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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

JUNE 2017

65

ing. By building a mentorship early on,

students will create a relationship with

someone who can help them at chal-

lenging crossroads and champion them

throughout their college career.

Connect with faculty.

First-semester

faculty members are used to students

introducing themselves before the term

starts, to prepare for their upcoming

semester and to learn more about the

course expectations.

Connecting with faculty can be a great

way for TCKs to make an interesting first

impression and prepare for academic

success. By showing genuine interest in

their courses and creating a rapport with

faculty, TCKs will be more likely to ben-

efit from faculty office hours and will feel

comfortable reaching out for help when

it is needed.

Seek out other TCKs.

Few institutions

identify TCKs, and they are easily lost in

the mix, but Lewis & Clark’s Brian White

encourages students to seek each other

out: “Anything they can [do] to identify

and connect with other TCKs is helpful.”

International admissions advisers are

a great resource for these connections

because they have met many TCKs while

visiting overseas schools andmay be able

to introduce them to each other. Head-

ing to campus knowing there is someone

else who gets how hard it is to answer “So

where are you from?” can be a great thing.

Reach out to regional family and

friends.

Many students choose specific

regions due to strong family or friend net-

works; this is the time to leverage those

relationships.

Contact relatives and friends early

in the process to ask for their support.

If possible, schedule time for dinners

or lunches before school starts, so your

student feels comfortable reaching out to

these extended family members in times

of need.

I

t’s hard to predict how a teenager will

react to the idea of an international

move. Some see it as a grand adven-

ture and look forward to the change of

lifestyle with eagerness and enthusi-

asm. Yet many parents worry that they

might face the opposite reaction: open

mutiny, complete with accusations of

ruining the child’s life. Of course, the

reaction could also be somewhere in

between—or both, depending on the

day.

Each teenager is different, but one

thing is universal: choosing a school is

not only about feeding the mind, but

also feeding the young person’s appro-

priate social and emotional develop-

ment. That makes it a doubly important

decision, one for which consideration

of the child’s resilience is essential.

Though there are many benchmarks

for determining the suitability of a

school, it is important to keep in mind

that every individual has their own

needs. A school that is great for one

student may be a disaster for another.

Here are some of the things to

consider:

Size

Curriculum

Extracurricular activities

Peer group

School culture

College counseling

Safety

For a full discussion of each of these

aspects of choosing a school, as well as

a discussion of the types of schools and

alternative approaches that are avail-

able to meet the particular needs of FS

kids, go to afsa.org/educationarticles to

access the complete article.

Rebecca Grappo is a certified educa-

tional planner and the founder of RNG

International Educational consultants,

LLC. Married to a retired career Foreign

Service officer, she has raised their three

children internationally.

From the

FSJ

Education Supplement June 2013

Thinking Through Educational Options

For Your Foreign Service Child

BY REBECCA GRAPPO