International Students Embrace the History and Culture of Boston

“Amazing.” That’s how Warsameh Jama ’25, a boarding student from Somalia, summed up his first reaction to visiting Boston.

Jama and 29 of Masters’ first-year international students took part in an annual weekend trip filled with history, food and fun. 

“It was kind of a quiet city with beautiful buildings and views,” Jama said. “I can say that it was the most historic place I’ve ever been.” 

Dean of Global Studies and Ninth Grade Dean Robert Fish led the weekend trip with chaperones Betty Matias-Hsu, senior associate director of admission and financial aid, and Penny Peng, upper school Mandarin teacher.

Fish said, “The students enjoyed Boston, bonded well with each other and learned about some important themes in American history and culture that will help them better adjust to life in the United States.” 

The boarding students from China, Czech Republic, Spain, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Jamaica, Slovakia, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan and Vietnam covered a lot of ground during their stay. Highlights included the U.S.S. Constitution, Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House and Copp's Hill Burying Ground. Other stops included Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Copley Square, the Boston Marathon Finish Line, Trinity Church, Boston Common, and Chinatown.

Jama enjoyed visiting many of the places where he “learned more about the history of the U.S. and the American Revolution. It helped me prepare for my upcoming U.S. history test.” His favorite spot was the Charlestown Navy Yard because, he said, “It gave me a glimpse of what happened in the past and what a ship and shipyard looked like.”

Matias-Hsu called the trip a highly enriching experience: “It provided an invaluable opportunity for students to foster interpersonal bonds and temporarily step away from their academic routines, allowing them to explore a distinct region of the Northeast without the pressures of coursework.” 

She did note that for the students, a major highlight was the culinary exploration — and Jama wholeheartedly agreed: “This was my first time eating Italian food, and it was so delicious. Now I’m a fan!”

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