First Annual International Student Dessert
by Ashley Bae on Friday, February 10th, 2012
On Thursday February 2nd, Milton Academy held its first International Student Dessert in Wigg. For an hour and a half, about 60 international students at Milton gathered to discuss the pros and cons of being an international student.Before the event took place, a committee of Milton faculty sent out a preliminary survey via email to get international students’ feedback.
For the first fifteen minutes, the international students wrote responses to prompts concerning everything from the admissions process to vacations, placing these responses on poster boards along the walls of Wigg Hall. Students were then asked to place a checkmark next to the responses they agreed with.
After the initial writing exercise, the students were divided into smaller groups of ten, in which students could discuss and expand on the questions. The group discussions covered a wide range of topics including travelling (e.g. ticketing, jetlag), the difficulty of setting up cell phones and getting an American phone number, the usefulness or necessity of host families, equal grading harshness for native English speakers and non-native speakers, the lack of emphasis on applying to international colleges, and the arguably disruptive change in teaching style (e.g. from a lecture to discussion-based classroom).
One anonymous student said he/she felt as if everyone “complained [rather] than [thought] about possible solutions to problems.” Yet, there seemed to be a general consensus about the value of the International Student Dessert, as the international students found the Dessert to be “worthwhile” because international students could “vent” with fellow international students and finally feel heard by the faculty. Some students even hoped that Milton would implement an ISP (International Student Program), which would be similar to Milton’s current Transitions program for minorities before the beginning of the school year.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=2693