Springfield is the Illinois state capital and offers big city comforts with small town safety. By living in Springfield, IL, international students enjoy Midwestern friendliness and the community support of SHG. SHG offers a number of athletic teams, student groups, opportunities for social development and extracurricular activities to enhance the classroom academics and create a total student experience aimed at developing the whole person: to be who you are meant to be!

SHG International Students meet monthly and have quarterly social outings which in the past have included an escape room, Lunar New Year’s celebratory lunch at a local restaurant, and tours of Midwestern universities. SHG recognizes that the international experience is a unique one and is invested in building the community life of international students to support and celebrate them. At SHG, International Students have fun together!

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Meet International Student Coordinator, Mrs. Amy McElfresh!

Mrs. McElfresh is one of the first faces you will see when you enter SHG. SHG is a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school with multiple Designated School Officials (DSO) to facilitate student complicity with the I-20 Visa required by Homeland Security. Mrs. McElfresh is the primary PDSO available throughout the international student experience at SHG responding to legal requirements for maintaining I-20 status for students and SEVP certification for SHG. Along with her duties as Administrative Assistant, she is an active listener and constructive problem-solver for the SHG international student community.  

SHG International Student Host Family Life

  • Mrs. McElfresh matches each SHG international student with a local Springfield host family.
  • It is important that the personalities and needs of each SHG international student are accommodated by the host family.
  • Mrs. McElfresh ensures that the host family experience is a mutual exchange between the student and the host family: the student shares their culture with the host family, and the host family shares their culture with the student. Every student has their own bedroom, access to laundry facilities, and is provided with family meals and groceries.
  • Each host family and student relationship is unique and Mrs. McElfresh works with everyone involved to make clear the expectations of the family and the student. For host families and students, the experience creates a special lasting bond.
  • Mrs. McElfresh will facilitate orientation for every host family and student on inter-cultural exchange and will work throughout the student’s stay to make the host family experience a fulfilling one.

About International Consultants and Agents

SHG partners with Petit World Consulting to create a holistic international education experience for every international student at SHG. SHG will work with international agents representing students but always prioritizes needs of the students and their families.