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Nacel Open Door Host Family and School Voices


Advisors’ Angle: Winter Holidays. . . . . . . . . . 3

St. Paul Preparatory School (SPP) students are teaming up with community members to knit for a cause.

Introducing: Student Advisor Alena Stewart. . . . . . . . . . . . 4

SPP’s new Knitting Club is teaming up with the St. Paul, Minn. organization Closely Knit to learn to knit and donate hats, mittens, and scarves to organizations that distribute warm clothes to homeless people. A number of club members have begun their own knitting projects in addition to the items to be donated.

Keeping Up with NOD Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Students Share Holiday Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 CultureNotes: Indonesia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

SPP students meet every Monday after school with local knitting mentors from Closely Knit and a few SPP staff and faculty members. The club’s first meeting attracted only two students, but by the very next meeting, there were five students and three mentors. Club organizers expect it to continue to grow this spring.


March 2014: Issue III

In This Issue:

Nacel Open Door Host Family and School Voices

Keeping Up With NOD Programs


Academic Year Program (AYP)

acel Open Door, Inc. (NOD) offers multiple programs in the United States and abroad to meet a variety of cultural and academic goals for students. These programs range in duration from one week to multiple years. The focus of some programs is a complete cultural immersion and exchange, while others are focused more on college preparation.

AYP Coordinators and a contingency of Local Representatives braved the frigid Minnesota temperatures in early February to attend a conference in St. Paul. The conference presentsed opportunities for professional development and idea-sharing among Coordinators, Local Representatives, and National Office staff to better ensure a high quality program for students, Host Families, and schools.

St. Paul Preparatory School (SPP) SPP has been bustling with activity! Students continue to thrive in their internships around the St. Paul community, the new ski club has enjoyed a number of outings, the Math Club finished their final meet of the season in 3rd place, and all students participated in a school-wide Community Outreach Project, teaming up with 10 local organizations for two days of service. To keep up with the many accomplishments and activities at St. Paul Prep, subscribe to the SPP blog!

Private School Program (PSP) Despite frigid temperatures and the threat of snow, 51 prospective students from the Chinese Bridge Program arrived in the U.S. during the month of January. These students were able to visit PSP high schools in the northeast, have an interview with admissions personnel, and interact with American students. We hope to see these students on PSP in the future! NACEL OPEN DOOR EXECUTIVES Board of Directors Dr. Frank Tarsitano, PhD – Chairman Mr. Steve Murphy – Secretary Ms. Alice Murphy – Treasurer Mr. Gerard Avundo Mr. Arnold Franco Mr. Francois Jean Huc Ms. Hilda Jaffe Senior Management Team Dr. Frank Tarsitano, PhD – CEO & President Mr. Richard Banasikowski, MA – Vice President Mr. Jean Burdin – President, Nacel International Mr. Roy S. Nilsson – CFO

Advisory Board Mr. Jean Burdin – President, Nacel International Mr. Pierre Coudry – Interclass Brazil Ms. Toni Cowles – Retired, Lauder Institute at the Wharton School, UPENN Mr. Jaeho Eohm – International Language Forum, Korea Dr. Abraham Ho, DA – Nacel Asia Ms. Marie Jose Huc – CLC This newsletter is a publication of Nacel Open Door, Inc. For more information on NOD programs and opportunities, please call 800-622-3553, or visit our website at Newsletter Production Staff: Director of Operations: Director of Marketing & Communications: Marketing Communications Assistant:


Rae Lenway Shannon Rausch Karina Rajtar

Nacel Open Door Host Family and School Voices


Spring is on its way! The winter this year has been longer than expected, but warmer weather is around the corner. Still, many students may experience homesickness after the excitement of the winter holidays. Students may also feel frustrated because it feels like their program is almost over or because the end of their program feels surprisingly far away. How can you help students overcome the mid-program doldrums? Listen carefully and respectfully to your student’s concerns, if they have any.


Help them come up with some concrete ways to address their concerns. People sometimes make a checklist of things they want to do or accomplish before arriving in the U.S. Ask your students to think about their favorite experiences during the first part of their program. What are they? Were they different that what the students expected? Also, ask your student to think about something that they want to do or try before they leave. Each student may have their own ideas: participating in a sport for the first -3-

time, planning a trip to see more of the country, inviting a friend to spend the night at their house, etc. Encourage them to think of a few options, start planning, keep you up to date and to make the end of their program a positive one. Remind your students to check their Student Handbook or to ask your Local Representative if they have questions about the program rules. If you or your student has any questions or concerns, contact the Advising Department at We look forward to supporting you and your students for the remainder of their program!

March 2014: Issue III

Advisors’ Angle:

Nacel Open Door Host Family and School Voices


The archipelago of Indonesia consists of thousands of islands and is consequently very ethnically diverse, and the country recognizes the value of its people’s differences in the national motto: Unity in Diversity. The majority of Indonesians practice Islam. Muslims do not eat pork, so you will want to keep this in mind with your student. Rice is a staple food for most Indonesians, and fish is prevalent in many Indonesian meals. In personal relationships, Indonesians tend to remain reserved and display few emotions until a true relationship develops. Confrontations are often met with smiles and a quieter demeanor.

In Indonesia, eye contact is generally avoided, patience is valued, and displays of greed are avoided. Indonesians value neatness in grooming and do not generally concern themselves with punctuality, though your student should know that this is valued in the U.S.

Alena Stewart: International Student Advisor

Alena Stewart has a unique privilege few National Office staff members have - she gets to interact directly with students and Host Families on a regular basis. “Getting to know international students and their Host Families is a big highlight of my day,” she says. As an International Student Advisor for the Academic Year Program, Private School Program, and St. Paul Preparatory School, Alena works with students, Host Families, Foreign Partners, and Local Reps to help build relationships, resolve conflicts and misunderstandings, and guide students’ academic progress. Alena earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations/Comparative

Religion from the University of British Columbia in Canada. After college, she spent two years living in Turkmenistan as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She worked in youth leadership and educational development. Alena helped students prepare for college entrance exams, scholarships, and exchange programs; and she led summer camps, afterschool groups, and leadership activities with students. In addition, she helped set up an English Language Resource Centre for the school, worked with teachers to design materials and lessons that incorporated new teaching methodology, and co-wrote a book based on a Turkmen folk legend. Alena has been both a host daughter as well as a host sister, giving her useful experience in talking with NOD students, Host Families, and Local Representatives. Alena can be reached by email at or at ext. 626.

Nacel Open Door National Office 380 Jackson Street, Suite 200 St. Paul, MN 55101 USA

T: 651-686-0080 800-622-3553 F: 651-686-9601


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Mutual assistance and agreement by consensus are important principles guiding life in Indonesia. It is a culture that values working together.


NOD Voices - March 2014  
NOD Voices - March 2014  

A quarterly newsletter for our NOD Host Families and School Partners