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In Search of A Super Cool School

International students visit as part of a nationwide trip to find a U.S. school for next year.

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At this time of the year, most students long for summer break when there’s no school and the days are free to be spent relaxing. But for some Chinese students, whose schools are currently on an extended break, this time is being spent in school—American schools.

Nine students from China spent time here in early February as part of an international exchange student program. They have been traveling across the United States visiting a variety of different schools looking for a place to study next year. They visited here for a day and a half, longer than at any other school, shadowing current students and getting an idea of the culture here. Four of the nine students were in Middle School, and the rest in High School, and all got to see a whole new side of education.

The students came from the A+ Learning Center, a Christian school in Beijing. They have been looking for Christian schools in the U.S. with a similar quality of education, and their time here held a strong interest for them.

“PCA has earned a great reputation in China as being an excellent Christian school that has great academics and a very welcoming and caring school body,” said Middle School Assistant Principal Phil Armstrong, who is actively involved with the international students in the school community.

The visiting students noted differences on their visit. Eighth grade student David Zhao said, “In China, school starts earlier and ends later. And instead of traveling from class to class, we stay in one room, and the teachers take turns.”

The students liked the new kind of atmosphere they experienced here. They found the environment to be less intense, and there were many more classes to choose from.

“There’s less homework, and the friends are nice,” said visiting Eighth grade student John Jiang.

David said, “Here, there’s more freedom, more subjects available to learn and more fun.”

It was also an interesting experience for the host students. John shadowed Jake Montgomery, who is also in Eighth grade. Jake said, “Hosting him was different than hosting an American student because he came from a completely different culture, where the things they do are different from what we do. So, some of the things that he talked about I had never even heard of before. It was very fun letting him shadow me.”

The experience was a learning opportunity for both this school and the Chinese students, who greatly enjoyed their time here.

Mr. Armstrong said, “They loved it. They actually said that of all the schools they visited—they thought PCA was the best.”

Come next fall, they may be walking the halls as the newest part of the Lion community.

 

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