Archmere’s student body this year includes four international students from China: Jeffrey Huang ‘20, Ricky Wu ‘21, Mandy Jiang ‘22, and Leo Chang ‘23.
International students begin their application process through recommendations by their teachers and third-party companies who work with international students, such as Renascentia Hall and EduBoston. Next, these third-party companies reach out to US schools, like Archmere, on behalf of these students. The companies help connect the students to these schools, aiding them in sending their transcripts, teacher recommendations, disciplinary records, TOEFL exam scores, etc. After submitting the general requirements, applicants are then interviewed entirely in English by Madame Katie Thiel, chair of the World Languages and Culture department.
“I ask a lot of pointed questions that relate to Archmere: Have they ever read a novel in English before? Have they ever taken a religion class? Do you feel comfortable taking a foreign language, doing a sport, or taking a religion class?”? Thiel said.
These interviews are crucial in determining whether a student can thrive in the Archmere community. Some applicants will prep beforehand, then use formal expressions in their interview and get thrown off when Madame Thiel asks something informally.
After being accepted, international students receive a tour of the school. If the accepted students choose to go to Archmere, they are required to attend Archmere’s Summer Enrichment program to help get them settled into Archmere before school starts, and the third party companies will then aid them in securing a host family.
Most of Archmere’s current international students went to school here in Delaware before attending Archmere. Jeffrey Huang attended The Independence School, and Mandy Jiang attended Skyline Middle School. However, international students like freshman Leo Chang didn’t live in the United States prior to going to Archmere.
“Once, I went to Boston and New York before living here in the United States,” Chang said.
Archmere requires its students to take a foreign language for at least three years; this is no exception for the international students. International students cannot take the foreign language of their country of origin, which would be too easy for them. Three out of the four international students are taking Spanish. However, Jiang chose French over Spanish, claiming she had taken Spanish in eighth grade but decided it wasn’t for her after having a bad teacher.
“It was pretty tough at first but luckily I think Spanish is a very similar language to English which definitely helped,” Huang said.
Although the majority of international students have come from China, the Admissions office looks forward to expanding this program with other countries.