International Students

Introduction: Chelsea Academy welcomes students from abroad to our beautiful campus in the Shenandoah Valley just an hour drive from Washington, D.C. We offer a team of highly qualified and committed educators, a college-preparatory curriculum with standard and honors courses, and an array of sports teams, outdoor adventure, drama, choral music, and other extra-curricular activities. Chelsea Academy prepares students from around the world for entrance into American colleges and universities.


ESL Program: Chelsea offers an ESL program for students whose first language is not English. International students must meet the same credit requirements for graduation as American students. In place of the foreign language requirement, however, international students receive extra English instruction that includes ESL history and religion classes.

The ESL program is intensive. Students begin by taking two classes of English each day in addition to ESL history and religion, mathematics, and science. Emphasis is given to developing students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, and the aim is to help students reach fluency as quickly as possible.

ESL classes are small so that students are known as individuals and teachers can more readily identify and help to improve areas of weakness. Summer work is an essential part of the ESL program insofar as it helps students to keep their skills sharp from one school year to the next.

The expectation is that international students progress in their studies so that they are able to enter mainstream English classes before they graduate. At this point, they continue to receive significant personalized attention in the form of a tutor that meets with them regularly to provide academic support and guidance. The combination of nurture and accountability helps to ensure steady progress for each student.


College Counseling: Chelsea works closely with its international students to prepare them for success in college and to guide them through the college application process. Students receive preparation for the TOEFL in their ESL classes. They are introduced to the SAT and practice taking this required exam. They are provided guidance in completing applications, including the deadlines, essays, and other requirements. From college visits to class meetings, small group advising, and one-on-one counseling, the College Counselor provides students with the direction and advice needed to identify colleges and universities that match their particular interests and aspirations.


Homestay: International students are hosted by Chelsea families, who welcome them and provide a home-away-from-home. Room and board are provided, and students experience life as a member of an American family. Students are expected to participate in family meals, activities, and even chores. Their cooperation and contributions to family life help to create a positive, fully integrated experience.

Instruction and activities outside of school hours are provided to help international students adapt to living and studying in the United States, and students are able to take advantage of the varied natural and cultural resources of the area, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, historic sites, and Washington D.C., through weekend trips and excursions.

A typical weekday for international students at Chelsea Academy follows the school schedule, including classes from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., sports in the afternoon, and dinner with their host families followed by homework in a study hall.


Application Process: Chelsea Academy is registered with SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, and is authorized to issue I-20’s to international students so that they may acquire an F1 visa. In addition to the regular application for admissions, international students must submit a TOEFL score, participate in an on-site or Skype interview, complete the Admissions Test (if on site), and complete an ESL Questionnaire.

If you are interested in applying to Chelsea Academy, please follow the steps outlined in the Application Checklist. Application forms can be found below.


Request for Academic Records

Teacher Recommendation


Tuition and Fees: International tuition and ESL-support and homestay fees are available by calling the school.


Questions: For more information and assistance with the application process, please contact our International Coordinator, David More, at or call 540-635-0622.