Teaching our international friends new things

Published 6:57 am Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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During the 2019-20 school year, the Springwood International program had 31 students from several countries around the world.

Of those students, 22 lived at the Springwood International House. Those students are usually able to go home at the end of the school year but COVID-19 threw a wrench in that normal plan.

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As restrictions are lifted around the world, these students are slowly able to start heading back to their home countries and their families.

We recently featured nine of the remaining 10 international students still living in the International House at Springwood School.

All nine of those students are from Vietnam and will return to Springwood School in the fall and unfortunately for them all flights to Vietnam are currently grounded, so they are here for longer than originally planned.

Springwood School has stepped up to help these students remain busy as restrictions are slowly lifted.

“When COVID-19 happened in March, we stopped doing online classes and went to virtual school. We were very serious about sheltering in place with the international students,” said Ann Hixon, Director of International Student Program. “We had a very protected environment in the house and on campus.

At the end of the school year, we gradually lifted a little of that and have been trying to get out and about a little bit.”

The students have visited West Point Lake, taken art classes and traveled to Auburn for a picnic. For the last three weeks, the nine students have gone across the street to the Point University Golf Course for golf lessons on Tuesday and Thursday that last about three and a half hours.

“Golf is something that we can do and socially distance pretty well,” Hixon said.

When we say everyone has made some drastic changes to their lifestyles, none can be as drastic as what these nine Vietnamese students have endured.

We salute Springwood School for making accommodations for these kids and highlighting why we live in the greatest community in the greatest country in the world.