Every student at Mercersburg has an assigned faculty adviser. This person is the student’s strongest advocate, working closely with teachers, dormitory faculty, coaches, and instructors to make sure each student receives proper guidance. Each student’s adviser works closely with students to provide support with academic preparation and social adjustment. Of special note are the Learning Services Program and the Writing Center.
To help with the transition into the Mercersburg community, many international students participate in the ESL+ Intensive Summer English Language Program
prior to the start of their first year. This extensive summer program focuses on English writing, grammar, conversation, TOEFL practice and preparation, as well as American culture, U.S. history, and geography.
Mercersburg also serves as an official TOEFL iBT test center, offering on-campus testing a few times a year to our international students.
When international students arrive at Mercersburg, the school provides essentials such as bedding, pillows, and towels, if needed, until the students can buy those items for themselves. International students are then immersed in orientation and Inbound activities like any other new student. This allows them to get acquainted with the school, classroom buildings, schedule, and dormitories. Importantly, it also helps them make some initial friends. International students generally take one or more shopping trips to buy supplies during their first days on campus.
Passports & Visas
The admission office and the business office work closely with students on issues regarding visas and passports. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure his or her passport is valid and that the visa is in order, but the admission office is a good resource for any questions that may come up. Students are encouraged to leave their passports, visas, and other important documents in the school safe when they are not traveling.
During Mercersburg vacations (Thanksgiving Vacation, Winter Vacation, Spring Vacation, Summer Vacation), the campus is closed. Most international students travel home. Of those who do not fly home, most find a friend on their own, and go home to their friend’s home for the vacation. In the case of the students who cannot find a place to stay for vacation, especially Thanksgiving because of its brevity, the dean of students will try to place them with a host family. The dean of students tries to mostly closely match the international student age and interests with the best fit from the group of host students and families who have volunteered to host. International students always stay with a family whose Mercersburg student is of the same gender. There is a fee of $25 per night in recognition of the host family’s hospitality.