International Student FAQs

What is the weather like there? What clothes should I bring?

Mark Twain once said of our weather, "Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. There is only one thing certain about it: you are certain there is going to be plenty of it..."

Massachusetts, where NMH is located, has weather that varies with its four seasons. Summer is hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 80 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and this weather may last into August or early September.

In spring and fall the temperature averages between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and you will need sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece jackets, and rainwear during these two seasons.

Winters can be very cold and snowy, averaging 28 degrees Fahrenheit, so jackets that can withstand temperatures below zero are necessary, as are snow boots, warm socks, gloves, and hats. Because they take up so much space in suitcases, these items can be purchased once students are here. The school offers buses and vans to local shopping areas.

How do you assign roommates?

We ask admitted students to complete a short questionnaire and we use their answers to try to match roommates of approximately the same age who have compatible habits and interests. However, we also want to have a good mix of students of different ages and backgrounds in each house, so we make no guarantees about assignments.

New students who know each other from home are not allowed to live together. International students who are in the English as a Second Language program cannot room with someone who speaks their native language. If you are in the English as a Second Language program, we will make every effort to room you with an English-speaking roommate.

How many international students attend NMH?

About 20 percent of NMH students are from countries other than the United States.

The Global Engagement Office can provide help with immigration for both parents and students.

Does NMH help families apply for a Visa?

No. All international students who do not have a U.S. passport or a U.S. green card must apply to their local U.S. consulate or embassy to obtain an entry visa.

Does NMH give an I-20 form?


What about immigration?

The Global Engagement Office can provide help with immigration for both parents and students.

When is the best time for parents to visit?

One weekend each term the school hosts Family Days, when parents are invited to come to campus, visit classes, attend athletic activities, and meet with teachers and advisors. These are scheduled at the beginning of the year, so international parents have plenty of time to schedule flights.

Where can my son or daughter stay when the school is closed?

During long weekends, international students can stay in their rooms. However, they must leave the campus during major school breaks. If a student is unsure about making plans during breaks, he or she should contact the Global Engagement Office, which will help find the best options.

What is there for students to do on the weekend? Do all the American students go home?

Because NMH is a boarding campus, the majority of students are on campus during weekends. Popular dances are well attended. Movies play in Grandin Auditorium. "After-hours" events occur in houses when they invite other houses to participate in an activity after house closing. On Saturdays there are usually sporting events, and a shuttle to Greenfield is available.

Religious services and meetings are offered on the weekends as well, with Shabbat services held on Friday nights, church services held in Memorial Chapel every Sunday morning, and transportation available to other religious affiliations.

Are the students safe on your campus?

Because we are located in a rural area and not in a big city, NMH can better oversee and protect its students. People are not allowed to trespass on our campus, and security officers patrol the campus around the clock. In addition, students must have written permission from their parents as well as from the parents of anyone they want to visit in order to leave campus.

How are international students supported throughout the school year?

NMH's Global Engagement Office provides special assistance to international students and their families throughout the year. Advisors and house directors are there to give individual support. Special activities, social groups, and meals help students remain connected with those who share their culture.

What opportunities are there to gain knowledge of American culture?

Because we are an American boarding school, everything from living with students from across the United States to participating in one or more of the 30 clubs and activities groups helps students learn about American culture from their peers.

Field trips taken by classes as well as weekend trips to neighboring cities like Boston or New York City further their knowledge of culture.

What opportunities are there for international students to learn English?

The ESL program at NMH provides an alternative to the humanities program for ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders. Students for whom English is a second language are tested after their arrival at NMH and are placed in courses according to their grade level as well as their skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Courses include Culture and Communication, Intermediate Reading and Writing, Advanced Reading and Writing, and English for Special Purposes (for sophomores and juniors).

How do you make sure students succeed academically?

Each student has an advisor who answers questions and guides him or her in selecting classes. Class teachers are also available outside of the classroom for advice and to answer questions. If necessary, tutors are available (for an hourly cost) to assist students in particular subjects.

Students are required to be in study hall, in their houses, from 8 to 10 pm Monday through Friday and from 7:30 to 9:30 pm on Sundays. During these hours, they must study quietly in the rooms, without television, radios, or phone calls.

Will my son/daughter be prepared to study at an American university?

Yes. NMH offers courses that prepare students to enter any of the United States colleges and universities.

Also, NMH students can take one of 23 advanced placement (AP) courses. If a student takes an AP course and passes the test in that subject, he or she can receive college credit for it. This can help both admission to colleges and universities and also help students take higher-level courses once there.

Beginning in junior year, each student is assigned a college counselor who works with him or her through senior year. Students also participate in a class that helps them select and apply to colleges and universities.

A bird's eye view

Nhu Hoang

My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.

Tabatha Collins

Struggling in a class doesn't mean that you are not good at it.

Gretel Schatz, Director of the Dance program, instructs a dance student.

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Hugh Silbaugh

"I’m a teacher and a dean. Teaching always comes first."

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.


“The best thing about NMH is the connections you make.” 


“NMH challenges students to innovate and persevere while keeping in mind the effects of our actions on the community."


“This community gives me the resources to grow as a student and discover passions I never knew I had.” 


“I am confident in myself and my abilities to succeed, thanks to NMH.”


"I love the freedom I have to explore what I am passionate about."


"NMH gives us space to experiment and gradually to grow into ourselves."


"I noticed how welcoming everyone was when I first came to campus.”


“The first step to excelling at NMH is embracing your own individuality.” 


“I appreciate the bond faculty and students have at NMH.”


"The community at NMH is unlike any I’ve ever known, and for that I am grateful.”


"NMH allows me to be myself in the classroom and ensures I am an articulate, curious, and courageous student.”


“I was initially surprised by how relaxed, yet academic, the environment is."


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."


“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”

60 arts performances every year
1,353 campus acres
200 students volunteer each semester
67 sports teams
6:1 student-teacher ratio