As a Top-20 Boarding Program in the world, Saint Andrew’s attracts the very best global scholars to the school. And its partnership with ASSIST, a nonprofit international student exchange organization, is key. On Monday, December 3, Jack Eidam, member of the ASSIST Board of Directors, traveled to Saint Andrew’s to honor Head of School, Ethan Shapiro with a founding membership Award.
Since 1969, nearly 5,210 student scholar-leaders from more than 50 nations, many underrepresented in independent school populations, have been matched with ASSIST-affiliated schools, and Saint Andrew’s is proud to have been there since the beginning.
“As one of the founding schools of ASSIST, Saint Andrew’s is an excellent institution that has provided an opportunity for us to deliver some of the very first ASSIST students. For your founding membership we present to you this award,” said Mr. Eidam, during a small awards ceremony with Mr. Shapiro.
During a one-year school stay, an ASSIST boarding student serves as a cultural ambassador actively participating in classes and extracurricular activities.
Blanka Csermely ‘20, a current ASSIST student from Hungary, has loved her experience at SA since August, especially enjoying how much of her day she spends outside in the sunshine.
But it wasn’t all sunshine for Blanka during the intense ASSIST application process. “Being from Hungary, a former communist country, its not the best financial system so many of my friends and I need to work extremely hard to get scholarships to find a way out to something better,” she said.
In the end, she was accepted into the ASSIST Program and to Saint Andrew’s School for her academic abilities, leadership, and how she can contribute to the cultural experience at SA.
“As a European person, I contribute by showing my way of life that is extremely different from many Saint Andrew’s students. I offer a different perspective, and I think it helps people,” she added.
Rather than show leadership in obvious ways like as a member of student government or as a sports team captain, Blanka sees herself as a different kind of leader. “I shouldn’t be a leader in the traditional way because I am so new here. But I can lead in other ways. I can support the students who are in leadership positions with my attitude and the ways I say things with courtesy and formality, which are my customs,” she commented.
Saint Andrew’s School is proud to call Blanka a Scot and happy to continue to call ASSIST a partner in bringing the best and brightest to the boarding program.