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What it’s like: International Student at a U.S. Boarding School

October 22nd, 2020
By: Cadet William Tham

I am Cadet Tham, from Topanga Hills Canyon, California. I am an international cadet from Malaysia, and I have been here for a year and a half. Southern Prep Academy has helped me and all of the other international cadets settle into this new culture of the United States. At first, I got the feeling of not wanting to be here, but once I passed Scrubs I felt much better, and it has been getting better ever since. I try to let the new international students know that it will get better, so long as they put forth their best effort. Southern Prep staff and faculty are always here to assist you when you need help with anything. We also have TAC Officers here to remind us of the mission and the responsibilities.

Southern Prep is a military school, so it is based on discipline and leadership. You will have good times and rough times. However, if you come in with a positive attitude, you can accomplish anything. The cadets in leadership will guide your way to success, and you may even become a leader one day yourself. It all starts right here. The TACs really crack down and apply all of the rules of discipline that we sometimes forget, so remember to always be your best and do your best.

On the weekends, however, you can go back home (if you are from close by), but if not, then you can ask your parents to talk to the administrators to ask the another cadet’s parents’ approval for you to go home with them. If not, you can stay here with others like me, ones who are from faraway places like California, Ukraine, or China. There are a lot of different things to do here on the weekend, and you can choose from things such as going to the pond to fish, going to the movie room to relax with friends, or you can lock up in a battle with video games. We can even go to the canteen to get some snacks on the weekend.

A lot of schools are shut down or operating virtually because of COVID-19, but at Southern Prep, we are very careful and consistent on wearing our masks, washing our hands, and we are committed to social distancing.

Southern Prep has a lot of sports and activities to choose from, like football, soccer, basketball, rifle team, track and field, and cross country. There are also tons of other choices on academics, like drones, biology, welding, creative writing, public speaking, and the BETA Club. Overall, Southern Prep is a very rounded school and it can broaden your horizon to new opportunities.

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