International schools on both sides of the border

International schools on both sides of the border

During the duration of my Freshman year at Colby College, I repetitively heard some of my teammates on the basketball team talk about research they partake in for Professor Adam Howard who is the basketball team’s liaison and the director of the Education department at Colby College.  I quickly learned about the topic of the research program; Global citizenship within different elite schools across the globe.  The countries with schools that were/are being analyzed for research include Australia, Chile, Denmark, Ghana, Jordan, and Taiwan.  Not only did the diversity of this project catch my eye, but also the ability for some of my teammates to travel to various countries to conduct research hands-on was something that I couldn’t believe.  Immediately, I knew I wanted to be apart of the research team.  Towards the end of Freshman year, I was wondering if I was also allowed to participate in this research project?  During my final meeting of the year with Professor Howard, I was given the opportunity to contribute to the research team.  Immediately, I accepted the offer.  Over the fall semester of my Sophomore year, I have been transcribing many recorded interviews. This has not only helped me improve my typing speed, but also has allowed me to build a foundation which will eventually allow me to dive deeper into this research project.


After my Sophomore year at Tenafly High School, I made the decision to transfer to Cheshire Academy, a private independent boarding school in Connecticut.  Cheshire opened my eyes wider than I ever imagined.  The school was over 60% international with students from countries such as China, Nigeria, Dubai, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, and Israel.  The list goes on and on.  In addition, Cheshire Academy was one of the only New England Boarding schools that offered the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.  The IB program has a different style of learning that involves thinking critically, asking challenging questions, and developing research skills.  Also, the IB program encourages all students to examine both local and global contexts while at the same time develops multilingual students.  The IB program at Cheshire was considered more rigorous than the AP program.  The IB offered higher level two year courses (HL) and standard level single year courses (SL).   While my time at Cheshire, I took several IB classes such as IB HL History, IB HL English and, IB SL Chemistry.  Going to an “international High School” in America was a great experience because it not only taught me how to interact with different types of people but also how to live with them. Living with people from all over the world in a dorm for the duration of the school year was something that definitely took a while for me to get used to.  However, I was introduced to many cultures without the cost of traveling.  Not only did I socialize with these individuals in the dorm, I also interacted with these international students in the classroom and on the athletic fields.





While transcribing interviews for this research project, I learned that several of these international schools were in fact very similar to my Prep School.  These international schools were comparable to Cheshire both inside and outside the classroom.  For example, the daily curriculum for many of these schools had a IB diploma program similar to my prep school.  Also, both these international schools and my prep school had international professors.  For example, one of my teachers at Cheshire was from Argentina.  One of the teachers at the Jordanian school  was from America.  Also, many of these international schools had a wide variety of students from different backgrounds.  One of the school’s in Jordan had students from different socio-economic and religious backgrounds which in some cases created hostility but also taught students how to interact with each other and set aside their religious differences.  This occurred at Cheshire as well.


Extracurricular activities in these international schools also appeared to be similar to Cheshire.  At Cheshire everyone was required to play a sport per season.  One of the schools in Australia also required students to play sports.  There was variation in the level of competition and dedication that students wanted to devote to their sport.  Cheshire also had a wide variety of options for sports team’s such as Varsity, JV, Thirds, and Fourths.  Also, Cheshire and these international schools both had students participate in community service to help give back to the community.  For example, Cheshire had me work at a food bank and at a local church.  Some of these global schools also had their students participate in community service, such as raising money for local charities and helping local communities.  Also, Cheshire and these various worldly schools have comparable athletic schedules.  Although some of the sports played at these international schools differed, sports at both Cheshire and these global schools was played immediately following school and allowed students to have a break from their studies while interacting with their classmates.  Overall, this research has displayed many similarities between my “international high school” and these global elite schools.