Numerous studies have shown that international students benefit from their time on American campuses. However, according to research by Duke University, American students who actively interact with international students benefit from the experience as well. Not only do American students learn about foreign cultures, the interaction with the international students enhances their self-confidence, leadership, and quantitative skills. In addition, according to the Duke study, American students who interact with international students are more likely to appreciate art and literature as adults and learn to read or speak a foreign language.
With these advantages in mind, St. Joseph School recently hosted eight students from the AIDI International School of China. The eight students, who ranged in age from 8 years old to 13 years old, attended classes at St. Joseph School for one- or two-week sessions. Hosted by St. Joseph School families, the Chinese students had the opportunity to attend daily classes and interact with St. Joseph School students and teachers. Their stays included fun activities, such as Monsignor Czarnecki’s birthday celebration and St. Joseph School basketball games. While participating in the classrooms, the Chinese students shared aspects of the Chinese language and culture with the St. Joseph School students. They enjoyed teaching their new friends characters from the Chinese alphabet, fun sayings in Chinese, and how to count. Their stays culminated with an exchange of gifts and lots of hugs. It was evident that the visit from the AIDI International School students was enjoyed by all.
In 2016, St. Joseph School received certification from the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to host international students. The school hopes to continue to offer this incredible cultural experience to visiting students as well as their own families.