An experiential and personalized education that produces dynamic young women
Growing up in South Korea, where education was highly regarded, Jooyeon “Juniper” Moon knew she needed a school that would broaden her horizons and career prospects. Her parents agreed. When her college experience did not live up to their expectations, they decided to send her to a girls’ boarding school in America, specifically a boarding school with intimate classrooms, personalized attention, family support. and a superb location. After extensive research, only one came up to it –– Oldfields School in Sparks Glencoe, Maryland.
Juniper used to travel with her father, but always worried about the language barrier and cultural differences in the United States. Luckily, Oldfields had the right mix of international students and girls from the United States, and everyone was quick to help her feel at home. Some even took it passionately in their care.
“Everyone assumed I was Chinese,” she recalls. “I told two respected seniors that I was Korean and they made sure to correct everyone!
At Oldfields School, students form strong bonds with their peers and teachers. Longtime educator at the school, Ms. Maribeth Littlefield, is one of Juniper’s biggest supporters. When Juniper sometimes feels down or overwhelmed, Mrs. Littlefield is quick to step in with an extra tutoring session or a trip to buy ice cream. She even adapted her history curriculum to regularly cover topics from Asia and other cultures, ensuring that Juniper and her international student mates not only gain new cultural perspectives, but also share their own cultures with the class.
“You can’t teach history just through facts and dates,” says Littlefield. “You have to teach it through the eyes and hearts of those who lived it if you really want to remember it and do it justice.”
Passionate discussions in small classes allow each student to have their voice heard. “We often discuss topics that involve current events from around the world, which brings us together as a class,” says Juniper. As her English proficiency improved, she found the confidence to try new things like running cross country, becoming a student government leader, and taking advanced placement courses. Fortunately, in Oldfields there is a lot to try.
In fact, in this school, learning is doing. The dreams and aspirations of the Oldfields girls are seen as possible career paths rather than phases. The school prioritizes exploring their passions and trying new things. If they change their mind, that’s fine too – they’ll always be applauded every step of the way. It is this encouragement that ensures that young women realize their full potential long before they head to college or university. In this school, “hands-on” learning through experience guarantees exceptional results.
Each year, each student chooses a course by one or more faculty members in an area of their expertise. Programs can be on campus, across the United States, around the world, or a combination of all three. Imagine two exciting weeks of galloping through the Icelandic countryside, living with a host family in a historic French quarter, building shelters for people in need of housing in New Orleans, ziplining and snorkeling in Mexico’s Yucatan region, visiting gardens and creating art inspired by nature, learning and performing with professional dancers, even flying a plane while you study the physics of air travel and space–– May’s program makes it all possible. Most importantly, students see themselves and the world from a new perspective and make lifelong friendships.
Watch this video to see the Oldfields May programs in action.
Interested in aerodynamics, Juniper was able to help pilot an aircraft as part of the May “Flight” program. She went indoor skydiving, learned how the Wright brothers conceptualized the world’s first aircraft, and toured the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. These experiences reinforced his love for science in ways the classes couldn’t.
Determined to stay close to the high school that shaped her, Juniper will soon attend Johns Hopkins University, located just 30 minutes from Oldfields, as a pre-med student.
Located on 140 acres, surrounded by rolling hills and close to many cultural centers –– Oldfields School is also neighboring Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York. This prime location fuels the school’s ability to deliver a life-changing education for its daughters.
The school’s location is also close to inspiring natural resources such as the Chesapeake Bay, the Appalachians, and the Atlantic beaches, which are sure to meet the needs of environmentalists or aspiring environmentalists.
Take current student Michaela, for example. The location of the school and the ability to learn outside of the classroom is the main reason she joined. “I wanted to be at one with nature and get out of my comfort zone,” she says. “Rafting the waterways of Maryland has allowed me to do just that. I am proud to say it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Watch this video where students explain why this school where learning continues outside the classroom becomes like a second home.
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