In academic field, West Nottingham Academy is capable of providing necessary support to help students prepare for high school level courses as well as college level classes(APs and Advanced Math Topics) in advance. Due to the small size of the academy, students can easily build up strong connections with teachers, dorm parents and advisors for suggestions and helps. The class arrangements are mostly based on the knowledge level and preference of each student, which is great for future development in professional level. There are several PHD level teachers, who came from universities and can help students with strong academic skills to go further. The dean of academy is a kind and accessible person. Since the dean of academy is also my advisor, I had a chance to meet with the dean regularly during advisor meeting. The dean is always willing to listen to what students are thinking and help students to figure out the best solutions. Although there are a lot of advantages of the academy, there are still a few unsatisfied points. As a small size academy, the limited AP classes can be a burden for strong students, who can handle several APs all together and may desire to start to study APs as underclass(freshman and sophomore) students. The teachers are all passionate, but since most AP classes are just starting, most teachers still need time to adjust schedule and class arrangement, which may cause certain delays and a lack of reviewing time for AP exams. To be honest, the most important thing of AP class is always getting the knowledge, but the exam is still an unavoidable and final destination of most high school students.
Considering myself as a person who is eager to enjoy tasty food, I was not surprised by the unsatisfied food in the academy. However, the lack of variety of food is still a priority question that most international students should put in the list for consideration. Imaging to eat similar and so-so food for three times a day and more than 200 days a year. The convenience of life is also a thing that need to think about. West Nottingham Academy sits in RisingSun, a lovely town in Maryland. The environment is great and the place is so quiet and ideal for studying. However, as soon as one decides to attend here, one also need to get ready to pay about $200-$400 for a ride to the airport. The nearest market(Martins) is about 20 mins drive and regular Martins trip will be held each Saturday. For short breaks like Thanksgiving and Long Weekend, the academy may arrange trips or other activities for students, but for long breaks like Summer, Christmas and Spring breaks, students are on their own. Boarding students are required to stay in dorms. There are four dorms in the campus, two for girls and two for boys. The internet will be provided all day long(the wifi is bad though), but lights out at 10:45pm. The room is ok, maybe better than other schools due to its satisfied size, but the bugs and weird creatures are annoying.
To be honest, West Nottingham Academy is a family built by students from different countries. There are significant numbers of international students, especially Chinese. Sometimes, it may be considered as a con, but surrounding by international students can reduce the feeling of homesick and helpful for new students to get involved in the classes and cross the burden of English. Still, since most families worry about too many Chinese students may lead to a lack of practices of English, it is still something that should be considered before making the final decision.
West Nottingham Academy does provide and support a lot of clubs, like MUN, Math Club, Science Club and etc. As the president of math club, I need to say that though there are a lot of clubs, the school does not provide a reasonable time schedule for students to participate in, which triggers a decrease of passion. However, most students are still willing to be a member of one or even more clubs. It is also easy to create new clubs, but it may takes time to attract others to join those new clubs. The art department of the academy is strong. The art teacher is professional and kind. As a two year photography class student, it was always a great joy for me to discuss with the art teacher. The art resident program is fantastic since it provides opportunity for students to study with current college art students and learn from them. The afternoon sport is mandatory, which means students need to participate in at least one sport daily. Still, due to the limited number of students, the choices of sports are always limited, but popular and common sports like basketball and soccer are provided annually. For extracurricular events, students need to earn certain service learning hours and culture credits as a graduation criteria. Those events can not only help international students to learn about the culture of states but also great supplies for filling in the activities list in Commonapp.