The new Mercy division of the Amerigo program is a unique experience that allows students from around the world to partake in an American education and immerse themselves in American culture. The program extends to even after high school, as this exposure to a different education gives students increased chances of getting accepted into America’s top universities, providing them with a wide range of career opportunities. Aside from academic resources, Amerigo staff members provide students with the support they need with onsite dorm parents at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland, where students of the program live. On weekends, they are able to travel to local attractions such as the Inner Harbor and Washington D.C., attend sports games, and go on service trips with their fellow classmates, like the recent First Fruits Farm trip. It is difficult to imagine leaving the world as one knows it behind in order to take the life-changing leap to life and schooling in America.
I sat down with one of the members of the program, Huong Giang Do ‘20 from Vietnam, to find out more about the program and to talk about her Mercy experience so far.
What attracted you to Mercy High School?
Giang Do: It was the school’s teaching program and extracurricular activities that attracted me. And the fact that it was the only all-girls school that Amerigo partners with also got my attention, as I have only been to coed schools in the past.
How did you find out about this program? What were the qualifications to get into the program?
Giang Do: One of my father’s friends worked in education so she knew pretty much everything. She talked to me about the Amerigo program and encouraged me to apply for it. I had to have quite fluent English skills and recommendations from my math and English teachers to be qualified for the program.
Have you been to any other schools that are a part of the Amerigo program?
Giang Do: I have never been to other Amerigo campuses. But I have a friend studying in Cretin Derham Hall, which is Amerigo Twin Cities. She said it is very nice.
What has been the easiest and hardest part about adapting to life at Mercy and life in America?
Giang Do: I think the hardest part is to get used to how classes work. In Vietnam, we sit in the same class for the whole three years, studying the same subjects together. We do not move to other classes during break. So at first I found five minutes was too short for me to move between classes, but I got used to it now.
What’s your favorite part of Mercy?
Giang Do: My favorite part of Mercy is its spirit. I have been to a Mercy volleyball game, and I was surprised at how loud and supportive Mercy girls were.
How do you think this program will benefit you in the long run?
Giang Do: The program gives me the opportunity to study in a US high school, which would benefit me when I apply for colleges. It helps me get used to the teaching and learning methods, preparing me for college. I get to be immersed in US culture.
Any other additional comments about your daily routine and experience in the program?
Giang Do: My experience has been great so far. The staff is what I like most about the dorm. They are really caring, humorous, and nice to us.
To find out more about the Amerigo program, visit: http://www.amerigoeducation.com/index.php/en