Home Away From Home: Hopkinton’s International Students
February 23, 2019
High school can be scary, we all know that, but imagine going to high school in a completely different country with a completely different culture and a completely different language. You still need to learn the material, but it’s so far from home. International students face this dilemma on a daily basis.
This year Hopkinton’s international students represent nine different countries, from Vietnam to Brazil. They all came here with the same purpose: To go to an American school for a year. Mr. Longoria, a special education teacher here at Hopkinton High School, works with various agencies to help pick out the students that will be coming to Hopkinton for the academic year. Working with administration and the agencies a list is created and the incoming international students are given a host family (usually a family who has hosted an international student in the past) and a schedule for their classes.
International students are helped into the swing of Hopkinton High School by the Ambassadors club, a group led by Spanish Teacher Ms. Theis and Mr. Longoria. Their mission statement is “…to welcome our students from around the world to the Hopkinton community, to share their time and experiences, to foster enrichment activities, and to develop understanding for others and their/our culture through the establishment of mutual relationships.”
The club runs an orientation for the international students before school begins, and it’s members are often the first Hopkinton High School students the international students meet. Through the year the club will hold other events revolving around typical New England experiences, things like apple picking in the fall, tubing, and ice skating in the winter, and going to the championship parades for New England sports teams. Holiday parties, like a friends-giving dinner, Valentine’s day candy swap, and a winter break gift exchange, are also arranged.
This piece is compiled from a serious of interviews held over the course of the first semester and the beginning of the second semester with the international students.