Arriving to a country that is foreign to you is an overwhelming experience. We understand that for all of our students arriving over these next few weeks, as excited as they are to experience American life, they most likely also have some anxiety and apprehensions. In this newsletter, we hope to share advice with you to pass along to your students. Our hope is that we can help relieve their stress and make their transition more enjoyable.
Placement Exams and Registration:
Most schools require students to take placement exams in core subjects like English and Math. Some will do this during orientation, while others may do this on their first day of school. Placement exams, although they sound scary, are nothing for students to worry about. They are used by high schools in the U.S. to determine the level of classes students can succeed in. Or, if they’re able to test out of any required classes.
This is important for many reasons: it allows students to take classes that they’re more likely to pass, it surrounds them by peers with similar academic abilities, it boosts their confidence in other areas (socially and emotionally), and it encourages them to keep speaking and practicing their English.
We are often asked, “can students register prior to arriving?” The answer is, few schools will permit this. Schools have the students best interest in mind, so if a school ever pushes back and denies a student a specific course request or demand, there is usually good reason. If your students do need specific courses to fulfill graduation requirements back home, let your International Sales Consultant know as soon as possible. CIEE is happy to check if specific classes are being offered and if any additional testing requirements are required.
Vaccination Requirements and Physicals:
Schools that are diligent will review the Statement of Health Form and any vaccination records that you submitted to CIEE. When schools review your student’s records, there may be additional shots that are required before students can start taking classes. Each state in the U.S. has different requirements, so don’t be alarmed if different students are asked to receive different types of exams or shots.
We know that certain states tend to be stricter, including California, Massachusetts, and Michigan. In most cases, your Enrollment Specialist will hear from the school prior to arrival and let you know about anything that is missing that would interfere with their ability to start school.
In the event your student does need something additional, they should work closely with their host family or contact the CIEE Support Team to book doctor’s visits as soon as they arrive. Try to have your students arrive earlier if several shots are needed in the U.S. As a rule of thumb, it’s always better if students fulfill health requirements before they travel to the U.S. as CIEE insurance is not designed to cover vaccinations. Any shots or exams in the U.S. will be the student's responsibility to cover.
As if taking exams, getting shots, and flying thousands of miles from home weren’t enough, the language, pace of life, and food are all different! All students experience culture shock to some degree, especially those that are younger or less exposed to traveling abroad. Here are some helpful tips to manage those first few months abroad:
Some great articles on culture shock are linked below to pass along as well:
How To Deal With Culture Shock While Studying Abroad
10 Tips For Dealing With Culture Shock and Homesickness
We hope all your students have a great kick-off to their academic year in the U.S.!