International Student Experience
International Student Experience: What To Expect
Pack Your Bags
Once students are admitted to KO and have received their F-1 visa, they can prepare and pack their bags! International Wyverns continue their experience from their home country where materials and documents arrive preparing them for the amazing step of studying abroad. It is a thrilling experience that KO faculty and staff support our international students through.
New and returning students must arrive on time for completion of health forms and requirements in order to start on the first day of school. Families — please plan accordingly by purchasing arrival tickets at least 14 days before school starts.
During the spring and summer months, families will receive many communications from KO, including the Wyvern Monthly. International students will be asked to take placement tests in math, English, science or a language upon arrival at KO. These placement tests will be used to place students in their courses for the Fall Semester. Students will also be required to complete summer reading and math packets to keep them prepared for the coming school year.
Once a student has their course placement from the Director Of Academic Planning, books can be ordered through the KO Bookstore. Students may have the option to deliver books to their homestay family address so please coordinate this with them.
Students should establish their KO email account as soon as they receive instructions. Natural and Host parents should log on to the Parent Portal as soon as they receive instructions. All of this information will be sent through the Wyvern Monthly so please make sure you receive this communication in July and August.
The First Few Days
After receiving clearance from the KO Nurse to be on campus, the first activity will be International Student Orientation. Here you will meet the entire International Team at KO and all of the other new International Students. Our returning students also host a question and answer session for our new Wyverns!
During these first few days, students may expect to take academic placement tests, learn their schedule and select their activities. Meetings with advisors and faculty can be arranged so that our new international students feel prepared and familiar in the Wyvern Nation!
Our Student Services Team creates an international orientation program annually based on the calendar and needs of our incoming and returning international students. All students must attend. Once the international orientation is complete, our new international Wyverns will also participate in our general orientation day before school begins. Dates and information will be shared with families early in the summer before departure.
Orientation for international students begins a few days before school with sessions on classroom differences, social activities and meeting all of the folks who will be a part of their lives while studying at Kingswood Oxford! Students should look out for this information in the early summer so they can plan their flights accordingly.
More information on what the Fall of 2023 will look like will be coming in early summer 2023. Students who will participate in a Fall sport will likely want to allow plenty of time to arrive and complete health and wellness requirements before pre-season begins. This is usually a week before the orientation days. The physical and TB test can take from five to seven days to receive results, so please take this into account before planning your air travel.
Note a CT Health Assessment Record and TB test are both requited before school begins.
International Student Orientation
Our new Wyverns will receive so much information in the first few weeks of school. However, the few days before classes begin and while summer still lingers are very important days in the acclimatization process for students and parents. The International Student Orientation weaves seamlessly together with the New and Returning Student Orientation to provide the most necessary information in a short amount of time.
Our International Student Orientation includes:
Welcome to international parents and international students
Overview of Visa requirements
Short Sessions on IT – Google environment, important information and how to find it
Insight into KO community, academics, systems and process
Invitation to Host Families for a social activity
Short sessions on activities, sports and social opportunities at KO
Academic Placement tests
Health & Wellness
Opportunity to meet Advisors, Faculty and Staff who are here to support and care for your child during the four years they will be Wyverns
Short sessions on setting up email, google docs, IT and other systems
Ensuring that your student has completed any summer work
Your students orientation time will be capped off with the New and Returning Student Orientation Day which includes social and interactive time with ALL students together. This is their time to shine, their time to ask questions and their time to become part of the Wyvern Nation! We welcome them and we welcome your family to our community at Kingswood Oxford School! Go Wyverns!
Home Stay Experience
Kingswood Oxford is nestled in the center of West Hartford, Connecticut – one of the most lovely towns in the northeast. KO has been a part of the community for more than 100 years and counting. The connections and relationships that we have in the area are a part of what make us what we are. Kingswood Oxford wants our international students to feel that sense of community while also contributing their global perspectives to our area residents. A great way for both sides to engage in that in practice for a day school is the homestay experience.
The homestay family is ideally a part of the area community and supports the immersive experience we hope for our international students! Advantages of a homestay experience include:
Feeling like all of our other students – ALL of KOs students return to their homes after school and activities at the end of the day. Your student will not be any different and will experience going home to a selected homestay environment every evening and on the weekend.
Immersion in language and culture
Safety and security screened and vetted by the agency and homestay organization
A way to offer their US family with their insight into their home country and perspectives
An authentic experience in a safe and supportive community
Kingswood Oxford values and appreciates our host families. They care for our international students, your children, every day and we could not have an international program without them. We strive to provide them with information that all local families receive about ongoing activities and events that they are invited to attend. Host parents have contact with our advisor and faculty and staff as needed about your student. Homestay families are an integral part of our community and we strive for balanced and strong relationships with them and with you.
You Have Arrived!
After all of that hard work, your student has arrived in the US and hopefully shortly at our beautiful campus in West Hartford, Connecticut! Many families bring their student at the end of the summer before the school year begins. Should you find yourself in West Hartford before the orientation begins for your child, please reach out to Michelle Kollen in the Admissions Office. We would be happy to welcome you, offer you a tour of campus, and give you a brief overview of what to expect in the days of orientation.
Ready to Go!
Once your student receives their F-1 visa, they are just about ready to go. Your student cannot enter the US more than 30 days before the program start date. Be prepared to present documentation at the US Port of Entry controlled by the Customs and Border Patrol department. They may request the following:
The Form I-20
It is best to have all of your official documentation in your hand luggage when you travel. In the case that you are asked for more detailed documentation at the Port of Entry you will have everything available. Safe Travels!
International Student Support System
Dedicated to the student development and academic enrichment of all Wyverns
Daphne Wang serves as the Upper School Chinese Teacher, AP Chinese teacher, and International Program Advisor. Wang is an experienced educator who has worked as a Chinese teacher in both the public and private school systems. She has successfully built partnerships with many professional programs for her students and has designed an immersion curriculum by applying innovative teaching methods and project and theme-based approaches.
Mrs. Michelle Kollen, PDSO
Mrs. Kollen is responsible for international student enrollment and retention, supporting international students and our KO International Team for the entire time our International Wyverns are at KO.