International students at the University of Virginia are settling into their dorms after making the trip to grounds together, thanks to the UVA Express.
One hundred students and their families from 23 countries on five continents boarded buses at Dulles Airport Tuesday morning.
After hours of traveling, the group spent the final leg of its journey on the UVA Express. The transportation service from Dulles to Charlotesville is free for students. UVA started the program last year when it recognized how difficult and expensive it was for international students to get to grounds.
The program is funded by Gordon Kirtland, president of the UVA Club of Singapore. This year he participated in the program himself, as his daughter is going to be starting her first year as a Wahoo.
“It's a long way, and I think it's very important that they have a very good first experience when they get here...that they feel welcome on grounds,” he said.
George Wu, a first year student from China, said he felt welcome from the moment he stepped foot in the U.S.
“When I left the plane and going to the airport, I saw so many people in Virginia shirts and waiting for me, and I'm so happy.”
A total of eight buses are making the trip this year. The buses will continue to make their way to grounds through Tuesday night and Wednesday.