By Helen Samuels
NEW YORK, April 2011
The first day at Brooklyn International High School (BIHS), my first Unites States education experience, was different from what I would refer it today. I arrived to NY with my family from Thailand in June of 2008. With the limited English language I had learned in Thailand; I found life in New York wasn’t fun and easy at all. During summer of 2008, I was told from people who have been here ahead of my family that I have to continue my education in New York public high school, which later I learned would be attending BIHS in Brooklyn.
Before the fall semester of 2008 started, I had to be in summer school to prepare myself for the English language, the Unites States education system and getting used to a new environment. The Karen family, who lived in the same apartment where my family lived, guided us to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), New York resettlement office to find me a summer school. IRC helps refugees from many countries, diverse ages and life background for support to go through a process I would call “Building a new life”. Steps to build a new life starts from learning English, learning about the transportation system (subway), learning about going to the hospital, making an appointment, contact a bank, apply for social security card, state ID card, apply for public assistance and search for job/school.