more
How do you choose a boarding school with so many good schools throughout the United States, how do you distinguish which one is best suited to your child’s needs? In my work as an educational consultant, I’ve visited more than 200 boarding school campuses, many multiple times. While I have a good sense of most…read more
by Rebecca Grappo, M.Ed, Certified Educational Planner For most families, especially those that live abroad, it is very difficult to visit all of the boarding schools or colleges/ universities in which a student might be interested unless they have a magic carpet, or unlimited time and funds. However, I would argue that a campus visit…read more
A young man, 18, was admitted into a very selective and competitive college. However, having just been diagnosed with ADD, he was overwhelmed with all the independence, lack of structure, freedom, and new responsibilities. By the end of first term, he was nearing failure. It was imperative to get him in touch with student counseling…”
A fifteen year old male student was extremely bright, but also had major struggles with ADD, depression, and behavior issues at school, resulting in numerous suspensions. The relationship at home was fraught with conflict and the family was at the breaking point. He was belligerent about the thought of going to boarding school, and opposed…”
A young man, 15, started looking for a boarding school for his junior and senior years. He had everything going for him – stellar resume, grades, sports, and personality. The conversation focused on just how much academic pressure he was willing to take on. He was adamant he wanted to push himself, and was given…”
A young woman of 17 moved to a remote location for what would have been her senior year of high school. She had never lived overseas before, and her school only offered the International Baccalaureate program. Therefore, she was put back a year to start the IB curriculum. She was miserable, and things finally reached…”
A family with a son who had significant development delays contacted me regarding life as an internationally mobile family and wondered about embarking on such a lifestyle. We spent hours of counseling up front while they were still in their home environments, and the family prepared to homeschool their son, knowing few schools overseas would…”
A family with two employed parents was suddenly separated by an evacuation, leaving them with some important decisions to make quickly regarding the children’s education. The older daughter remained in her boarding school and became the school’s star student; the younger one remained with mom and came back to the U.S. The father remained overseas…”
A sixteen year old girl came to me feeling very depressed and uninspired by school. Her mother was extremely concerned by her lack of engagement. This girl was extremely bright but did not do well in a traditional setting. Her mother said her creative side needed to be encouraged in order to get her engaged…”
I wanted to tell you I spent last weekend in Arizona having a reunion of friends from Beijing days 20 years ago…..and guess who was there…a dear friend…..I said, you don’t happen to know Becky Grappo and her words, exactly, “She saved my life!!!!” I thought you would like to know that….she is in fine…”
Speaking of professionals, please accept my sincere gratitude for your brilliant work. This all really started happening after you challenged our son to give you something concrete to work with. Your strategy was perfectly planned and executed. Good Show!”
I just wanted to thank you for getting me through the most painful and difficult thing I have ever had to do. I know that there is a lot of work to be done but I feel we are finally on the right track. I know that you put a lot of effort into helping…”
My husband and I cannot thank you enough for coming through for our son, when he needed someone like yourself to come for his rescue. Our son is a changed young man – full of confidence and joys of life. It is simply wonderful to see him doing so well and it is all thanks to you.”
My son is doing incredible!! I cannot believe the difference in him. He still has a way to go, but he even knows it and he is just so open and honest with us and himself. I am proud of him. Thank God for all of you that help us realize that we and our kids…”
I will take this opportunity to thank you for all your assistance and support over the last few months. This period could have been most stressful but was not due to your support, cool guidance and highly professional approach.”
I have seen a lot of maturity and sense of responsibility in him. No matter how much I miss him not having him home with the family, both his father and I realize that sending him to boarding school was the best things that we have done for him. The staff is wonderful at his…”
I don’t think I have adequately thanked you for the superb work you did for us this past year. We went from being nowhere, to getting our son into some excellent, superb schools. You should be so proud of what you do, because it’s clearly an art. No rules, but a lot of gut feelings….”
You have already helped him, by giving him hope that his unique voice can be heard and celebrated. Thank you so much for that gift!”
I wanted to thank you for your helpful emails and staying in contact with me even now that I’m in college. I wanted to at least give you a quick reply and let you know that I’m loving it here at my college and feel like it is the perfect place for me. More than anything,…”
I would like to thank you personally for everything you’ve done for our son, actually for both my children. My husband and I were have been suffering (not so silently) for the past month with our son and his essays, or their non-existence. Even though we felt he had good chances of getting in, one…”
I just want to make the point of thanking you formally for all the great work that you did with our son this last year! It was wonderful and so reassuring to know that you were there with him throughout the whole process of university applications. We all know it can be stressful for most and…”
I just wanted to let you know I could not do any of this without you, and I am so thankful for someone that cared enough to help me become successful.”
I gotta say I couldn’t have done it without you.”