Students from China are finding a new home in the Tri-Cities.
PASCO, WA-- Students from China are finding a new home in the Tri-Cities. They're studying at Tri-Cities Prep in Pasco and they're more than just exchange students, they will stay for several years and even graduate here.
Tri-Cities Prep welcomed three students from China this fall who will complete their high school education in an entirely different academic and cultural setting than home.
School administrators say teaching international students for an extended stay is a bold way for them to make an impact.
"Being able to have the students for multiple years and actually graduate them as members of our community, that's a really, really compelling idea," said Arlene Jones, Tri-Cities Prep principal.
That idea has welcomed Chinese students into the classrooms and homes of the Tri-Cities Prep community.
The students say attending Tri-Cities Prep is an opportunity for a better education and a chance to eventually attend an American university.
"Why I choose this school is because this school is small school and not like in China. My school has 5,000 people," said Eric Su, international student.
Su says unlike his large classes in China, he can ask the teacher a question and get a response.
The Chinese students say the most difficult part of the transition is overcoming the language barrier.
The students meet every day in a study skills class to help them with everything from homework to understanding what homecoming is.
"Seen that transformation. I've seen them feel as if they're a part of the academic culture, but also a part of the Prep culture," said Heather Axel, study skills teacher.
Students and faculty say the international students enhance classroom and hallway conversations, improving everyone's academic experience.
"I've learned a lot of things from the family and from school. I think I will be better," said Alice Lin, international student.
The international students say they plan on going to college in the U.S. and teachers say they will leave Tri-Cities Prep on the same level as their peers, ready for an American higher education.