ESL, Math & English
VIA integrates Chelsea Academy’s challenging academic environment with special preparation for international students, including emphasis on reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as test-taking skills. Furthermore, VIA provides a supplemental Mathematics course which focuses upon unfamiliar terminology and topics otherwise not emphasized in China.
At VIA, students become familiar with the structure of American classes. The academy teaches its international students the skill of active participation within the classroom. Over the course of the academic year, they learn how to study independently, engage in group projects, in addition to participating in class seminars.
Activities & Sports
VIA makes the most of its beautiful and historically rich location in the Shenandoah Valley. Students participate in hiking, canoeing, skiing and other activities in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Students also have the opportunity travel to historic and cultural sites, such as Civil War battlefields and Washington, D.C., in addition to traveling to other cities in the United States over holidays.
Whether competing on Chelsea Academy’s sports teams or participating in VIA’s physical education program, students daily participate in athletics. They are given the opportunity to play soccer, tennis and volleyball in addition to learning popular U.S. sports not common in China, such as football, baseball, lacrosse and field hockey. Students are then experiencing American culture while being formed into responsible, independent young men and women.
Experiencing American Culture
VIA’s students have the opportunity and are encouraged to interact with American students at Chelsea Academy. For example, during Thanksgiving and Christmas, families of Chelsea Academy often invite students from VIA to experience the holidays through an American culture. Likewise, Chelsea Academy attends VIA’s Mid-Autumn Festival, as well as the annual Chinese New Year celebration. Additionally, Chelsea Academy hosts its Ambassador Program, through which qualified students regularly visit and interact with VIA’s students. Chelsea Academy’s Ambassadors serve as mentors and friends during lunch, sports, school functions, after-school activities, and often on weekends. This program allows the different cultures to interact with each other, and provides VIA with the opportunity to immerse its students in American culture for further academic formation.
Dealing with Homesickness
It is extremely common for our students to experience homesickness due to the cultural differences and being on their own for the first time. Our aim is to provide students with a home-away-from-home, where they feel comfortable and empowered to flourish as individuals. Through a busy and eventful school life, along with friendly and experienced staff, VIA’s students are able to grow and mature while still receiving help and support.