Guidelines for Visiting Students
All of us here at Montgomery Bell Academy welcome you and look forward to your stay with us. In the paragraphs below, you will find several items which will help you settle into the daily routine. Please feel free to submit any questions you may have after reading this information.
Course Work and Differences Between the American and International Systems:
In most American schools, students have a fixed daily schedule and report to the same classes during the same class period every day. Accordingly, American students take fewer courses than their British counterparts in any given year.
You have received, or will receive soon, a schedule of courses for your stay at MBA. The schedule can be changed both before you arrive and while you are here, although the teachers in whose classes you are scheduled have been informed of your arrival and are looking forward to your presence in their individual classes; a change once you have arrived will mean that you may end up with a teacher who has not been previously informed of your presence in his or her class, and it will be preferable for your to keep the schedule worked out beforehand.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference in approach to course work will be the amount of daily preparation expected. Students usually have some type of homework every day in each class, and you will thus find yourself with a somewhat more constricted amount of time for recreation than you may enjoy at your home school.
The most difficult subjects to correlate with their overseas counterparts are mathematics courses and natural science courses. You may read the full course descriptions on our web site (go to “Academics” then to the link to “Course Syllabi” (sic in American English).
Exchange students are expected to do the daily work. Individual teachers will decide whether they expect also that you will take tests or write papers in their classes.
You will also be assigned to one or two study halls each day. You will, however, be accorded “Privilege List” status for your stay with us, meaning that you will not be required to report to those study halls. Many exchange students have found study hall time a good time to visit the College Counseling Center to learn more about American universities, to meet with various teachers and administrators, to visit the library, check e-mail (you will have access to a temporary account on school computers; be aware that there are some restrictions–none of which will be onerous–on computer use, as will be explained when you arrive), or simply to interact with other students.
Most importantly, we want you to have a good academic experience during your stay with us and to learn how American students go about their daily activities.
Some Important Points to Consider:
In America, the use of alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal. Serious consequences for violation of this law can occur. Drug laws are also very strict here, and MBA does not tolerate infractions of those laws.
You will be representing not only your home institution while here, but you will also be representing Montgomery Bell Academy when you are at off-campus events. Exchange students are expected to conduct themselves as any MBA student would.
If you are staying in a family with a host brother who is a student at MBA, please be respectful of the fact that he will have on-going assignments and homework that will need to be taken care of. He will not be able to entertain you all the time.
You have a great opportunity while here to be an ambassador for your home institution and your country. We hope to learn from you as much as you will learn from us.
Your host family will do everything it can to make your stay comfortable. You, in turn, will want to do everything you can to make their hosting you an enjoyable undertaking.