At Arrowhead Christian Academy, we believe in the Biblical teaching that you reap what you sow. What you put into something is what you get out of it. This is true in every area of our lives, and our approach to integrating new students into our school is no different.
Our international student orientation in a two-and-a-half week journey in which new students from around the world get acquainted with ACA and the expectations we have for them. We spent these two-and-a-half weeks learning about these new students and teaching them about life in our campus, in their host families, and in the United States. We believe the time we devote to their cultural adjustment and this major life change will set them up for success in the near and distant future.
This summer, we welcomed 20 new students from China and South Korea to ACA. For many of them, this orientation period was filled with many firsts: first trip to Disneyland (and Sea World), first taste of Mexican food, first Bible class, first tour of downtown Redlands, and many more. Watching them get to know our team, our culture, and each other brought us tremendous joy, and each day our excitement for the new school year grew.
A typical day of orientation included a rotation through three classes: ESL, Study Skills, and Bible. After lunch, Mr. Han, Mrs. King, and Mr. Prior would cover a variety of topics about how to be successful at ACA, ranging from how to behave in your host family’s home, to how to dress appropriately for school, to how to prepare for the TOEFL and SAT. This gave students a chance to learn the culture of ACA, to ask questions, and to get ready for this grand adventure of high school in America.
Students also took a few tests during this time - placement tests for math and ESL classes - but their final test came when they all introduced themselves to our entire school faculty and staff one-by-one. Were they ever up for the challenge! They spoke with confidence, warmth, and humor, and the faculty and staff were delighted. Our students certainly know how to make a first impression!
With our orientation complete, our students stepped confidently into the new school year, ready to embrace every challenge and every opportunity. We are so proud of each student, and so grateful for what they bring to the ACA community. We are blessed to have them, and we wish them the fullness of God’s blessings this year!