International Student Program Since 2009, we have welcomed students from different countries to study for four years and graduate from Moreau. This year, 61 international students representing Vietnam and China can be found on campus. Moreau faculty, staff and families welcome the students into their home as host families. Two students, junior Renkang “Ken” Chen and senior Shijia “Alexia” Chen shared their experiences, as well as Laura Zaro, a host parent of a Moreau alumnus, alumni parent and cross country coach.
Renkang “Ken” Chen ’18
backgrounds make finding common topics and interests challenging, especially for someone a little nerdy and into drones and aerodynamics like me.
How did you choose to study here? I always looked up to the education environment outside of China. So, I brought it up to my parents one day that I want to study abroad where the curve of study difficulty and stress is more suited to the growth curve of human brain capabilities, and they gave their support — so here I am.
What have you been involved with at Moreau? I am on the varsity tennis team. I took visual arts and drawing and do aerial videography outside of school. I have Moreau Hangar, my own club about model aviation, and I joined the Photography Club. I just joined the math team that competes in HiMCM (High School Mathematical Contest of Modelling). And, I am part of student government and the ISP program.
What do you like most and least about the U.S.? I like that things are much more open and transparent. For instance, here people don’t get blocked from the very resourceful Google and uncensored social media; people are granted more rights and treated with respect. What I like least is probably those superstitious people that yell at me when I fly drones in a totally empty park just because the park is in front of their house. What do you miss most about your home country? Definitely the cheap transportation. Seriously, in China an 8-mile taxi ride costs 5 USD; riding 20 stations in a metro/subway costs 2 USD; and average fare for a bus is 0.3 USD. And, of course, I miss my relatives and my very best friends. What has been the most academically challenging portion of your immersion experience in the U.S.? APUSH (AP U.S. History) and Honors English 11. Though my English is good enough to disguise me as a native speaker (students didn’t know I was from China unless I mentioned it), I am a little overwhelmed by massive
loads of critical reading, writing and understanding. What do you remember most about your freshman year? Freshman year was really about adapting and learning to build up confidence. Looking back, I barely made any friends. I don’t even know why I didn’t go ahead and take steps toward building up my social circle and participating in events, despite the super warm community and my being completely capable. Had I taken those steps, school life would definitely have been much more fun.
What are your goals after you leave Moreau? Naturally, from my hobbies, interests, and passion, I want to be an aeronautical engineer and designer, as well as a FPV (First Person View) drone pilot. I am considering a career as a teacher, as I found myself good at explaining and instructing. Maybe one day I would return here and start an AP Physics II class or a class that deals with drones and remote control models.
What have been some of the highlights of your experience here? Many greet me by my full name, Ken Chen, every day and it feels wonderful. Also, the casual dances, which have a great atmosphere and felt phenomenal to hang out at, enjoy music, and see people show their moves. Student government because it fills me with awe to meet great people with prominent skills that stimulate growth from me.
Shijia “Alexia” Chen ’18
What other facets of your Moreau experience have been challenging? Probably hanging out with domestic students. The very different cultural
What do you like most and least about the U.S.? What I like most is the diversity. There are people from different backgrounds
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How did you choose to study here? I came to the U.S. because my aunt came to the U.S. for college. She told me the life here as a student is fun and fruitful. Thus, I’ve been curious about the U.S. since I was a child.