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ews of an overseas

posting brings much

excitement and

planning for a diplo-

matic family. When

children are part of

the equation, a discussion about educa-

tional options invariably begins: What

are the schools like in our new country?

What about college placement? How safe

will life be for my child in our new post?

Will my child be comfortable in his or

her new environment? Are we ready, as

a family, to consider other educational


Continuity and social stability for

teens in the family is often a major

concern, one that drives lots of dinner-

time discussion. “Another move? You’re

kidding me, right?” one student recalls

exclaiming to his parents at news of an

upcoming post change. “It was just too

much,” he added. “I really felt divided.

Living abroad was appealing, but at the

same time, I wanted to stay stateside.”

For this student, the discussion had

Have You


Boarding School?

The boarding school option has much to o er Foreign Service kids.


Lawrence Jensen is director of admission at Christchurch School in Saluda, Virginia.

less to do with the excitement of going

abroad with his family, than it did with

his ability to maintain a measure of

constancy in his life. Like many other

children with parents working abroad,

this student chose an American boarding


An International Atmosphere

e Association of Boarding Schools

lists tens of thousands of students in

member schools, most of them in the

United States. Nearly half of the board-

ing students in these schools are from

countries outside the U.S., and many of

the students who carry American pass-

ports are the children of parents working


e international “feel” of a board-

ing school campus o ers a measure of

familiarity to diplomatic dependents,

because their worldviews give them the

ability to adapt to their new surroundings

quickly and easily, and to make friends


A senior prefect at his Virginia board-

ing school, Alex Moreno feels that his

international experiences have helped

him to understand the angst of being the

new kid in school: “I know that adjusting

to new surroundings is sometimes not

easy for some kids, and I like to reach out

and use what I’ve learned about settling

in. Living in di erent cultures has helped

me to be open-minded and exible.”

Student Max Monical has had a simi-

lar experience. Because many cultures

and nationalities can be found on a single

dormitory hall, Max believes, “anyone

can t in. I tend to try to bring di erent

cliques together as much as I can. I feel

safe and con dent, because the teachers

encourage us to pursue our interests.”

Max’s sister Samantha led the way to

boarding school, arriving a year ahead

of him. When it was his turn, he con-

fesses to having had some reservations

about boarding school life: “To be frank,

I dreaded the idea, because I thought it

would be strict and that I would have no

freedom. I couldn’t wait to get back to

school this year.”

Continued on p. 84