ALL MOVED IN
The Gilbert School welcomes international students for new year in new dorm
As the new school year begins in Winsted, international students are becoming familiar with their new home on The Gilbert School campus, and preparing for the next step in their education.
Gavin Pang and Jack Huang, both from China, are settling into a newly-opened dormitory for their first year at Winsted’s traditional high school.
Pang arrived in Winsted Aug. 22, he said Tuesday.
American residents have been welcoming so far, he said — in Zianjiang, his hometown, people are more focused on their professional lives.
“But here, many people just say hello to you on the street, and I think this is good,” said Pang. “The American people are friendly — I love this.”
Pang said he’s looking forward to improving his English and taking interesting classes.
He said he wants to be an architect, following in his father’s footsteps. His family misses him — they’ve called often — but are satisfied with the life at Gilbert, and want him to be healthy and get good grades.
Huang is from Guandong in southern China, he said Tuesday. This is his first time traveling to America, and he was a little afraid when he arrived about getting used to life, studying, and the people here. That fear turned out to be short-lived, he said.
“Now, some days later, I feel better,” said Huang.
Huang said he’s looking forward to studying, learning things
he’s interested in, and making friends with similar hobbies, he said. He said his family will miss him, but wanted him to have the chance to learn something different than he would in China.
“I want to see something new,” said Huang, an incoming 10th-grade student. “I want to know more.” For Hillson Liu, going to Gilbert has been a valuable experience thus far, he said. He’s returning for another
year at the school — last year, he helped Gilbert win the 2017 Berkshire League Championship.
He said he chose to come to Gilbert to learn about the world beyond his hometown and about different ways to study. He said the lifestyle here in Connecticut has taken some getting used to, as its much quieter here, but people have been kind.
“( I) miss home sometimes, ( but) getting a chance to get out of the hometown, and living with friends, teachers, instead of (letting) my parents take care of me every time at home — taking care of my-
self, or even taking care of my friends — that’s a good experience for me,” said Liu.
His parents are happy with his decision to be educated in the U.S. thus far, he said.
“They were happy that I could get out of my country and gain more experience and gain more knowledge,” said Liu. “My parents are feeling good, just to send me out.”
Liu said he hopes to finish high school, get into a good college, and golf while he’s there.
Huang, Pang, and Liu have all taken up residence in the new interna-
tional dormitory at Gilbert, which was constructed over the past year. Pang and Liu said they’ve found it a pleasant enough place to live, although Liu misses his former kitchen access.
“I love this dorm because it’s a new dorm, and the facilities here (are) good, and my roommate is also good,” said Pang.
The international program is of increasing importance to both Gilbert and Winsted as a whole, The semi-private institution receives tuition payments from the students from abroad, which defrays potential charges to
There are 77 international students in the program at this point, according to Dean of Student Life Carla Mastroianni, who directs housing for the international program — a number which is projected to increase for the second semester. The new dorm has room for up to 52 male students. Students started orientation last week, she said.
Mastroianni said the program allows students from abroad — in addition to China, the program has had students from France and Italy, among other countries, she said — to have new experiences and further their education, and gives Winchester students the chance to know people from far beyond the borders of Winsted.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for them to be able to come here to the United States and see different things, and be able to eventually go to college here,” said Mastroianni.
Today, Wednesday, is the first day of school for new students at Gilbert as well as seventh-graders, and ninth-graders. The Winchester Public Schools will also launch into the new year today.
International students including Hillson Liu and Gavin Pang are settling into a new dormitory at The Gilbert School ahead of the new year.
International students are settling into a new dormitory at The Gilbert School ahead of the new year.