Strolling around the campus between classes during Summer Term @Ross, one can hear students laughing over a shared memory, telling new friends about their native countries, or discussing what they are learning in class. It’s a warm backdrop to an educational experience that students say they will never forget.
Jenny, a student from Russia, is spending her second summer at Ross School. She said she returned because the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses are unlike others she has taken. She noted that it was “serious” instruction and she had the opportunity to expand her knowledge of grammar and study Shakespeare. She also mentioned that sharing the classroom experience this summer and last has led to enduring friendships with students from all over the world.
Her schoolmates agree that meeting new friends is the best part, and they also point to other perks. Kirill enjoys relaxing at the pool at his boarding house, playing sports, and swapping stories. He too is a returning student. Last year his primary course was Advanced ESOL; this year, he is taking Advanced Algebra. He says the opportunity to speak English with many international students is important to maintaining fluency in the language.
The balance between academics and the fun Ross provides is also a welcome part of Summer Term. Lisa from Ukraine says one of her favorite activities is surfing; it’s just one of the many fun sports available to students because of the School’s close proximity to beautiful ocean beaches. Others mention the trips to New York City as a pivotal part of their summer, from discovering that their command of the English language came in handy when they needed directions, to exploring the High Line on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Other planned outings include fun at a professional soccer match and nearby water park, and a visit to the theater district in Times Square to take in a Broadway show.
On campus, the variety of courses is also appreciated. Electives such as Film and Culinary Arts are taught by experts and served up in a professional yet fun environment. There are plenty of opportunities to focus on physical fitness, and students enjoy unwinding in Wellness class before heading home or to dinner. Miyu from Japan said she enjoyed her Movement class and eating healthy meals because those activities have not always been a priority for her.
A few students having lunch together in the Ross Café said that the classmates are close because they had similar fears about the unknown before they came to Ross. And while they quickly got over those fears, the feeling of “being in the same boat” remains a comfort.
Summer Term @Ross Coordinator D’Ashley Wilson said the depth of the friendships was readily apparent when the students from the first term’s session gathered to say goodbye to classmates leaving for home or other destinations. “It was incredible. Every single student was present, sharing fond moments right up until the end,” she recalled.
The relationship with instructors is also a very important part of the students’ success at Ross. Several students agreed that they learned to believe in themselves as a result of their teachers helping to boost their confidence and caring about their progress and well-being.
Over the next few weeks, there will be plenty of valuable experiences for Summer Term students to absorb on campus, in the boarding houses, and out on adventures. It’s clear that most will recall their time at Ross as an important time of growth and learning, with lifelong friendships forged along the way.