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Making the decision to enroll in a private, Catholic high school is an exciting one, but it also comes with its questions and challenges. Light on The Hill is designed to keep prospective and current students — and their parents — up-to-date on news, thoughts, and events relevant to the mission and values at St. Lawrence Seminary High School. 

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A Global Perspective: Here’s What You Should Know About the SLS Community

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St. Lawrence Seminary High School has been called a “mini United Nations” by numerous people over the years. This is because SLS has a diverse community of students who come from all parts of the globe. The ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic diversity at SLS helps make the St. Lawrence experience unique and creates for students one of the most memorable aspects of being a Hilltopper.

The student body has for many years reflected an obvious national and international diversity. Mixing in with the many students who call Wisconsin or Illinois their homes are students hailing from all over the United States. SLS has had students from as far away as California, Washington, New Hampshire, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, and many more.

Into this already varied mix are students from all over the world. Currently students from South Korea, Vietnam, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Ghana, and the Philippines call SLS their school. This broad mix of cultures has, in the past, also included students from Germany, Australia, Japan, Laos, Belgium, Nigeria, Canada, and Poland. Each year brings a new mixture of international flavor to the school.

This diversity gives the SLS community some very unique benefits.

Note: Are you interested in learning more about St. Lawrence Seminary High School and what is has to offer? Check out our guide for parents!

 

Student Diversity Broadens Horizons

The diversity of the student body broadens the cultural horizons of all students. In a world that becomes more and more connected, it is vital that the citizens of tomorrow to encounter other cultures, viewpoints, traditions, and experiences. At SLS, students rapidly learn that their fellow students often have many different experiences based on their place of origin.

Some come from backgrounds of great suffering or want. Others come from backgrounds of comfort and prosperity. Some have a very different view of material goods or privacy, while others emphasize family ties, communal involvement, or a very hard work ethic. Some have experienced prejudice, racism, and persecution. Others have grown up on farms, lived in overcrowded apartments, or in the middle of nowhere. This diversity of backgrounds is the foundation for SLS students learning about and sharing their experiences with classmates who may know very little about the rest of the world.

SLS’s Diversity Lets Students Experience Different Cultures

The diverse student body of SLS offers the ability to experience and understand the cultural traditions of people who live, quite literally, on almost every continent on earth. The boarding school environment encourages a healthy exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences so that a culture may, indeed, be encountered rather than just read about. In addition, international students experience the culture and traditions of the United States and, because of the setting of SLS, rural America.

SLS students experience the cultures of their fellow students in many ways: Prayers, song, celebration days, and an annual cultural heritage night, which features a wide variety of ethnic food prepared by students. Numerous students have likewise taken home international students during vacation breaks — an experience that broadens the experience of the host family and the visiting international student.  Nearly everyone would agree that this sort of direct contact with another culture is an extremely powerful learning experience.

Students Learn About Culture on a Personal Level

The boarding school aspect of St. Lawrence is an ideal setting for really getting to know someone else’s culture. The one-on-one, day-to-day interactions between students at SLS encourage a level of cultural sharing that goes beyond just trying new foods. By living with their peers, students learn about simple differences in climate, customs, food, music, and what other teenagers do for fun. In other words, SLS students eventually learn a lot about cultures all over the world.

Being a Hilltopper means many things, but becoming more knowledgeable about a variety of diverse cultures is certainly an integral part of the SLS experience.


Are you interested in sending your child to boarding school for high school?  The Boarding School Decision Guide was created by the St. Lawrence Seminary High School Admissions team with parents like you in mind. St. Lawrence knows that choosing to send your son to boarding school can be a difficult decision, but this guide will help answer your questions and relieve your concerns.

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Get the Guide