Student Stories

Kyung (KW)

Class of 2018 - International Student from South Korea, Student-Athlete (Soccer)

Joining any new community is always a challenge. Before coming to the United States, and because I am an international student, I was always worried that I may be viewed as someone different from everyone else – as a whale would be under the ocean: a mammal among fish, different from others. However, not at St. Mary's Ryken!

At SMR, a variety of students attend our school from different cultures and everyone is as unique as me. After I became a student and part of the SMR community, I quickly realized that my worries were unfounded.

The academics here are the best, bar none. The variety of courses are taught by great teachers and the education here is helping to fulfill my dream of a true American education. However, challenge was always here. Learning in a second language is difficult but with the help of all of my teachers, I am able to push myself to a higher and better position with my education.

I always felt like the orca in SeaWorld before SMR – trapped and blocked under many rules - not at SMR. Because I am a Knight, I can swim freely and closer toward my American Dream!

 

Jennie

Class of 2017 - International Student from China

When I first decided to study aboard in America, I was looking forward to broadening my horizons and experiencing a diverse culture. St. Mary’s Ryken has provided me both opportunities. I soon learned that SMR is very different from schools I attended in China. It is interesting to experience education and learning in another county and culture.

I started at SMR as a sophomore. From my experiences over the past two years, I will say the best part about studying here is that SMR students can choose to take courses at any level that fits their course requirements. In comparison, in China, students usually have the same schedule as everyone else in his/her class. Flexibility with course selection allows SMR students to focus on their strengths and improve their abilities. For instance, I am taking AP Physics as a junior. Although it is a senior science course, our dean of academics agreed that I could handle a higher level class after having a personal talk with my math and science teachers.

I think it is really important to let students start making their own decision in high school in order to help prepare for college. Instead of planning everything for students, St. Mary’s Ryken gives some decisions to it students and affords all kinds of resources and help!

 

Denis

Class of 2017 - International Student from Lithuania, Student-Athlete (Ice Hockey)

As an international student from Lithuania, becoming a SMR student helped me to grow in my education and as a person. I enjoy every class, especially new subjects such as engineering and theology. All of my teachers are open and supportive.

 

Jimmy

Class of 2018 - International Student from China, Student-Athlete (Golf) and Sports Medicine Club

If you are interested in coming to the United States to go to high school, I definitely recommend St. Mary's Ryken. The unique campus, large stadium, passionate classmates, helpful teachers and the spirit of the school is perfect for foreign students to come and learn. Activities here are awesome and students are always invited to socialize. No matter who you are or where you are from, students here will always welcome you and your culture. Also teachers are good resources because they are patient and ready to help you all the time. I am proud of St. Mary's Ryken, I cherish the experience here!

 

Aapeli

Class of 2018 - International Student from Finland, Student-Athlete (Basketball)

Everyone has given me a warm welcome! Lots of students ask me all kinds of questions about myself, especially in the lunch line. They’ve never met anyone from Finland. They always ask me to speak my language (Finnish) because they have never heard it before.