International students have the same opportunities as other students to participate in school sports, arts, and activities and are encouraged to become involved in these offerings.
In fact, becoming active in school life is perhaps more important for international students than for other students, because it provides a much-needed context for learning conversational English and American culture. Teachers and guardians can help guide each student in the right direction, but ultimately, it is the student who must take the initiative to join clubs and teams and to make new friends.
Most of our international students live in the dormitory as seven-day boarders. This experience provides them with the opportunity to make friends and speak English with students from the U.S. and other countries. Special outings to local parks, historical sites, and nearby cities like Washington D.C. and Richmond are planned on the weekends.
Visits with American Families
Families within the school community often invite international students to their homes for a meal or activity. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to practice English and to become familiar with the American family. Likewise, it benefits the American family as they can learn about foreign countries and cultures firsthand.
Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to learn more about other countries during international festivals. In the fall, students participate in a community-wide International Food Festival in downtown Charlottesville; in the winter, Chinese New Year is celebrated by showcasing Asian dancing, martial arts, and crafts; and in the spring, the International Relations Club organizes an International May Fest which highlights food and music from around the world. The input of our international students is essential in such endeavors.