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International Program

I've never had so much fun and met so many amazing people.
Living in another country was a unique experience,
and I would repeat it again and again.
Last year was the best year of my life!
- Ana Garcia, one-year international student at St. Margaret's

St. Margaret's is home to a large group of girls from around the world. Approximately 30% of St. Margaret’s students are international, having represented 45 different countries since our International Program began in 1990.

The program has a full-time director, offers ESL classes for intensive English study and mainstream class support, and celebrates our students' cultures and experiences through a wide variety of special events we all enjoy.

international seniors

Shown above are some of our international Class of 2019 Seniors. Altogether, the class represents seven countries, including the U.S.,
and because of their SMS experience, they look forward to a bright future. All of our graduates attend college or pursue a gap year program.

In addition to strengthening their English skills, our international students take a range of academic courses according to a readiness-based approach where girls capable of advanced work can take Honors and AP classes as well as college courses for credit.

Students study art and performing arts, participate in extracurricular activities like sports, assume leadership positions, and participate in clubs. Students learn about science in everyday life, and the ecological and historical importance of the Rappahannock River through our River Program.

They enjoy weekend shopping trips, visit museums, attend festivals and amusement parks, and enjoy socials at other schools.

Our historic campus and nearby sites make the SMS experience a true living history for anyone studying in the United States. We are uniquely located near many enrichment opportunities in the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C., Richmond, Fredericksburg, Williamsburg, and Virginia Beach, each within a two-hour drive of the school or less.

Global Enrichment

The entire school community celebrates our diversity through global enrichment events and experiences. Together, we are educated about the history, cuisine, spiritual beliefs, and cultures of our international students' home countries. And we all benefit from our Queen Margaret of Scotland Girls' School partnerships in Australia, Chile, and New Zealand.

One-Year Students

St. Margaret's is a great educational option for students looking to enroll for one or more years at any grade level. We also welcome students who would like to enroll during the school year.

Celebrating our Global Diversity

Our annual International Festival is part of the St. Margaret's global enrichment experience where we celebrate cultures, traditions,
history, cuisine, and much more.

Orientation

New international students arrive to campus early to allow for a period of adjustment and acclimation to their new environment at St. Margaret's. During this time, students take English and math placement tests then meet with the Academic Dean to choose their course schedules. The first Culture Shock Workshop is held during orientation.

Culture Shock Workshop

Culture Shock Workshops are a combination of talks, discussions, activities, and reflections that help international students adjust academically, emotionally, and socially. Workshops are designed and led by student leaders and international program staff.

English as a Second Language (ESL) and
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Students demonstrate their ability to read, write, and speak English in a standardized diagnostic test that is designed to place each pupil at the appropriate level of ESL or into mainstream academic classes. Our program serves ESL students by offering intensive courses covering reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, US culture, history, and science. Advanced students enroll in the top-level of ESL to support their other mainstream classes. Read more about our ESL courses. We also offer a TOEFL test preparation course as well as individual tutoring sessions with an experienced instructor.

School Breaks

Residence halls close for the following school breaks: Thanksgiving vacation, Christmas vacation, and Spring Break. Our homestay partnership with eNKouraged Homestays allows students to spend holiday breaks in a relaxed environment with adult supervision and a flexible schedule.

Admission on the Road

Our Admission associates travel internationally and love to meet prospective students and their families in their home countries. Contact admit@sms.org to see if we are visiting your part of the world.