Menaul School is the most diverse private school in Albuquerque. One of our unique aspects is the international culture brought to campus by students from over 20 countries. This year might be our all-time high thanks to the arrival of a large number of students from mostly European countries!

Menaul School is thrilled to welcome 20 new students from Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. We hope you will get to meet them and enjoy seeing more about them in our social media and blogs as the year goes on. We promise to keep you updated as to how they are doing in their adjustment to life in the US.

Students Dream of Studying in the USA

These students were initially signed up for a host family program at a public school, but their program was cancelled due to the pandemic. They have decided to join our boarding program, and we are excited to have them join our community!

This diverse group of students has dreamed about an academic and cultural experience in the USA for years. For at least half of them, this year is their last opportunity to do an exchange year abroad. Their plans were thwarted by the pandemic, of course.

They want to try everything from riding in an American school bus to attending school dances to playing a sport for their new school! They want to practice their English while immersed in “American culture”. Specifically, North American culture.

Some of these students come from small towns while others are from large metropolitan areas. Some have visited the US many times, and for others this will be their first time.

However, for all of them, this is the first time to New Mexico. We are counting on our Menaul School community to help them feel at home!

You will be surprised how much you have in common with a student from, for example, Italy. They will enjoy telling you about their traditions, just as much as they enjoy meeting you, your children, your pets, and having an authentic experience of the American Southwest.

. . .when you do find someone who wants nothing more than to truly join your family and be a part of that, with all the fun and all the wrinkles, it’s an incredible connection that lasts long after the homestay year is over – that student truly becomes a part of your family.”

Chris F., referring to hosting a student for an entire year

What We Love About New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico is often difficult to explain to people abroad. They either think we are Mexico and thus not part of the United States, or they just don’t know where it is on the map.

They might picture Saguaro cacti and wide-open desert. Mountains, forests, and rivers are a surprise! As is the rich and varied cultural experience unique to New Mexico.

What a great opportunity for us to roll out the red carpet for this group of students at the school. Furthermore, to help them fall in love with New Mexico and the Southwest.

The opportunities to build relationships with students from all over the world is unmatched. By giving a little, we have received so much more in experiences, relationships, and memories.

Josh B.

Take a moment and think about your top 5 favorite things you love about living in New Mexico—and you already know what you would share with someone from another country.

What we love about New Mexico is what these students will love, too! Of course they will appreciate parts of living here that you might not expect. It is truly fun to experience your home as a “novel” experience! You never know what will stand out to a student from abroad, until you interact with them personally.

Fun Activities for International Students

As part of our dorm activities, the students will experience horseback riding, camping, riding roller coasters at the state fair, playing paintball, watching lift off at balloon fiesta. You could argue, the most important experience of all: they will learn if they prefer red chile, green chile, or Christmas!

One very important part of their experience is staying with local hosts for the holidays. A long term homestay just wasn’t an option due to COVID. Agencies that typically place students in homestays just cannot manage placement for so many students.


Share Your Family’s Traditions

What better than sharing New Mexico traditions and experiences with an eager visitor from another country? Someone who went through tremendous effort to get here,

Thus, the international students are eager for short-term/holiday stays.

Please help us in making this part of their program possible! Show them what you love about New Mexico and learn more about their home country, customs and traditions!

My kids have a different look on life because of meeting and hanging out with students from other countries.

Gary B.

Encouragement to Host (From a Menaul Parent)

“It was an honor and a privilege to welcome two students from Egypt into our home during Thanksgiving break in 2019. If only for a brief time, we had two more sons in our home, and our son had two older brothers. We hope they felt they had a family and a home to call their own while they were students at Menaul.

When we extended the invitation to both young men, we told them our home was small, but our home was filled with love and lots of delicious food. We might have won them over with the promise of delicious food!

We urge each of the members of the Menaul School community to consider hosting a student from the boarding program during the holidays. You might think you are not prepared or unable to host a student in your home, and that is a valid concern.

If you have a home and a spot to add another family member, you have everything you need to host a student from our Menaul School community.”

Pam O., Menaul Parent

Host a Student So They Feel Included

Contact Laura Hille today to indicate interest in hosting a student for a holiday break. She can help match you to a student. Lhille@menaulschool.org.

If you can’t host for the holidays, contact us anyway! Students always appreciate being invited off campus for a dinner or a weekend. While the greatest need is to cover the holidays so they don’t feel left out and alone, any gift of your time is welcome!

Firsthand experience is something you can’t replace. Having them in our home and having my kids learn their culture is priceless. When my own kids look at them as “Big Brothers”, the bond grows.

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