Did you know that one-third of Gould Academy’s student population is composed of international students, from more than 20 countries? Our International Program is an all-encompassing support system for the entire Gould community that aims to facilitate travel, everyday life, and the adjustment to local culture for students from abroad.
Gould’s English Studies Program, which is designed to support and promote the development of English as a second or third (or fourth) language, is a vital piece of the International Program. The English Studies Program emphasizes reading and writing academic English, as well as conversational English, and most of our international students participate at some level.
A truly global community is vibrant, diverse, and synergetic. It is an ideal educational environment. To ensure that Gould lives up to this potential, the International Program also focuses on faculty development. Our faculty and staff understand that cultural differences exist and work to address, celebrate, and include this diversity in the classroom and in all aspects of Gould life.
A global community is also dynamic, and so is our International Program. We offer a comprehensive orientation upon arrival at Gould and informative meetings for international students throughout the school year.
The International Studies Program not only helps international families understand what it means to be a part of Gould’s community – within the Bethel community, and within the United States community – it offers assistance with visas and other documentation, health insurance, transportation, travel arrangements, academic placement, curriculum modification, and more. The program’s role is that of a problem solver. Sometimes, that means tracking down a SIM card or arranging a ride to a college interview. International students at Gould are welcomed as part of our family and we do everything in our power to help them succeed.
“The program helps international students make the most of Gould, both in terms of what they get out of it and what they put into it,” says Program Director, Martha Whittington, who has led Gould’s global community for nearly a decade.
International students are supported at Gould Academy in many ways.
- Gould starts the school year with a special three-day orientation for all international students.
- A three-week English Immersion Program is offered during the summer.
- Students are assigned a faculty advisor and become a part of a small advisory group.
- If needed, students enroll in the English Studies Program, which is designed to support their grade level courses in history and English.
- Official TOEFL lab on campus.
- College Counseling.
- Gould’s Global Club sponsors a number of activities including special holiday celebrations, presentations during school assemblies and weekend activities. The club also helps to coordinate and organize vacation plans and opportunities.
- Dorms/rooming arrangements: dorms are open a day early after each vacation to allow international students an extra day to recover from travel.
- Evening study hall support centers for all students — language, math, writing.
- All new students are assigned a student mentor.
- Grades and progress reports can all be accessed online. Advisors also communicate with regular updates.
- Grocery store and international restaurants available within walking distance from campus.
- Assistance finding home-stays or arranging vacation travel.
International Student Program Director
Mrs. Whittington has more than 35 years of experience teaching mathematics in independent schools, almost 20 of them as Dean of Students. She embraces the values of the seven-day boarding school and brings those values into the classroom and dormitories and onto the playing fields. As the Director of International Student Programs, she works to strengthen and expand Gould’s global community. She works with the faculty to support the international students during their transition into the community and throughout their Gould experience. Ms. Whittington has coached field hockey and lacrosse during the course of her career at the Nichols School, Westminster School, Vermont Academy, Yale University, and Harvard University. As an experienced athlete (former U.S. National Team field hockey player), she enjoys coaching and sharing her passion for both sports. “Ms. Whit” and her husband, Mr. Tom Whittington, Dean of Academics, enjoy traveling on their own and with the 9th grade Four Point Program. Two of her favorite pastimes are bread baking and biking!