WA Students Attend Remote School from China

WA Students Attend Remote School from China

Tingfei (Felicia) Lan starts her day around 10 a.m. and ends it with bedtime at around 3 a.m. A Woodward 11th grader studying from her home in China, her waking life is spent in Eastern Standard U.S. time.

She is one of 12 Woodward students studying from their homes in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, China. The students remained with their local host families when the pandemic began last spring, but returned home over the summer knowing they would be unable to come back to the U.S. this fall. This school year, another 12 international students are living with local host families, including four students who are studying on campus and eight students studying remotely. 

For Tingfei, the choice to continue with Woodward’s remote school option from her home in China was an easy one:  “Because I already spent three years at WA, beginning in eighth grade, I felt like I already got used to everything in this school. I’m planning to apply to a university in the United States so it would be a really complicated process if I try to enroll in a school in China.”

Her daily life has settled into a routine: rise at 10 a.m., study for several hours, take a nap at 2 p.m., and start classes at 8:45 p.m. This year, she’s taking CP English, Honors Precalculus, AP Statistics, AP Physics, AP U.S. History, and Honors Photography. During the weekends, she spends time with her family, and she is able to get out and do things in her community. “Everything is going really well and people are not really wearing masks anymore,” she said.

Brothers Songyuan (Adam) and Songming (Aaron) Yu are keeping a similar schedule to Tingfei and continuing their Woodward studies from home as well. Songyuan is in 6th grade, and Songming is an 11th grader. Songming says he misses seeing friends on campus, but things have opened up in China so their family is no longer having to quarantine. “Except for the hospital, no one wears masks on the streets,” he said. “I am able to go anywhere I want to.”

Stéphane Allagnon, WA’s Director of International and Global Connections at Woodward, says that travel abroad programs for domestic students and international student travel to campus have been suspended because of the pandemic. “Everything is on hold, and we are constantly re-evaluating the possibilities for both international students and student travel,” he said. Woodward is supporting international students by meeting regularly with them, checking on them digitally, and conducting one-on-one conferences. 

“We are also making sure that we keep our international partner relationships current and active,” Mr. Allagnon said “It’s very important for us to remain connected with our partners around the world while we are all facing this pandemic.”

In addition, students continue to pursue the Global Studies distinction. More than 10 students have qualified to graduate with the distinction, which requires  three years of studying a world language; coursework in world history, politics, literature, or religion; and travel abroad, volunteer work for an international organization, hosting an international student, or completing a research project on a global issue or topic related to the study of world language. 

Want more information about WA’s International and Global Studies programs? Reach out to Mr. Allagnon at stephane.allagnon@woodward.edu.