Discussion groups

Monday, April 16 • 3:40 - 4:45PM

A Discussion on the Role of a Designated School Official (DSO)
International student advisers wear many hats including teaching, coaching, dorm parents and DSO! In your DSO role, you are responsible for helping students maintain their status and your school’s compliance. Join us for a discussion on understanding your role as DSO, as well as share challenges and issues. What resources do you have to help you do your job? We will look at where and how to obtain professional development training and resources.

Joann Ng Hartmann, Senior Director, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, DC

College Dreams: Supporting Chinese Students and Families Through the College Process
Chinese international students are an undeniable presence in independent schools.Yet, the college conversation is one that produces anxiety not only for students and their families, but also for faculty, college counselors, and school leaders. This discussion will challenge the reductionist narrative about Chinese familial expectations for college and unravel the complexities that both students and families consider when thinking about the college application process.

Tina Yen, Dean of International Students, Abington Friends School, PA


Considerations When “Opening Up a Country”
Interested in diversifying your international student population? Would you like to open a new country but not sure how to go about it?  Have you already opened some countries but feel like you only know half the tricks of the trade and would like to consider other ideas?  Join us for a community brainstorming session. We will gather the collective wisdom of the group to create, organize, and discuss how to open a country. We will cover points for consideration prior to travel, while in country, as well as post-travel follow up. You will get your creative juices flowing with some brainstorming exercises then we will unleash you on making the job of opening a country more efficient, productive, and painless. Get ready to see post-it notes on every surface in the room!

Joshua Clark, Director of External Relations, Hawai'i Preparatory Academy, HI


Healthcare and Health Insurance for K-12 International Students in the USA
Healthcare for K-12 international students in the USA is not easy. Join this discussion to understand health insurance terminology and processes, and become familiar with international student & parent misperceptions about US healthcare & health insurance. Learn to mitigate these misperceptions, and identify the benefits & services most important to have in a student health insurance policy.

Chris Wacker, Director of High School Enrollment, PSI International Student Health Insurance, VA
Stephane Allagnon, Director of International and Global Connections, Woodward Academy Upper School, GA


Fostering a Global Community by Empowering Student Leaders
International students can be an underutilized resource for developing intercultural competencies in our schools. How can we foster meaningful dialogue between students from different cultural and regional groups that challenges each student to examine her own cultural assumptions? As one model, we will examine Foxcroft School's International Ambassadors, a student leadership program designed to build global competencies in the dorms, in the classroom, and in the community. We will discuss best practices for educating responsible global citizens and practical steps for program implementation by sharing experiences and learning from each other.

Rebecca Wise, Director of International Student Services, Foxcroft School, VA


Life Prep vs. College PrepRecommended Readings
Harvard says “It is common to encounter even the most successful students, who have won all the 'prizes,' stepping back and wondering if it was all worth it. Professionals in their thirties and forties - physicians, lawyers, academics, business people and others - sometimes give the impression that they are dazed survivors of some bewildering life-long boot-camp. Some say they ended up in their profession because of someone else’s expectations, or that they simply drifted into it without pausing to think whether they really loved their work. Often they say they missed their youth entirely, never living in the present, always pursuing some ill-defined future goal.”

Is being a college-prep school a bad thing? What about education they can use now, not just things they need to get into college? 

If students are only studying for the GPA, are we really preparing them for college or just to get into college?

Mark Siegel, Assistant Headmaster,Delphian School, OR


Supporting International Students: Stories from Campus
Independent schools, day and boarding, have woven international students into their community. Whether this is a new venture or a continuing practice in your school, working with international student populations bring different challenges to schools. Metta Dael, Director of International Admission at Northfield Mount Hermon, and Michael Shaver, Director of International Market Growth of TABS, will be hosting an open discussion to learn about what issues are emerging and how schools are managing them. Share your stories ranging from student life to advancement to faculty support. The future goal is to provide schools with resources and tools to address the most prominent issues presented.

Metta Dael, Director of International Admission, Northfield Mount Hermon, MA
Michael Shaver, Director of International Market Growth, TABS, NC


Targeted Approach: Using Your School's International Outreach to Leverage Constructive Conversations on Community, Culture, and Respect
IYearly, we send students abroad to experience and learn about the world outside of the context of their home and our classrooms. These adventures are most impactful when they come home and then, process and react to their own culture. Students are not only impacted by what they experience while outside of our classroom walls but they are also influenced by the students that come to us from around the world to share their perspectives. Please come and join us as we discuss ways to utilize our students’ global experiences to create a community of inclusivity and respect.

Sarah Walker, Director of International Programs, St. Paul's School, MD
Simon Ponce, Director for Inclusive Community, St. Paul's School, MD