November is the American Thanksgiving month…the time of the year when we give thanks for the many good things we have in our life- both the big things, like our family and the ability to study abroad and even the small things, like cell phones and great food. Being grateful has many benefits for mind, body, and soul. Let’s look at some of these advantages.

Gratitude Improves:

For many of you, this is the first time you have lived away from home. And while you are still living with a family here in the United States, you are developing into independent men and women. With this maturity, comes the ability to manage your own money. Even if money is still coming from your parents, it is important to develop budgeting skills to be fiscally responsible now and in preparation for when you are living independently.

You are part of a wonderful community of AHLI students from many different countries, coming from a variety of cultures celebrating unique holidays. Usually in this blog we talk about American holidays, but this month we thought we would share September holidays from countries around the world, including those from your home countries!

AHLI is happy to welcome new and returning students to the 2021-2022 school year. As you settle into your host family and jump back into school, you may be experiencing a range of emotions from excitement to apprehension. Going into an unfamiliar situation, whether after a long time or for the first time can stir up feelings of uneasiness and anxiety. Every teenager wants to meet people like themselves and feel like they fit in. It can be easy to put a lot of energy into convincing others to think you are awesome or cool. But there is a better way to make more friends faster.

On behalf of AHLI, it is my great privilege to say Congratulations to our 52 graduates! Your journey has not been an easy one compared to your fellow students. You have braved a new country, a new culture, a new language, a new home, and a new school- all to make your way to this summit. As you look back on the path you have travelled, you will remember challenges, adventures, hopefully laughs, and many people who have supported you to rise up to the apex on which you stand. Take a look around at the magnificent view you have. It is quite the accomplishment!

You probably have been told that in addition to SAT scores, colleges consider your essay and extracurricular activities when making an acceptance decision. College acceptance committees look for well-rounded, mature, young leaders to invite into their community. Volunteering is a way to display your interests and develop your own character through helping others.

As we “March” into April, many of you are thinking of what comes after high school. As you prepare for post-secondary, such as college or university, we wanted to give you an international student’s perspective on taking this next big step in life.

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it can often feel like the longest because of it being in the middle of the winter with cold, dreary days and the end of school still far in the distance. Due to COVID-19 and winter, are you finding yourself feeling... Anxious? Stressed? Overwhelmed?

As we jump into 2021, it’s a great time to think about bolstering your vocabulary! Not only does both the ACT and SAT test your breadth of knowledge on words, but having an extensive lexicon will improve your communication and comprehension skills. Every good mechanic has a big toolbox. A mechanic uses just the right tool to tune up an engine to make it stronger and more powerful. Vocabulary is like a sturdy tool in your toolbox, just like punctuation, grammar, and style that can “power-up” your writing.

What makes a successful high school student? There are many ways in which a young person can be successful, but planning ahead is essential. Planning for the college application process starts early in high school which involves college visits, completing high school classes to the best of one’s ability, becoming a well-rounded student who volunteers, participates in extra-curricular activities, and leads well with integrity.