FRIDLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - Three months in, Totino-Grace High School’s new boarding option is so far a success. It is the first Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to offer a boarding option.
So far, six students have decided to call the school home, living in the on-campus dormitory.
The residence has all the comforts of home with a kitchen, recreation room and rooms with loft beds to make space for a desk underneath. Managers and advisors are on hand to watch over and guide students through their high school years.
Although anyone from around the world and in the United States can apply to go to school at Totino-Grace and board there, right now most boarding students are from China and South Korea.
The students say American schools have not only excellent educational opportunities, but co-curricular opportunities as well.
Junior Calisto Zhang says in China they are only allowed to study and are often expected to do that until 11:30 p.m.
“It’s a total different study system here, where as in China, every person is stressed out,” Zhang said. “Here we have time to do what sports we like – I love tennis.”
Zhang says the six students have become like family. They eat and hang out together.
School officials say the dorm can house over 40 students, but they plan on only adding four to six students per year at first. Tuition, room and board costs just under $40,000 per year.
Officials say the Midwest is becoming more appealing every year when compared to boarding schools on the east and west coast.
“Now the Midwest is becoming an attraction to the families over in china: quality of education, the lifestyle, the clean air [and] the quality of life for families.” Shari Nichols, director of enrollment in international students, says.