SEI 2017 Day 18 Update

Winding Down and Gearing Up

As SEI classes are coming to a close, students are getting excited for Travel Week! Many teachers are winding down the classroom by debriefing, giving students feedback, observing final projects, celebrating success, and showing off their students’ hard work.

In Ms. Flenniken’s journalism class, the students spent the last two weeks writing and editing two newspapers: Amazing SEI news and the Riverside Review. Today, the students received copies of their newspapers and enjoyed sharing their hard work with their classmates.  In Ms. Carson’s dance class, students filmed a music video featuring a hip-hop dance they learned in class. Additionally, in detective math agent, students worked in groups to write their own mysteries with math clues. Tomorrow, the teams will present the mysteries for their classmates to solve. In many SEI classes, teamwork skills are a priority, because without the 52 staff members working together and collaborating the program could not exist.

In addition to SEI teachers noting student improvement, it is exciting for students to see how their classmates have grown and improved over the past few weeks. Final projects and presentations are a great way to measure the growth that has taken place during SEI. Tomorrow, students will say goodbye to their teachers, but despite the SEI classes ending, the energy level is not decreasing. Students are already getting excited and gearing up for travel week, which starts on Wednesday! First stop? UCLA college tour and the Santa Monica Beach and Pier.

Student excerpt from the “Amazing SEI News”

The Teachers and RTA’s at SEI

By Yiva Dlabantu

The teachers and RTA’s at SEI are very caring, loving, kind, friendly, and fun people to be around everyday. There is an amazing incredible bond between the teachers and RTA’s at SEI with their students. The staff want to know about their students and the students want to know about their teachers and RTAs, because they want to build community during classes and outside of class, they are interested in learning about the different cultures of the international students. The students also want to learn about their RTA’s and teachers’ culture, this helps everyone to understand each other very well. “The RTA’s are very helpful and they are your friends, people you can speak with,” said Zandile. “The teachers are good people and they always encourage you in class, they are very kind and the staff as a whole is like family to you while away from home. When you leave SEI, I think you will leave being a completely new person. They help you to build self-confidence and help you discover who you are in your academics and real life. SEI is a home away from home.

Preparing for the Future

Students won’t be at SEI forever, but that doesn’t mean they won’t leave SEI being changed forever. Our goal is that every student walks away with stronger confidence and improved character.

One way Mrs. Krogh is preparing her students for future success is by discussing various career paths. Today, her students played “career bingo” and learned about different career fields that may be of interest to them. Mrs. Krogh reported that the activity brought about wonderful conversations regarding the future dreams of her students and most importantly how to achieve them.

In the life skills class, Ms. Dunn taught her students about college preparation. The students spent time in the computer lab researching colleges and articulating their key college decision motivators.

In Ms. Flenniken’s class, every student made a collage explaining their personality. This project helped them to reflect on what they are good at and how they can use their skills to impact the world. According to 2011 SEI alumna, Esther Ju, “At SEI, I learned about how to become more confident through comparing my own improvements with my past, rather than comparing my own achievements to others. Looking back on my college years, I would say that much success is related to this important lesson I learned from SEI.” We are happy to have Esther return to SEI as a Communications Assistant and Translator, using the skills she learned at SEI to do her job with excellence.

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About SEI

1. RTA Meetings

RTAs meet every evening to discuss how they can better serve the SEI students. This time is used to surface issues, encourage each other and converse about student needs. It is important to get each staff member on the same page, as it ultimately benefits the students.

2. Staff Training

Staff spent a combined total of over 1,000 hours in training preparing for SEI. Additionally, many teachers began preparing lesson plans for courses more than 6 months prior to SEI.

3. Activities offered

This year at SEI, more than 40 different activities have been offered for students outside the classroom. After a long day of classes, it is important for students to have a chance to recharge and enjoy a variety of American activities. One of the favorite activities this year was Karaoke Night!

4. Clean Room Competitions

Students have spent approximately 200 hours cleaning their rooms to prepare for clean room competitions that take place each week. It is always a highlight for SEI students and staff to look at pictures of the cleanest rooms each week during Community Time.

5. Walmart Trips

With almost 200 SEI students and staff members living on campus, there are constant needs for supplies. So far, the SEI staff have taken a combined total of over 15 Walmart trips to purchase various types of supplies.

Week Two Highlight Video

More Photos

SEI Staff Highlight: Communications Assistant, Ms. Ju

Miss Ju, an alumna of SEI 2011, graduated from Wheaton Academy in 2014. She will be a senior at Calvin College this year. She studies speech pathology and hopes to work in China after gaining some working experience in America. During her time at Wheaton Academy, she stayed with three different host families and has kept in touch with them. At SEI, she has enjoyed learning stories from students with different backgrounds. During her free time, she likes reading, running, cooking, and traveling with her family.

Fun fact: she has visited more than 10 provinces in China.

Contact Information

Every day during SEI, you will receive a Daily Update informing you of what took place throughout the day at SEI – we will share photos, highlight stories and feature video clips. We hope you look forward to hearing about what is going on daily at SEI!

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at or contact the SEI parent hotline at 951-240-1409 for immediate assistance.