International trips are a piece of the boarding school admission world. International students are an integral part of the American boarding school fabric but, exactly how, and why, international students and families seek, connect, and choose boarding schools remains a little foggy.
Stacie Grant, Director of Development at San Domenico School (CA) is blogging while on the current TABS Asia recruiting trip. Her thoughts and insights show that, in Asia, she doing exactly the same things that school admission and external relations officers do domestically- meeting with prospective families, making the case for boarding eduction, and keeping connected with current and alumni families.
As a fan of American education, it’s interesting to see how well boarding school and potential access to American higher education is both regarded and sell abroad. In many ways, American education continues the envy of the world.
Ms. Grant’s first blog post from Asia (Ni hao from China):
As part of the TABS recruiting fair, San Domenico is meeting students in five cities, conducting interviews and meeting with current parents. We have attended this fair for the past few years, and it’s abundantly clear that high school in the US is a much-sought after dream. We are proud to be representatives of San Domenico here, and excited about the dynamic students were are meeting. We also treasure the opportunity to connect with our current parents where they live, and to stengthen our relationships to last a lifetime.
Let me tell you what we’ve been up to:
Shanghai: our first stop, an incredible city with rich history, made new again by the 2010 World Expo. China updated the airport (lovely), the metro (never got a chance to ride it), and the city’s streets and buildings. The fair was, in a word, mobbed. We ran out of all our materials, all of our business cards, and in the process met a lot of very well qualified students, prepared with their transcripts and letters of reccommendation. Earlier in the day I had three interviews with referrals from our current families, and Betta did another seven interviews during and after the fair, and then next day as well. We had a wonderful lunch with parents, overlooking the huangpo river, and it’s safe to say we didn’t want to leave Shanghai.
However, the pace of this fair is boom-boom, so we hopped a plane to our next destination, Beijing. Busy again! There are an average of fifty schools at each fair, so candidates walk around to the tables, ask questions, and pick up materials. We met students who were top piano players, percussionists, entrepeneurs. After the fair, we had a chance to walk around, and we even successfully wrangled a taxi back (much more challenging than you would think). To me Beijing is like Washington DC, and Shanghai is New York City…both are wonderful. Our Beijing families took us for a Peking duck dinner—incredible!
— Stacie Grant, Director of Development