Bismarck boarding school attracts students from across the globe

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Kids from all over the world come to North Dakota for an education, and we're not talking college. Students from Australia, Thailand and Korea are here for high school.

The Dakota Adventist Academy is a boarding school right here in Bismarck with 40 students. Host-families take in international students and kids from the United States.

One of the features that makes the school attractive is a low student-to-teacher ratio.

“You get a more one-on-one interaction with the teachers and a more personal connection with the students here,” said Kaitlyn Vaninwagen, a junior from California.

Being Adventist is not a requirement to attend the academy.

“They have the opportunity to learn in a Christian environment. A lot of the rural communities don't have the option of a Christian school,” said Tracy Jo Peterson, Recruitment Director.

Students say the horses that roam across a 600-acre campus offer a way to decompress.

“Going out to the barn is nice because you can talk to something that doesn't talk back, it just listens,” said Faith Peterson, a junior from North Dakota.

Construction and automotive technology are some of the most popular electives.

“I don't have any construction experience, I'm a city kid. But because of this class, now I know how to do things like use a hammer, a screwdriver, do plumbing stuff,” said Najeeb Debruze, a senior from Florida.

The kids are working on a tiny home that will be featured in the Bismarck Mandan Parade of Homes.

“You figure things out, and looking at the end of the project, the kids are very proud,” said Ryan Peterson, constructive and automotive technology instructor.

Automotive students can earn their ASE certification.

During the summer months, most kids go home.

Seventh-day Adventist is a Protestant Christian denomination that observes Saturday as the Sabbath.

The cost to send a student to the academy is $15,000 per year. Room and board is included but some programs and clubs have additional dues.

For more information you can visit their website: