Boarding Program marks decade of international education


Kelsey Cottrell

The boarding program students toured Stanford University earlier this school year.

Hana Wadlow '25, Staff Reporter

“This is a community that everyone can be involved in,” Boarding Program Director David Lin ’99 told the group of students at their first dorm meeting, on the first day back at school.

Recently, Archbishop Riordan High School went coed and invited female students onto what once was an all male campus. The change also applied to the Boarding Program, celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

Each year, the program serves approximately 30 students from countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Montenegro, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Senegal, Cameroon, Turkey, France, Taiwan, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, and Sudan, which means about 300 students from around the globe have attended Riordan through the boarding program.

Members of Riordan’s boarding program visited the Golden Gate Bridge this fall. (Kelsey Cottrell)

Since Riordan went coed, there have been a total of 17 girls in the boarding program, with two last year, and 15 this year.

The Boarding Program staff prioritizes making Riordan feel like a second home for international students andstudents from within the country.

Boarding student Nick Li ’25 said, “I officially felt part of the Riordan community when I created my own club, the Anime Club. I get to be one of the presidents out of all 34 clubs Riordan has. I can also hang out with people that have the same interests and share our thoughts in the club.”

The boarding program has created many friendships.  Whether they are friends from class or ones they met in the dorms. Through the program, students have the opportunity to achieve what they have worked for their entire life. Many went on to amazing top colleges, such as NYU, UC Berkeley, UCLA, where they get to focus on what they love most.

There are many more opportunities that one can receive by attending Riordan’s boarding program. For anyone, the thought of living somewhere new with new customs and cultures, and new people can seem overwhelming.

The boarding program helps bring out the best in people, in an environment where they get to meet new people from all over the world as well as expand skills in academics, sports, and clubs.

“We are excited in this new era for Riordan as a school and a boarding program, and it’s not too often a school has the opportunity to start fresh and create something new. In this past year of having coed dormitories, we’ve had to adapt and be creative in building the community in a way it has never experienced,” Lin said.

Boarding students experience different cultures and foods from around the world. (Kelsey Cottrell)

He added, “We are happy to say that the spirit of the community has been strong and we the students are thriving. We had our first female varsity athlete from boarding win an award from golf this past season as the Most Improved Athlete.”

“It’s exciting for us to see because there were moments, especially during the pandemic, where we weren’t sure how the program was going to move forward,” Lin confided.

“However, our department with Mr. Curtin and Mr. Kopp, and our Residential Staff who worked hard to support dorm living during a difficult time has proven that hard work, care, love, and a heart to serve others is essential to building relationships and creating community.”

Lin said, “Throughout the past 10 years of the boarding program being open Riordan got to see many excellent students, amazing, long- lasting friendships, creativity, and many more things blossom in the Boarding Program.”

“Six percent of Riordan’s students are part of the boarding program, and 90 percent of them are international boarding students, which creates a rich environment of diversity and many different people, cultures, and stories to tell.”