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School Life

Stoneleigh-Burnham is dedicated to exposing all of our students to diversity of culture, place and people because we know that success in the 21st century is dependent on tolerance and international-mindedness. We welcome students from all over the world and feel that it is imperative to provide our international and domestic students with supports to assist in their learning of cultural diversity.

The International Program encompasses many levels of commitment to multicultural education. Every aspect of our curriculum, from a student’s introduction to Stoneleigh-Burnham during the admissions process continuing the whole way through our graduation ceremony, is grounded in a strong commitment to fostering a truly global community.

International Program

International Admissions
International students will begin the Admissions process with Julia Bannister, our Associate Director of Admissions. Julia assists international students and their parents navigate the entire process from application to enrollment. Julia works closely with educational consultants as well. International students who wish to inquire or apply to Stoneleigh-Burnham are welcome to contact Julia at jbannister@sbschool.org or 413-774-2711 x242.

Orientation
All Stoneleigh-Burnham students come to campus a few days before school begins to participate in orientation. Domestic students receive training in understanding cultural differences they might encounter with their classmates and how to welcome and understand the unique needs of international students while they adjust to life in a new country and new school.

International student orientation begins a few days before school starts and continues throughout the first month of school. International students will work closely with the International Program Directors, Li Jing and Jess Durfey, who are available to help international students throughout the year as they adjust to boarding school life in the United States. International students can expect to receive training in classroom etiquette and procedures, dining habits, academic honesty, and cross-cultural understanding. All incoming international students will take an English placement test during orientation.

Sharing Cultures
International students are an important part of our whole school community, and they help to educate all of us about the rest of the world. While it is important for international students to become assimilated into our school, they will also have many opportunities to share their cultures with others. Some of these include international meals, exhibits, entertainment, cooking, the opportunity to present information about their cultures at small gatherings and, of course, sharing their knowledge in the classrooms. International students will also meet regularly with the directors of the International Program to discuss plans for the year and any issues that need to be addressed.

Throughout the year the International Program coordinates school-wide theme weeks focused on different parts of the world. During these weeks, international students give presentations about their home countries during Housemeeting in which they share customs, dance, food, and games from their home countries. The Dining Hall will often work with students to serve foods from students’ home countries during these theme weeks.

International students are also given many opportunities to experience the culture of the United States outside of Stoneleigh-Burnham. We offer excursions to local areas of interest, dinners at faculty homes, and outings to ethnic restaurants of choice in surrounding areas to help international students immerse more fully in our local community. Throughout the year, faculty members take weekend trips to places like Boston and New York for sightseeing and shopping.

Culture Buddy Program
International students are paired with a domestic student (a culture buddy) who contacts them by email over the summer so they can get to know each other even before the new student arrives on campus. The Culture Buddy program goals are to integrate international students into the SBS community, to create lasting and rewarding friendships between domestic and international students, and to encourage cross-cultural understanding and communication.

English Language Learning
Our English Language (EL) program serves students whose English-language abilities range from intermediate to advanced. The program consists of EL support in the Middle School and Intermediate and Advanced EL in the Upper School. All incoming international students will take an English placement test during orientation.

College Counseling for International Students
Beginning in 11th grade, international students will work closely with College Counselor Lauren Cunniffe, who is knowledgeable and experienced in the needs of international students applying to college. Parents who wish to learn more about the College Counseling support at Stoneleigh-Burnham should click here.

Travel to/from Stoneleigh-Burnham for International Students
The school makes every effort to publish each year’s calendar early enough to facilitate travel arrangements for the following academic year. All students are required to follow our published calendar with regard to arrival and departure dates. Please note these dates when making travel arrangements. Any late returns or early departures, unless for an emergency, will not be excused. Updated calendars may always be found in the Parents section of our website.

Passports and I-20s
I-20 forms will be issued upon acceptance to the school. All passports and I-20s should be given to Julia Bannister, who will store them in the school safe. They will be returned to the student before traveling.