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Nacel Open Door Host Family and School Voices

nod vOICES 29 Years at NOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Advisors’ Angle: Welcoming Students . . . . . . . . . 2 Calling all Student Bloggers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Introducing: * Travel Coordinator Stephanie Johnson . . . . . . .7 Keeping Up with NOD Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-7 St. Paul Prep; Celebrating 10 Years . . . . . . 5 Tidbits: * CultureNotes, Brazil . . . . . .7


s students are settling in and Host Families are getting to know their new exchange students, now is the time to share a few Travel Policy reminders. •

Please communicate this to your students early in the year so they are prepared to send in their travel forms in a timely manner.

AYP students

Students are approved to travel only after they receive an approval email from the National Office.

Verbal approval from host or natural parents does not mean travel is approved Submitting required forms does not mean travel is approved

Are not permitted to travel with their natural family until after the New Year. Must remain with their host families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

PSP students • Are NOT allowed to travel alone unless the student is • Students should submit a travel traveling to a scheduled colproposal as soon as they are lege visit, OR the student will aware of travel plans. Please be met by an approved adult encourage students to submit the 25 years or older. travel proposal right away, even if • Are permitted to travel with they are still following up on other their natural family with paperwork. The earlier we receive approval from the National forms, the better. Office. • Students should submit holiday • May travel apart from their travel paperwork as early as families over Thanksgiving possible to ensure approval. This and Christmas, with prior year, paperwork submitted less than approval from the National seven days before Thanksgiving or Office. Christmas may be denied.


September 2013: Issue II

In This Issue:


Nacel Open Door Partner Voices

Travel Policy


• Students may face the following consequences for traveling without approval: •

Travel warning: student will receive a written warning to inform them they have broken Nacel Open Door policy. Breaking policy may result in travel probation. A copy of this letter will be sent to the host family; local representative, coordinator, student advisor, and foreign partner. Travel probation: student will receive another written warning to inform them that they have broken Nacel Open Door policy and all future travel will be denied. A copy of this letter must be signed by the student, host family, and local representative; a copy of this letter will be sent to the foreign partner to share with the natural parents. If students do not follow travel policies for the school year, the student’s program status will be reviewed. Their program status may be placed on probation or terminated.

If your student has any questions about their approval status, or any questions related to travel while on program, please encourage the student to contact our Travel Coordinatior at

Travel with host families. Effective immediately, travel with host families 2 nights or shorter within the U.S. will no longer require travel paperwork. This means host families will be able to travel with their students over the weekend without prior notification to the National Office. If a trip will last 3 nights or more, students should submit a travel proposal to the National Office. We want this information on file in the event of an emergency, either domestically or abroad.

Travel with adults 25 years or older and the 30-mile radius host community. Although we will continue to define “host community” as a 30-mile radius from home, we are open to evaluating exceptions on a case-by-case basis. There are cases in which we will allow rural students to travel further than 30 miles from their host home, or with a driver who is not yet 25, for certain same-day activities. If you feel that a certain activity warrants an exception, contact our Travel Coordinator . These exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and still must be approved through the National Office. Our intent is to ensure student safety to the best of our ability, not to limit students’ access to American life.

AYP Travel Policy Update: Based on feedback from local reps and host families, Nacel Open Door is announcing adjustments to our domestic travel policies for students of the Academic Year Program, effective immediately.

Advisors’ Angle: WELCOMing students

Welcome to the Nacel Open Door community! The first few months of fall can be an exciting time for Host Families and schools as they welcome new students from all over the world.

Each student has a different personality, background and level of English knowledge. It’s normal for some students to feel very comfortable expressing themselves at first. Other students may prefer to listen and observe as they grow comfortable in their new surroundings. Speaking another language and being surrounded by a new culture can be overwhelming at times. The transition process may take longer than expected – students will be adjusting to the culture for the entire school year! Be open-minded and patient with personality and cultural differences.

