International Students

Home Away From Home

Having Success Abroad

At RNG International, we firmly believe that there are many similarities when working with and advising all types of students whether domestic, international or Third Culture Kids (TCKs). However, there are many ways in which the needs of international students and TCKs are unique.

Some years ago, the Advisory Committee to the College Counseling Certificate program at the University of California – Irvine approached Rebecca and asked her to create a course for consultants on how to work with international students. She designed the course and continues to train and mentor consultants who want to expand their work in this field. The issues she identified as being unique to international students and TCKs include:

  • cultural considerations
  • understanding American universities and colleges from a foreign point-of-view
  • adjustment issues
  • how different universities approach international recruiting and care for their students throughout the process
  • procedures for the application process which heavily lean on American systems to make it happen
  • obtaining transcripts and letters of recommendations, even in different languages
  • writing essays
  • financial concerns
  • obtaining student visas
  • transitioning to American universities from abroad

In-Depth Experience

Rebecca has lived in 10 countries outside of the United States. Curing that time, she was on the faculty of American international school and worked on education issues for the U.S Department of State. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) as well as the Ethics Committee. Previously she was the chairperson of the Global Consulting Committee and the Schools Committee for IECA. She is currently a member of the International Association of College Admissions Counselors (IACAC), the Higher Education Consultants Association, and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). Rebecca has led the International Taskforce for IECA and is an active member on the Advisory Board of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation where she gives an annual college workshop. Rebecca has also served also on the board of directors of the Families in Global Transition. She has raised her three young adult children abroad and is very much aware of the unique issues related to TCKs. Her reputation for working with international students and TCKs is widely recognized by the families she has worked with and by her professional peers. You can read more about her bio here.

Interested in learning more? Read our blogs about international students and TCKs.

news / blog
When your child isn’t making friends — boarding school?
June 12, 2019

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…

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Five Signs a College Student may Benefit from Extra Support
May 22, 2019

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…

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Six Questions to Ask When Choosing the Right Boarding School
May 22, 2019

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…

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10 Most Important Things To Look For In The Campus Visit – Especially If You Live Overseas
April 12, 2019

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…

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Testimonials

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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!

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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….

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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!

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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I gotta say I couldn’t have done it without you.

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