Four years ago, Hyde cautiously stuck its proverbial toe in the waters of international student recruitment. Whereas New England boarding schools have been enrolling large numbers of international students for a number of years now, we at Hyde were slow to do likewise for a variety of reasons. One big one was our uncertainty over how best to honor our mission to educate families — rather than only students — in the face of the considerable geographical and political challenges involved. (e.g., Chinese families often face major obstacles regarding visas and passports.)
Today 20% of the enrollments at Hyde’s boarding schools are comprised of international students with the largest shares hailing from China and Korea. While we do indeed continue to search for the best way to engage the parents of these students in the Hyde process, there have been some important steps forward for Hyde as a result of this development. For one, all Hyde kids are now experiencing a more realistic microcosm of the world they will encounter as adults. For another, our international students have raised the bar on what it means to be a serious student.
In reading the statements from the Class of 2011, I was especially struck by the depth of engagement communicated by our Asian students. Here are some examples:
I put my self in certificate. That is because I think I am not fully in the Hyde process. I did my best to develop my character, but I did not push others to their best. So I think I cannot get the diploma. I want to get the diploma at the end of the year, that is because I am willing to do well…. I don’t give people a strong sense of presence on campus…. I haven’t stepped up as a senior in the area that people can see, and I still do not understand how to challenge a person and how to make a positive impact on someone besides leading by example unintentionally. My step of courage is to talk to faculties who see a lot of problems in me, and be willing to open to criticism, both on me and my value system that I usually get very defensive at, and think about it seriously afterwards.
I put myself at certificate because I still have to work on myself in preparation of the future. I’ve made improvement, however, I always started too strong but couldn’t keep persistent. This year, I made “pretty” plans for myself and in front of people but failed in front of the overwhelming pressure, massive work, and family issues. My attitude went negative and couldn’t match with what I was doing. I quit, even on the basic expectations….. Also, I will talk to some Chinese students about my challenge to them which I was too afraid to say before. I want them to do better as international student leaders next year. I will also check in with my teachers and disco leaders.
I put myself at certificate because I didn’t challenge myself and my peers hard enough. I didn’t try my best to do the things which I don’t want to do. I am basically just doing my own part of job, but have to concern myself with other people as well. After two conversations with Mr. MacMillan, I feel like I have to make a decision either to be a clown in my life or choose to follow my conscience to do the right things. I think right now I am moving toward the second way.
I put myself in certificate. Since I came to the Hyde School I have improved so much in many respects such as attitudes, leadership, and so on. I started my senior year pretty strong. However, my laziness sometimes interrupts me to reach the diploma level.
I put myself at certificate. I know that there are still steps that I can take in my personal growth, so I can truly reach diploma. I need to challenge myself to be at diploma all the time, not just certain moment. I need still have to work on the dorm which is a step that I need to take. My goal is to be at diploma by graduation.
Suffice it to say that the above observations demonstrate that Hyde is a good thing for these kids and these kids are good for Hyde.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld