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Nacel Open Door Host Families and Schools

nod vOICES Advisors’ Angle: Thinking Year End . . . . . . . . . 3 Introducing: Student Health Insurance Coordinator Kathy Whitney. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Keeping Up with NOD Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Students Share Holiday Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 U.S. Fun Facts: Baseball. . . 4

Every Student has a storY Share Yours!

As the year comes to a close and students begin packing up and flying home, you might find yourself looking back on the past year and the stories they have shared with you, their NOD representatives, and their peers. Maybe your student has told you a funny story about his or her time in America, or a heartwarming tale of how you did something special to make them feel like part of your family. Perhaps you have a student who had such an amazing experience, or one that was completely different from what he or she expected, that you just want to tell someone all about it. We encourage you to do so! We would love to hear about your student’s exchange experience. Sharing our students stories is what makes our job so much fun. However you would like to share your story, we want to receive them. Or maybe you even have a handful of photos that highlight the year. We’d love to see those too. If it is a list of things that surprised your student about the U.S. or the culture they experienced, we’d also love to see that. Even a full narrative about what the year has been like for your student or your family interaction, we welcome these stories. We are always looking for fresh stories to share with potential host families, our network, and the schools! To share a story, simply email it to NOD’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Shannon Rausch at You know the old saying “A picture is worth a 1,000 words” so feel free to send photos to help tell the story!


January 2014: Issue III

In This Issue:

Nacel Open Door Host Families and Schools

Keeping Up With NOD Programs St. Paul Preparatory School (SPP)


Robotics Team Takes on 63 Teams from Around the State:

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.

This year, students from SPP participated in the 10,000 Lakes Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recogonition of Science and Technology) Robotics has become a huge force in high schools around Minnesota. The number of high school teams participating in Robotics now outnumber varsity hockey teams. Overall, the SPP team ended 32nd out of 63 teams. With 24 teams making it into the finals, they unfortunately did not make the cut this time. The rest of the year will be spent further developing their robot.

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.

St. Paul Preparatory School (SPP) FINAL Capstone Program 2014

Nine students and two chaperones from Florya, Turkey spent the entire month of April at St. Paul Preparatory for a Capstone Program. This program is for the students enrolled in our Dual-Diploma Program with the FINAL school in Florya, Turkey. The group arrived on Friday, March 28 and departed on Sunday, May 4. There were many enrichment activities planned during their stay. Some of these include trips to the: Children’s Theater, Science Museum, University of Minnesota campus, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the State Capitol, and more. SPP staff and students were excited to have them as a part of our community!

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 Meg Beerling

Nacel Open Door Host Families and Schools

Private School Program (PSP) PSP Representatives are in the process of holding End-of-Year activities for their students. Some of the Events include A day at an amusement park, a Dinner River Cruise, a Pool Party w/DJ, a Paintball outing, a Barn Dance, and a night out at the Theater. Feel Free to Share your pictures with us!

St. Paul Preparatory School (SPP) SPP Alumni discover success in young adulthood:

Three former SPP students will soon be graduating from medical school to become physicians, we extend our congratulations to each! One, from Ramallah, a Palestinian city in the central west bank, knows first-hand the moral responsibility that is placed daily on doctors in troubled parts of the world. Another, from Annaba, located in the northeastern corner of Algeria, strives to improve the care of her patients in an underfunded, neglected, medical system. The third, in Monterrey, a city in Mexico, is working with neurosurgical sub-specialization and modernization of care in his country. Other SPP alumni have found success across a variety of fields in the professional world. Among them are: economists, writers, teachers, historians, linguists, engineers, pharmacists, astronomers, artists, designers and much more.

It’s hard to believe, but the end of our students’ programs is coming soon! As students get ready to leave there are many things to consider. AYP students may be interested in co-validating their academic year. For some students, this may be possible. However, due to the variety in international academic regulations, this will not be possible for all AYP students. It’s the students’ responsibility to request an official transcript from their school before the end of their program if they are interested in co-validation. NOD cannot give students assistance with the co-validation process, so it’s important for students and their natural families to understand what the requirements are in their country and to plan ahead.


The 2014 SPP Reunion event had to be cancelled due to the low response we received to our SPP reunion invitation. We are sad that we are unable to hold this event in the proposed venue as planned. If you or someone you know is still interested in coming to St. Paul that weekend, please email alumni@ Perhaps we can arrange a small informal gathering. If you are interested in helping plan a future reunion event, please email with your ideas and suggestions.

Thinking Year End

Now is a great time for students to start reflecting on their experiences. What have they enjoyed the most about their program? What has surprised them the most about life in America, their friends and their host families? What do they think they will remember most fondly? Writing down their experiences in a blog post, journal entry or letter to friends and family is a good way to clarify their thoughts and feelings. It also helps natural family and friends understand their experience and provide more support as students return home and start the readjustment process! Re-adjusting to life in their home country can be even more difficult for students than adjusting to life in a foreign country. They have changed -3-

and grown in many ways during their program. Their relationships with their friends and family have changed, too. This often surprises students and families. Talking with someone who understands their experience can be very helpful. Are there returnees from previous years who would be willing to talk with current students? How else can students find support in their home communities? As students’ programs come to a close, remember that you can reach out to the Advising team for support, advice and questions at any time. You can reach individual Advisors or simply email us at We look forward to hearing from you!

June 2014: Issue V

Advisors’ Angle:


Nacel Open Door Host Families and Schools


Turkey’s culture is largely influenced by its location between Europe and Asia (the city of Istanbul resides in both continents). Turks often associate in groups, whether in a group of friends or their family. Turks usually live with their parents until they are married, and sometimes married sons remain in their parents’ home with their own families. Turkey is traditional in its gender roles in that women are often responsible for the household while men provide financially. An important thing to know in interacting with Turks is that they pay close attention to body language. For instance, a Turk may be offended if you point the sole of your foot toward him/her.

Students may need some time to adjust to the types of food eaten for breakfast in the U.S. Breakfast in Turkey consists of food such as cheese, bread, olives, honey, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Turks often drink tea with breakfast.

Kathy Whitney: Student Health Insurance Coordinator Kathy Whitney is Nacel Open Door’s Student Health Insurance Coordinator. In short, she is the liaison between the medical facilities and the insurance company. All medical bills and records for students using NOD’s Chartis Health insurance come to Kathy, then she assembles the claims, and forwards them to Chartis for claim processing. Kathy holds a combined BA in Business and French from the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN and has been with NOD for over six years. She says, “Prior to working for NOD I had no knowledge of how a student exchange program worked so it has been a great learning experience for me. I enjoy the diversity of the students, and I also like working in a small, close office.” Kathy reminds everyone that the majority of questions and issues that she receives by email or phone, are covered in the FAQ sheet that NOD provides along

with the insurance packets. It would be helpful if the students, coordinators, local representatives and host families reviewed that information prior to the student starting the school year. It is also important that students remember to use their insurance card. If they misplace it, they can easily request a new one. They should always carry the card whenever they travel away from the home, as it must be presented each time they seek care or treatment from any medical and/or dental facility. Insurance is complicated for everyone, especially for students in a new country when they don’t speak English as their first language. Kathy reminds everyone that it is helpful if those involved could read the insurance information that is sent to them more than once, in order to familiarize themselves with the process. Kathy can be reached by email at or at ext. 608

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

High school is optional in Turkey. Courses are generally lecturebased, and memorization is emphasized.


NOD Voices - June 2014  

A quarterly newsletter for our NOD Host Families and Schools

NOD Voices - June 2014  

A quarterly newsletter for our NOD Host Families and Schools