- O'Gorman currently has 19 international students from seven different countries.
- Homestays are available through the school and they apply directly through Dr. Hamstra.
- O'Gorman has campus ministry and service opportunities, in which students grow their understanding of what it means to show compassion and concern for the most vulnerable in society.
- O'Gorman has ACT preparatory classes in the fall and in the spring.
- O'Gorman has a strong STEM focus with a total of 23 AP and Dual Credit courses.
Coming to a high school in a foreign country can be challenging for anybody. To ease the transition, OGHS provides programs designed especially for international students, including a semester-long orientation for all new international students.
6 Benefits of Studying at a Catholic High School
By: Dr. Hamstra
There are many different types of schools in the United States, and with so many options, choosing the right school for you can be a difficult decision. The US has private, religious, and public schools, and they are all unique. International students are limited to attending US public schools for one year, but international students can attend private and religious schools for all four years of high school. This allows students to become fully immersed into the school and US culture.
Religious schools are private in the US, and they can be any denomination. Religious schools offer many benefits to international students. Catholic high schools—one common type of religious school—are popular options for international students, whether or not they are Catholic themselves. International students choose Catholic high schools because of their small class sizes, strong academics, and focus on the student as a whole person. Here are six benefits to studying at a Catholic High school:
1. More likely to graduate from college
Students who graduate from Catholic high schools are more likely to graduate from college. Therefore, if your goal is to go to a US college and graduate, a Catholic high school might be a good option for you.
2. Higher average SAT scores
Students who attend Catholic high schools have higher average SAT scores than students who attend other types of schools. Higher SAT scores means you will be able to attend more competitive colleges or receive more scholarships.
3. Higher reading and math scores
Students from Catholic schools have higher reading and math scores on standardized tests, which results in higher scores in class and on those tests. This also means that you will be more prepared for challenging collegiate course work.
4. Lower cost than other private schools
Catholic schools have an average tuition rate that is lower than other private schools, making it more affordable for everybody. This option often makes school in the US a possibility for many international students.
Catholic schools focus on serving others as part of their education for students. Students learn the value of volunteerism and compassion for others at Catholic schools, often through service hours built into the curriculum.
6. Single-sex options
Catholic schools can be co-ed—where both boys and girls attend—or single-sex, where only boys or girls attend. Single-sex options might be good options for students who are accustomed to attending class with people of their own gender or those who believe that would help them learn better. When researching and talking to schools, think about what is the best fit for you and your learning.
Choosing a US high school is a difficult and important decision. It is important to think about what you want your experience to be like while you are in high school, as well as your goals after you graduate. Catholic high schools can provide excellent high school experiences and prepare you for success in college and beyond.
What are the best parts about studying abroad, according to international high school students?
By: Dr. Hamstra
There are many reasons students choose to study abroad for high school. Some reasons include wanting to broaden your horizons, learn about a new culture, enhance your language skills, and take charge of your futures. Once students make the decision to study abroad, they have a wide variety of experiences. Everybody has both positive and negative experiences while they study abroad, especially at the beginning. However, in the end, most students are really happy they made the decision to study abroad.
When students are studying abroad during high school in the US, what do they think are the best parts? According to international students studying at a US high school, there are three major advantages to studying abroad in the US for high school.
1. New Experiences. When you chose to study abroad, you get new experiences that you cannot get in your home country. You have different cultural experiences than you experience in your own country. When you are living abroad, you learn about a completely new way of life. For example, you experience different foods, you learn in a school that has a different way of teaching, and you meet new people who have different life experiences and outlooks.
2. Challenge Yourself. When you choose to study abroad, you are putting yourself in a completely new and strange context. You have to push yourself to adjust to your new place, culture, and environments. Learning to adapt to these will help you with your future, including adjusting to college and work.
3. Become More Independent. When you study abroad, you go to a new place all by yourself. This may be the first time you have been away from your family and friends, so you learn how to do things by yourself. For example, you may have to learn how to cook or do laundry, or you may have to learn how to ask others for help when you do not know how to do something. As you become more independent, you also learn to take responsibility for your actions in ways you have not had to do before. As you gain experiences in your new high school, you become more mature and learn how to handle situations or circumstances that you face by yourself.
There are many reasons and benefits to studying abroad, and when asked, international students at a US high school said that if you are interested, you should definitely study abroad. When asked what advice they have for students interested in studying abroad, this is what they said:
“Go for it! …Go study abroad. Go have an experience because you never know what could come out of it.” -11th grader from South Korea
“I think students should know that studying abroad is really worth it and that it might not be exactly what they pictured. They should also know that it's not scary and that they will get to experience a lot of new things that will definitely be useful in the future” –11th grader from Thailand
Studying abroad is a transformative experience—it can change your perspective on the world, your life, and who you are as a person. You will gain next experiences, challenge yourself in new ways, and become a more independent person. If you are interested in studying abroad… Go for it! You will have the experience of a lifetime.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota is located in the “Heart of America.” Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state of South Dakota and is 2 ½ hours from Omaha, Nebraska and 4 hours from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
Metro Population: 251,000
Area: 73.66 square miles
Altitude: 1,422 feet above sea level
Latitude: 43° 32’ 50” • Longitude: 96° 43’ 48”
Summer: High: 84°F/Low: 62°F
Fall: High: 60°F/Low: 36°F
Winter: High: 29°F/Low: 10°F
Spring: High: 59°F/Low: 34°F
- The Washington Pavilion: Experience Science, Theater, and Art
- Downtown Sioux Falls: Restaurants, shops, museums, and art galleries
- The Sculpture Walk: Exhibit of sculptures from around the world
- Movie theaters, bowling alleys and shopping malls!
- Over 20 miles of biking and walking trails
- Ultimate Frisbee or Frisbee golf.
- Public swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses
- Canoeing and Kayaking
- Go-Kart park, a trampoline park, skateboard parks, and video gaming venues.
- Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snow shoeing, and ice skating
- Rock climbing
- Soccer or softball
- Pheasant hunting in the fall
The International Student Coordinator, Dr. Caitlin Hamstra is looking forward to helping you find your place at O’Gorman.
Dr. Caitlin Hamstra
+001.605. 575. 3316