Where our youngest students venture a few miles from campus and return in time for carpool, upper school students travel thousands of miles from home on multi-day excursions designed to complement curriculum and expose them to cultures other than their own.These trips provide immersion in subject matter and opportunities to conduct primary research, that juxtaposed to or pristine mountain home, are just one of the ways that VMS provides an education that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Immersion trips are typically offered during the January Intraterm, an opportunity for upper school students to focus on one subject often involving travel. Intraterm trips for 2016 include:
Costa Rica Spanish Language Immersion- For ten days, they live with local families, take Spanish language courses, and explore the rich culture and ecology of Costa Rica and learn the meaning of “Pura vida.”
China- With the inauguration of our international program in 2014, which brought several Chinese students to VMS, the school also began offering Mandarin language courses. This year, a group of students and faculty will have the opportunity to visit China and to explore it's rich history and put their Mandarin to work.
Regional College Exploration- The foucs of this trip is broadening horizons and getting a feel for different types of colleges--public vs. private, urban vs. rural, big vs. small, research vs. liberal arts. Each trip also has a regional focus. In 2015, the trip zeroed in on Southern California. A North Carolina trip is in the works for 2016.
Senior Class Trip
The senior class trip ventures across the country to New York City so that students who have grown up in the mountains can see what life is like in a massive, international metropolis. Following the theme of choice and guiding one’s own education that characterizes the VMS upper school experience, destinations are in large part determined by student interest and often intersect with research in support of Senior Projects. Visits to cultural cornerstones such as The Met or The Whitney might allow for primary research on an art project. Similarly, stepping into a boutique store like Ferragamo or Supreme might inform a project in fashion marketing.