Every year, there are increasing numbers of international applicants to private high schools and boarding schools in the U.S. and Canada. A North American high school education has a number of benefits, including a greater understanding of the college application process, academic readiness for a college education, and immersion in English language and American culture. The schools also love to accept international students to improve their campus diversity. Here are our considerations for international applicants.
Think about your living situation. While a boarding school may seem like the most obvious choice for a student who is going to study in a new country, there are also a number of educational consulting and placement services which can help set your student up with a host family for the duration of their studies.
As an international student, you may only apply to schools that are Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified. Make sure to find out before you or your student get your heart set on a school that may not be certified.
Along with the ISEE testing that the school requires in its application, students whose first language is not English will likely need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as part of their application. If your student will need help with English upon arrival, make sure to research whether the schools you are applying to offer ESL classes or tutoring.
International students will need to apply for a Student Visa from the U.S. Immigration Service. Obtaining a visa is a detailed process which requires lots of forms and an interview with a U.S. Consular official. Allow at least 60 days for the entire process. More information can be found on the U.S. Department of State website here.
Applying to schools as an international student is a long and sometimes complicated process – Test Innovators helps make it easier by providing the best ISEE prep materials available. Check out our system here.