Smooth transitions for every international student

Adjusting to life abroad can be difficult, even for adults. That said, no one would blame a high school student for stage fright. Trying new things, gaining independence, and finding a calling is always worth it, especially if the experience to come takes place on 50 idyllic acres of scenic land in the heart of Barton Hills, Austin, Texas.

Follow the distant sounds of laughter, cheers and heated discussions, and you will discover Saint-Michel Catholic Academy –– A Christ-centered college-style campus for students of all backgrounds, grades 9 to 12.

To ensure smooth transitions and rapid progress, St. Michael’s has developed a unique offering for international students who need to improve their English proficiency before fully immersing themselves in the school’s flagship programs. In doing so, they become accustomed to a classic American academic environment – from learning to communicate confidently in classrooms to discovering the benefits of extracurricular activities.

Source: Saint-Michel Catholic Academy

Students enrolled in the Bridge program will audit second semester courses in Fundamentals: English, History, Science, Mathematics, and Theology. They will also be able to work on their assignments in a designated study room. The best part? Grades earned are not reflected on official transcripts used for college applications, relieving pressure without limiting their exposure to all that St. Michael’s has to offer.

Once students have completed the program, they are assessed on their English proficiency. If they are successful, they are automatically accepted into the next St. Michael’s fall start.

“The Bridge program has been a great experience for me,” enthuses Junqi Li, a graduate from China. “There is a huge difference in teaching between Chinese teachers and American teachers. It gave me six months to adjust and was very helpful to my success.

A student experience worth the wait

The Saint Michel academic background comprises five rewarding days of seven lesson periods per day –– each varying in length from 45 to 80 minutes of blocks. To ensure that learning is never repetitive, course instruction is offered at multiple levels.

For this “differentiated learning” approach, placement is carefully determined based on the skills and performance of each student in each discipline. In terms of content, each advanced course is similar to its traditional counterpart, with the same goals and objectives. However, the instruction levels vary according to the methodology, the degree of difficulty and the volume of information.

Saint-Michel Catholic Academy

Source: Saint-Michel Catholic Academy

The academy also offers a suite of Honors and AP courses for students ready for even more rigor. These advanced college preparatory programs explore various principles and concepts in more depth, requiring a more independent mode of study on the part of its students.

Each week, a class period is devoted to enrichment activities beyond the classroom, allowing students to choose the minds of counselors or teachers; catch up on homework through group sessions; visit the Writing Center; or attend conferences hosted by guest speakers.

Learning often extends beyond campus –– and borders –– as well as through academic, cultural, service, travel and language immersion programs. Saint-Michel Winter term program includes overseas exchanges, international studies, work placements, immersive and experiential courses, and service for the less fortunate inside and outside the United States.

Meanwhile, the Global Studies Program focuses only on first-hand multicultural exploration, complementing lessons taught in the classroom. Each trip includes linguistic and cultural study, community service, homestays, and sightseeing. Ultimately, the students involved change their own lives while improving the lives of others. For example, while some built houses in the Dominican Republic, others worked in orphanages in India.

Discover the world in Austin, Texas

Clearly, wherever students choose to take their next academic step, a St. Michael’s experience will give them the confidence to excel. After all, college prep is a four-year journey here, which means passions are nurtured and strengths identified from day one. Counselors, teachers, counselors and coaches work alongside families to ensure this, while being exposed to Athletics and fine arts transforming students into well-rounded young adults.

If you are an international student determined to live the American Dream, the Bridge program should be your first step. The slots are limited, so what are you waiting for? Secure your place now by get in touch.

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