International Student FAQs

How many international students attend Santa Catalina?

Approximately 19 percent of our student body is international.

Does Santa Catalina offer English as a Second Language (ESL)?

We do not offer ESL. Due to our rigorous academic program, we require students to be fluent in English.

Which admission assessments are required?

For applicants to grades 9, 10, and 11, the SSAT exam is preferred, though the ISEE is also acceptable. Applicants applying to grade 11 have the option of submitting PSAT or SAT scores. Additionally, nonnative English speakers are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). Note: Santa Catalina does not accept SLEP, TOEFL Junior, or any other English-proficiency evaluation. We use Duolingo English Test (DET) during the rolling admission process on a case-by-case basis and as a supporting piece of English proficiency documentation.

What score do I need on my SSAT and TOEFL exams to be eligible for admission?

While scores are helpful indicators for academic and language readiness, we consider many factors in reviewing applications. We seek students whose TOEFL scores are 79 or above. SSAT scores are generally 2000 or higher.

Are international families required to visit campus for their interviews?

Applicants and their parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to visit Santa Catalina for an interview (parent/guardian and student), a class visit, all-school assembly, and a campus tour (includes dormitories). Visiting campus and meeting the people who will be teaching and caring for your daughter/student is an important part of making an informed decision about her high school choice. Schedule your visit today.

Can international students conduct their interview via phone or Skype?

Priority consideration for admission to Santa Catalina School is given to applicants and families who have visited. We do not conduct phone interviews. Skype interviews will be considered on a case by case basis once an application is complete and prior to a scheduled campus visit. The Admission Office will need at least two weeks notice prior to the February 1 application deadline in order to accommodate a request.

Can you help us attain a travel visa to visit your campus?

Santa Catalina must receive a completed online application before sending a letter intended for any embassy. But upon request by a family, the Admission Office is able to send an official letter to the family stating that a campus visit by the applicant and her parent(s)/guardian(s) is a required part of the application process. In this letter, the Admission Office will designate a specific visit date that is mutually agreed upon by the applicant’s family and Santa Catalina. Often this letter is enough for a travel visa to be granted, but it is not a guarantee.

Can international students from Asia visit campus during Chinese New Year in February but after the February 1 deadline?

If all other application requirements are complete and the visit is scheduled prior to February 1, an extension in the first two weeks of February may be considered.

Applicants who visit after the second week of February may not be considered with the initial pool of applicants. Their application will be considered based on availability.

Do you accept applications submitted after the February 1 deadline?

Applications submitted after the February 1 deadline will be considered on a rolling admission basis and are based on availability.

Do you consider students for spring enrollment?

Our admission process is for fall entry. However, if you currently attend a school on an annual calendar (January-November), spring entry will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can international students apply for tuition assistance?

No, we are unable to offer tuition assistance to international families.

Can I apply for my 12th grade year?

Typically, we do not accept students for grade 12. To receive the full benefit of our curriculum, we encourage students to commit to four years at Santa Catalina. We have a comprehensive advising program, Journey, that begins freshman year and gives students essential life skills and opportunities to design a plan to ensure their future academic and personal success. By their senior year, our students have developed a personalized plan that will guide them toward success in college and beyond. For more information about our application process, programs, and community, please continue to explore our website.

When campus is closed for holiday breaks, will the school arrange alternate living arrangements for students unable to travel home during that time?

Santa Catalina does not make housing arrangements or organize trips for international students over extended vacations (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, and Easter vacations) when the campus is closed. This is the family’s responsibility to arrange. Trips will be offered to the student body at large, and vary per year.

Do you offer homestay or five-day boarding?

We offer a close-knit, thriving boarding program. For this reason we do not offer homestay or five-day boarding.