AFS Welcomes 13 Students from Mainland China
This year, Abington Friends Upper School community welcomed 13 international students. These newest members of the student body are natives of mainland China and come to us through Ivy International. The students reside at The Plaza Apartments in Jenkintown, where they live under the guidance of Anthony Cestare and Maggie Dziopko who are employed by Ivy International and serve as their parents in absentia. On-site ESL (English as a Second Language) support and college admissions guidance are available to the students through the program as well.
On Monday, August 22, the students attended AFS pre-season athletic practices where they had the opportunity to meet, play and speak with more than 80 AFS athletes who answered their questions about various sports and AFS athletics in general.
The following week, the students met with their Upper School host families at a reception held Tuesday, August 30, at AFS. These families have offered to welcome our international students into their homes for family meals and get-togethers on a regular basis throughout the school year, the students’ first in the U.S.
Bill Newman, Director of Admissions and Tuition Assistance at AFS, said competition for admission was quite steep, with 35 Ivy International students seeking the 13 available slots at AFS. “These students and their families were attracted by the deeper and more comprehensive nature of our school’s curriculum and were looking for an opportunity to explore the kind of lateral thinking we do here, the way in which we look at problems from many different, novel or creative angles, instead of tackling them in the head-on, or linear, fashion to which Chinese students are accustomed.” He noted that the small class sizes, strong student-teacher relationships and focus on service that are hallmarks of an AFS education held great appeal for the students and their families as well.
The partnership between AFS and Ivy International makes for an exciting and interesting beginning to the 2011 school year, one sure to be filled with new friendships, new learning and new opportunities for everyone in the AFS community.