In the news: Chinese students looking for the elite American boarding school experience, Marvelwood School, a U.S. boarding school, said to be disillusioned

Not offered financial aid, the Chinese pay $46,000 for tuition and room and board[16], plus a $1,000 international student fee added in 2009 to cover costs such as airport transportation and Lunar New Year celebrations. Unlike Knox and Marvelwood, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall doesn’t charge for English-as-a-second- language classes because they substitute for regular courses, Conrad said.

‘In Our DNA’

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall has enjoyed prior spikes in enrollment from other countries, said Siri Akal Khalsa, the school’s president, a Brooklyn native who converted from the Russian Orthodox Church to Sikhism and sports a white turban and long white beard. “It’s in our DNA to be very globally minded. There’s been a reapportioning of where students are coming from. There’s no change in our admissions policy or mission.”

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall features a learning center[17] to help students understand concepts and organize assignments. “Nearly 70 percent of our students have been diagnosed with some learning difference, including things like ADD, ADHD, or Dyslexia,” according to the school’s website.

‘Assymmetrically Excellent’

“Nearly 70 percent” is a “misprint,” Conrad said. The statistic was dropped from the website after a Bloomberg reporter asked about it. Less than half of students have been diagnosed with learning differences, said Conrad, who declined to give a percentage for its U.S. students.

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall attracts “asymmetrically excellent” students, he said. Their intelligence is often “bodily kinesthetic or naturalistic,” which is under-appreciated in public schools, rather than linguistic or mathematical- logical, said Conrad, referring to Harvard Professor Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple types of intelligence.

Shuyang Shen, whose father is a clothing exporter in southeast China, enrolled at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall as a sophomore in January 2009. Her agency, Guangzhou-based EIC Group[18], one of the biggest in China, didn’t tell her that many of her U.S. classmates would have learning disabilities, she said.

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