Host Families and Local Representatives can support students in many ways. Including students in family or community activities can help them feel welcome and comfortable. What places or experiences in the community do they want to share? What has the student shown interest in? A family camping trip, a barbeque, a sports game, or cooking a meal together? Doing things together at the start of the program can begin to establish a supportive relationship between a Host Family and student. Host Families will be prepared to adjust their expectations for the rest of the year as they get to know their student better. NOD handbooks, the NOD website and blogs, Local Representatives, and the Advising Team are good resources for Host Families with questions about language, -2-

program rules, academic performance, or cultural adjustment. Students can reach out to their Local Representatives or the Advising Team when they need someone to talk to about their hopes and concerns at school, at home, or in general. We welcome these questions and conversations. Talking about these concerns to someone can help prevent issues from escalating. The Advising Team wishes all Host Families, schools, and students the very best year! We look forward to supporting everyone a they adjust to their new experiences.

Nacel Open Door Host Family and School Voices


ince the fall semester of 2011, the Private School Program (PSP) has offered a Student Blogger internship opportunity. Beginning this fall, students on the Academic Year Program (AYP) have the same opportunity.

The PSP and AYP blogs exist to bring students and Host Families together, to share experiences, and to offer helpful information and advice. Posts from students serve all three of these purposes. We therefore always encourage students to share their experiences through the blogs. A select few, however, will have the chance to regularly write blog posts for a full semester. Student Bloggers are required to submit one blog entry each month about anything related to their time in the U.S. This can help Host Families better understand students’ perspectives and help students better understand that they are not alone in many of the adjustments international students go through. It also offers students the ability to share some of the new activities they have tried in the U.S.

In return, Student Bloggers will receive a certificate upon completion of the internship and their own pages on the blogs to showcase all of their blog posts in one location. Writing regular blog posts will give students extra practice in using the English language and an impressive addition to future college applications. Students interested in applying for the Student Blogger internship will be asked to submit a sample blog entry about either the student’s arrival to the U.S. or about preparing to leave for the U.S. These sample entries will be posted to the blog to allow all students the opportunity to showcase their efforts. Students not selected as Student Bloggers are still encouraged to participate in the blogs as often as they would like. Submissions for the PSP blog should be emailed to, and submissions for the AYP blog should be emailed to

29 years at nod

Nearly 30 years ago, Carmen Pucheu was an English teacher with a passion for international education. (She had studied abroad twice, in France at age 19 and in Austria in graduate school). When the original international student advisor at her school took a pregnancy leave, Carmen took over advising and placing students as a Local Representative In 1993, Carmen made student exchange her full-time job as a Coordinator and Regional Director.

How to apply

Subject line of email: Student Blogger application – “Your Name” Application questions – Please type directly in email: 1. Full name 2. Home country 3. Email address 4. Grade in school 5. For PSP students, number of years previously spent studying in U.S.

Attach to email:

• Sample blog entry about either your arrival to the U.S. or your preparation for a semester/ year in the U.S. This must be at least 250 words long.

• At least one photo to correspond with your blog entry, attached as a JPEG file. Please include descriptions /captions for the photos in your email. Applications without photos will not be considered.

Send application:

• Private School Program: • Academic Year Program:


Wednesday, September 25

In those 29 years, Carmen has helped place - either directly or indirectly through the Local Reps she oversees - more than 1,000 Academic Year Program (AYP) students. She has aided students in their cultural transitions, offered advice to Host Families, and provided direction and assistance to Local Reps, who then guide their own students and Host Families. Carmen is leaving a legacy by helping others promote international understanding and language education in their own communities. To read more about Carmen’s nearly 30 years at NOD, visit www.nacelayp.wordpress. com/2013/06/06/carmen.

“Foreign exchange work has been my life story for 29 years,” she says. -3-

Carmen Pucheu and Miguel, a former exchange student from Argentina

September 2013: Issue II


Nacel Open Door Partner Voices

Keeping Up With NOD Programs


acel Open Door, Inc. (NOD) offers multiple programs in the United States and abroad to meet a variety of cultural and academic goals for all 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.



We wish to extend our best wishes to all of our new students who are beginning their academic experience with us in public and private schools across the United States. This fall, we are happy to welcome students from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and Venezuela. We look forward to spending an exciting year learning about each others’ cultures. A great way to start this process is to invite your student to talk about their daily life at home. Maybe they can share a favorite food with you, or teach you how to play a favorite game. Maybe they can share some folklore from their country or explain how their school system works. Talking and sharing perspectives is what this experience is all about! The sharing should also be mutual. Students are staying in 29 different states this year. That’s a lot of diversity right here within our Host Families. Share your local customs, attractions, and sights with your student. Share with them what is interesting or different about your particular state or region of the country, and, of course, share your everyday experiences as well!

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

SPP Celebrating 10 YEARs!

This is an exciting year for St. Paul Preparatory School. We are very happy to welcome 225 students from 34 countries for the 2013-14 school year; our largest enrollment and country representation in a single year.

We are also embarking on our eleventh year as a school. St. Paul Prep was founded in 2003 and is an excellent high school with a mission of preparing each student for success in a global society. We have done a very good job of preparing our graduates for success in the real world for the past ten school years. We have high expectations for each student and we value the trust that parents from around the world have placed in us by sending their student to SPP. This year, SPP is starting Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) for the school community. Stu-

dents will notice the “WORLD” banners around the school. This is an acronym for the behavior we hope to model and teach our students this year. It stands for Work hard, Opportunity, Respect, Leadership, and Decision making.

camp was tremendously successful and we hope that this year’s retreat will allow us to bond as a school community with common goals, dreams, and aspirations for this school year. We have several exciting events lined up this school year. I would encourage all of you to attend the All School & Family Potluck and 10 Year Celebration at 5:30 on September 12.

SPP again plan to do several school wide service projects. Martin Luther King said that all of us can be great because all of us can serve others. This year, we are piloting a program that requires all seniors to complete seven hours of community service. We will have a school-wide retreat at Camp Courage on September 5-6. We will leave school on Thursday, September 5 and return to SPP by 3:30 p.m. on Friday, September 6. Last year’s

Our third annual Back to School Night will be on October 10 from 6 - 8 p.m. Parents will be invited to follow their student’s schedule for the night. We also invite you to attend and participate in this year’s parent-principal meetings: September 19, November 14, February 20, April 17, each beginning at 6 p.m. The Staff and Faculty at SPP look forward to a great school year and has high hopes for each student!


Short Term Program directors Lonnie George and Deb McDonough-Decker thank all Short Term families for their generous offering of hospitality to students this summer and hope all enjoyed the cultural exchange!

If you have hosted students and wish to help extend the experience to other families as part of the Short Term Programs network, please contact Nacel Open Door’s National Office at 1-800-622-3553 or visit us online at


September 2013: Issue II

The next Short Term Programs will begin in January and February and now is the perfect time to get involved! Nacel Open Door is always looking for loving homes for our students as well as new reps to help connect students and Host Families.

Nacel Open Door Partner Voices

Nacel International School System CHINA

St. Paul American School Beijing, China Est. 2007



St. Paul Preparatory School St. Paul, Minnesota, USA Est. 2003

International School of Gdansk Gdansk, Poland Est. 1997

St. Paul American High School Shangde, China Est. 2010

St. Paul Preparatory School Yangjae (Seoul) South Korea Est. 2008

St. Paul American School, Busan Busan, South Korea Est. 2013


Private Florya FINAL IASS Florya, Turkey Est. 2013 Notre Dame International High School Paris, France Est. 2010

Private Bursa FINAL IASS Bursa, Turkey Est. 2013 Antalya Koleji Antalya, Turkey Est. 2012


St. Paul American High School Guangzhou, China Est. 2010

Private Cekmekoy FINAL IASS Istanbul, Turkey Est. 2013 Private Samsun FINAL IASS Samsun, Turkey Est. 2013

Private Adana FINAL IASS Adana, Turkey Est. 2013


St. Paul American School Hanoi Hanoi, Vietnam Est. 2011



St. Paul American School Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines Est. 2010

