Trip Report: Fall Break Exchange in Denmark

Fall break marked the beginning of the Gefion - VIMSIA exchange program. The week was intense and had a great impact for everyone involved.   The context and point of the program was historical and cultural explorations and exchange.  Each day was designed to explore not only the colonial history in the Danish West Indies, but more importantly and significantly how Danish society is coming to terms with their colonial history and experience.  This is part of a broader movement within Danish society to reshape their national mythology to include their role in the transatlantic slave trade and colonial exploitation and extraction in the islands. 


We toured museums with exhibits dealing with this past and paid particular attention to how they were presenting the story to the public.   We toured the city visiting important landmarks that were built with wealth extracted from the slave trade and colonial exploitation of the islands, learning that history is a story that is told not just through books, but the built world around us.  


We visited statues and works of public art recently commissioned and erected that honor important events such as 1848 emancipation or that honor the memory of important figures in the Virgin Islands such as Queen Mary and the four queens of the Fireburn revolt.  We visited the Royal Archives to see the importance of preservation of the past through historical documents and the limitations of the perspectives of they offer to historians.  Finally, we sat for a screening of the documentary We Carry Within Us, and follow-up discussion with the director about how we restore humanity to the past, about how Danish society is confronting uncomfortable truths of its past so that they can begin to have a more objectively honest view of their past and how individuals and communities can help to heal the living wounds of the past through action and service.  The program was phenomenal not only in terms of what the students were exposed to, what they learned, but also in the relationships and friendships formed.   There will be more to come next week from the student perspectives, stay tuned.

Eight Danish students and two instructors will be coming in January for their part of this years exchange.  We have four families lined up to host students but need an additional 6 families that would  be willing to host them for around 4 to 5 days (we are still finalizing their schedule of activities).   If anyone is interested or have questions please feel free to contact Mr. Ott for additional information.




Fall Break in Denmark

Four VIMSIA students, Maia Aqui, Chantel Carty, Saskia Connor-Louw, and Mikayla Kurtz traveled to Denmark during fall break as a part of a cultural exchange trip. On Monday, they were greeted at the Copenhagen Airport by Gefion Gymnasium students waving the Danish flag. Its a tradition in Denmark to use their flag, Dannebrog, in celebrations such as birthdays and welcoming travelers!

bon voyage Denmark.jpg

Ms. DiFrancesco's Third Year Students Visit St. John!


Ms. DiFrancesco’s third years went to St. John for their end of year trip! They hiked the Cinnamon Bay Trail and swam at Trunk Bay. They saw some Taino artifacts and learned about some of their tools and techniques as well as some plants they used for food and medicine. The Taino were an indigenous people of the Caribbean.

Students enjoy a tour from the St. John National Park Service.

Students enjoy a tour from the St. John National Park Service.

End Sessions off and Running .... or flying - as the case may be.

This year there are eight End Session programs including London, Iceland/Ireland, Panama, Film Making, Sports, Music and Expression, Computer Science and Trash to Treasures. See all End Session program descriptions for 2019.


PGIA End Session is one of the exceptional programs that sets VIMSIA apart from other schools. Each year, we put together several program options for these last few weeks of school. These are indepth programs that focus on the arts, science and international-mindedness. Some involve international travel, while others provide these experiences here on campus - with special field trips and events.

VIMSIA Travel Map - pins indicate countries visited for educational travel

VIMSIA Travel Map - pins are places we have traveled for student education

VIMSIA Travel Map - pins are places we have traveled for student education

Bon Voyage London End Session Trip

This above all: to thine own self be true.
— Hamlet, Act I, Scene III

London Trip is off and running. How nice that they ran into Mrs. Gruber!


Global Context: Orientation in Space and Time - London End Session

Discover how the shared history of British-American relations translate to our modern relationships throughout the world.

Explore the ancient wonder of Stonehenge, the early Renaissance cultural explosion of Shakespeare’s time, and modern theater and innovation.

Back From the Big Apple


The 6th grade class have just come back from the annual MMUN trip, full of stories and news. MMUN stands for Model Montessori United Nations, and it is the experience of a lifetime in which our 6th graders go to New York to participate in this amazing event. According to the students, this year was a huge success and everybody had lots of fun. “ My favorite part was meeting new people at the UN and being able to help solve problems that need to be solved. I also really enjoyed doing some fun activities NYC has to offer; skating at Rockefeller, visiting museums; and walking around New York, because New York is an awesome city.” said one sixth grade student.

Girls skating.jpg

"Taste the Nations" from a Student’s Perspective

“Taste the Nations” preparation begins months before the event. The grades choose a country to represent in a dance- these almost always tie in with end session or some other event that has inspired us during the year. For example, the seventh grade represented Iceland, which is a travel option during end session this year. They then go to work practicing and perfectecting the dance. “For two months, we rehearsed every Tuesday for two hours. As ‘Taste the Nations’ drew closer, we rehearsed a few Thursdays as well.” said a grade seven student. “Not only is there the dance practice, but the writing and rehearsing of the introduction speech.”

It’s a lot of work, but we, the students, recognize the importance of it. Firstly, it is for a grade. Secondly, we care about our school, and so we do our best to represent it. Not only do we care about our school, but the opportunities of the people in it. The money raised from “ Taste the Nations” goes toward end session scholarships- because the end session traveling options cost a lot, the school makes an effort to have all the students travel once throughout their period at school. It is an amazing experience- one every student deserves to try.

8th Grade Students set Sail on a Roseway Adventure

Photo Credit to Roseway Ship’s Log

Photo Credit to Roseway Ship’s Log

Many thanks to the Gifft Hill School for inviting our students on their latest adventure… James, Paschal, Preston, and Malcolm are spending this week at the World Ocean School aboard the Roseway. They will be visiting St. John, Puerto Rico, and other outlying islands. Feel free to follow along on the Roseway Ship’s Log!

Photo Credit to Roseway Ship’s Log

Photo Credit to Roseway Ship’s Log