The OCAC Suzhou Boarding Programme is an invaluable experience for our students, preparing them for success in the world beyond high school. We strive to develop our students' sense of self by encouraging them to get involved in our school community. Our boarding programme provides many opportunities for students to build their leadership, conflict-resolution, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and life-management skills.
At OCAC Suzhou, acquiring life skills essential for post-secondary life abroad is highly valued. Time management is an especially important skill for the students living in the student dormitory.
Students begin their day at 6:30 am and have until 8:00 am to prepare for the day, eat breakfast, and study. From 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, students are in class except for an hour lunch around noon. That is followed immediately by CCA time from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
In the evening, there is an hour allotted for students to take care of chores (do laundry, etc.) back in the dorm, study, or exercise. Dinner is provided in the canteen and followed by study time and an hour of quiet time from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
The schedule that boarding students follow creates a consistent daily routine that helps the students be able to get the most out of their day.
Life in the classroom for students can be a different experience as compared with previous school experiences.
At OCAC Suzhou, the students are the center of attention and are expected to further their knowledge through self-directed inquiry, reflections, and investigations. In the classroom, it is common to see teachers seated amongst the students as they work individually and in groups. Working closely with students builds strong teacher-student relationships that establish trust and mutual understanding.
An environment built upon strong relationships is conducive to learning. It is important because it helps us to support the students in managing their stress, so that they can succeed in our rigorous programmes.
During each school day, there are times when the students have spare time to chat and socialize. After school programmes and CCAs give students opportunities to act as leaders to their peers.
In the dorm, students have developed programmes to improve their own quality of life, such as recycling. Students also have opportunities to socialize with students in other schools through our after-school sports programme.
The balance that is created between social life and academic life is important. The best way for students to achieve this balance is by getting engaged in activities, clubs, sports, and starting their own programmes.