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

Shen soon noticed that some of them had short attention spans or said “random things” in class, including one student who spouted pro-Hitler and pro-Stalin slogans, she said. “He knows he has a problem but he can’t stop,” she said.

ADD ‘Normal’

During her senior year, a roommate told her that attention deficit disorder was prevalent at the school. Before then, “I thought it was normal in the U.S,” said Shen, 19, who graduated second in her class in June and is a freshman at the University of Southern California[19].

It would be “counter-productive” for Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall’s agents to tell Chinese parents about its learning- disabled population, Khalsa said.

“In many Asian countries, the idea of any sort of learning difference is anathema. Even to talk about any learning difference translates into, ‘Not my child.’”

Khalsa is “aware of abuses that can happen at the ground level when people are paid to recruit kids,” he said.

EIC has sent three students to Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall since 2008 and received no complaints, spokeswoman Yalan Chan said in an e-mailed response to questions. The agency isn’t aware that the school serves students with attention-deficit disorder, she said. “Neither the school’s information, website or publicity materials indicates this,” she said.

Chinese Roommate

As a junior, Shen wanted an American roommate so she could improve her English, she said. Instead, she was assigned a newcomer from China. When she asked why, dorm parent Paula Buerger told her, “We have too many Chinese here, we can’t arrange it, you can help her,” said Shen. Buerger, who is also the school librarian, declined to comment.

Rooming Chinese students together bothered their parents as well, said Cathy Lindamood, the school’s former director of academics. “I had numerous conversations with families to assure them we were trying to place students with American roommates,” she said.

Headmaster Conrad said he hasn’t received any complaints from Chinese parents about the number of students from China. Under school policy, first-year students from the same culture can’t room together, he said. Returning students have more leeway.

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