Nacel International School System

Nacel Open Door is happy to announce that the Nacel International School System has grown considerably in the past year. There are now 16 schools spread throughout eight different countries on three different continents. We are currently evaluating new projects in Russia and China. If you are interested in receiving more information on our schools and the Nacel International School System, please contact us! or 651-686-0080

USA St. Paul Preparatory School St. Paul, Minnesota, Est. 2003

CHINA St. Paul American School Beijing, Est. 2007

SOUTH KOREA St. Paul Preparatory School Yangjae (Seoul), Est. 2008

CHINA St. Paul American High School Shangde, Est. 2010

POLAND (Sister School) Intl School of Gdansk Gdansk, Est. 2010

CHINA St. Paul American High School Guangzhou, Est. 2010

FRANCE Notre Dame Intl High School, Paris, Est. 2010

PHILIPPINES St. Paul American School Clark Freeport Zone, Est. 2010

VIETNAM St. Paul American School Hanoi Hanoi, Est. 2011

TURKEY Antalya Koleji Antalya, Est. 2012

TURKEY Private Adana FINAL IASS, Adana, Opening Fall of 2013

TURKEY Private Bursa FINAL IASS, Bursa, Opening Fall of 2013

TURKEY Private Cekmekoy FINAL IASS, Istanbul, Opening Fall of 2013

TURKEY Private Florya FINAL IASS, Istanbul, Opening Fall of 2013

SOUTH KOREA St. Paul American School Busan Busan, Opening Fall of 2013

TURKEY Private Samsun FINAL IASS, Samsun, Opening Fall of 2013


Nacel Open Door Host Family and School Voices


The Brazilian culture is one of the world’s most diverse, with various historic influences from other culutral groups and nationalities. One particularly significant influence came from the Portuguese. The most lasting effects of this influence are the official language of Brazil (Portuguese) and the large Roman Catholic population. The culture as a whole emphasizes the importance of the family structure and the resulting family-centered values. Families tend to be large, and extended families provide a great deal of support for each other. Brazilians’ weekend plans often include going out with friends or having lunch at a relative’s home. Brazilian students typically like to socialize and often dislike being alone. As a result of their social nature, Brazilian students are used to a busy daily schedule full of activities. The majority of these students are constantly looking for new things to do and learn.

Travel Coordinator: Stephanie Johnson

to come in to work every day,” she says.

Stephanie Johnson is afraid of flying. This wouldn’t seem too unusual… if it weren’t for her job title!

One important tip Stephanie has for students is to always turn in their Travel Proposal Forms right away. A form is required each time a student travels, and alerting Stephanie to the trip allows her to help students determine what other paperwork might be necessary. Getting these forms in early allows Stephanie to be more of a support for students.

Stephanie is the NOD Travel Coordinator. Even she finds this fear unusual considering she flies often. Stephanie’s goal is to be a support to students while also following NOD policies. She encourages students to call or email her with any travelrelated questions. “I just want kids to feel comfortable coming to me,” she says. Stephanie enjoys seeing the opportunities students have to see the U.S., even sites she has never had the chance to see. She also loves meeting students at orientation. “The curiosity, energy, and brilliance I see in international students is what energizes me and makes me want

Another piece of advice is for students to turn their holiday travel forms in early, as there are so many more forms to process. This will make it more likely to be approved early, and it “will make me smile,” Stephanie says. Stephanie wishes the best for all NOD students. “I hope they have a great year and many exciting opportunities while on our program.” Stephanie can be reached by email at or at ext. 619.

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


Contact US

Our Foreign Partners have noted that since Brazilian kids are very attached to their natural families, they might feel homesick at the beginning of the exchange and might need to communicate more with their parents. As they start to feel more secure and adapt to their new settings, communication with home tends to be less frequent.


September 2013: Issue II


NOD Voices, September 2013  

Nacel Open Door's quarterly publication for our Host Families & Schools - September 2013.