Santa Margarita Catholic High School

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Admissions - International Students » International Students

International Students

International Student Application Process
Santa Margarita Catholic High School accepts a limited number of International Students each school year. International students applications are reviewed by the school's Admissions Committee and are accepted based on their academic and English qualifications. International students may apply only for the beginning of a school year (Fall semester only, no Spring semester applications).
International students must demonstrate strong English skills (TOEFL English proficiency exam required plus a series of Skype interviews/examinations required) as all of the classes at SMCHS are taught in English at an accelerated rate. The goal is to see all international students be successful at our academically rigorous school, hence the advanced English requirement.  No English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered.
Students are considered International Students if they are not U.S. Citizens.  A student is considered a U.S. Citizen if they posses a U.S. Passport or a U.S. Birth Certificate.  Any applicant that is not a U.S. Citizen must apply as an International Student.

Application Deadline
Applications for the 2017-2018 school year (beginning Fall 2017) will be accepted from December 1 2016 through March 1, 2017.

Admissions Process - Step 1 - Application
The first step to applying to Santa Margarita Catholic High School is to complete an online application.  This is done by creating an account and logging in to your Personal Admissions Page.  Once you are logged in, complete all steps of the online application and click Submit.  There is a $300 non-refundable application fee.  
To create an account and apply online, please click here.
International student applicants must complete all of the following steps to begin the admissions process. Please send all application documents to our school via mail:
Santa Margarita Catholic High School
Attn: Admissions Office
22062 Antonio Parkway
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688, USA
If any items are missing, the student's application will not be reviewed for an acceptance decision until the application is complete.
  • $300 USD Application Fee (check, credit card or money order payable to SMCHS)
  • Online Application 
  • School Transcripts for the last 3 years translated into English
  • Immunization Record in English (please download the Immunization Requirements here) ***All immunization records must be up to date before the I 20 will be sent.
  • 3 Recommendation Letters from a Math Teacher (download form here), English Teacher (download form here), and School Principal/Headmaster (download form here)
  • TOEFL English Proficiency Test (minimum score of 65) - no other English proficiency tests are accepted.  Please use our School Code of 0945 to submit your TOEFL scores directly to our school.
  • Student Essay (download essay here)
  • Color Photo of Student
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of a Bank Statement (showing sufficient funds to pay for tuition and fees)

Admissions Process - Step 2 - Skype Interviews/Examinations
Once the initial application is received and reviewed by our Admissions Committee, a series of Skype Interviews/Examinations will be scheduled. A member of the Admissions Office and the Academic Counseling office will schedule the Skype Interviews/Examinations with the applicant. These Skype Interviews/Examinations will assess the student's English ability and learn about the student's academic record.

Admissions Process - Step 3 - Application Acceptance and I-20 Application
After reviewing the student's application and results from the Skype Interviews/Examinations, the Admissions Committee at Santa Margarita will make the determination on acceptance to our school. The student will be notified via email if they have been accepted to Santa Margarita Catholic High School.  The Counseling Office at SMCHS will determine class placement based on placement tests given to the student before the start of the school year.  Placement in honors classes are not guaranteed.
After the student is accepted, SMCHS will process the I-20 application if the international student requires an I-20 to apply for an F-1 Student Visa in their home country. The I-20 should take approximately 2 weeks to be received by our school. Once our school receives the I-20, it will be express mailed to the student's family. The I-20 may then be used to obtain the F-1 Student Visa in their home country. Note: the I-20 cannot be requested by our school unless the name and address of the home stay family is provided to our Admissions Office (see step 4).
Students with a valid Greencard with insufficient English proficiency is to be considered for admission to SMCHS through the international program.  Please submit a copy of your Greencard with your application.  No I-20's will be necessary for these students.

Admissions Process - Step 4 - Homestay Arrangement*

For your Homestay Services, Santa Margarita Catholic High School international students must use the services of JR International Enterprise Inc. (dba JR Education Group). 

JR Education offers a network of Homestay Families in Orange County dedicated to providing a loving family environment for the student.   Our Homestay Program gives each student the individualized attention for all family needs, creating a perfect atmosphere for the students to have a nurturing and supportive relationship with their homestay and school. 

Students and their parents can have peace of mind while the student is in the program as each family is checked to be worthy of participating in the homestay program.  Every participating family goes through a personal interview, and the home is inspected to ensure the ongoing safety and comfort of each student.  

In addition, Homestay Families provide rich cultural experiences, ones that the students will cherish for the rest of their lives. 

For students who do not need homestay: Proof of residence with an immediate family member (i.e. mother or father) must be provided.



Homestay Families:

Become a Homestay Family to provide a wonderful experience that enriches the lives of students.  Help bridge the gap between two (or more) countries with a cultural exchange by opening your heart and home to an international student.  



Admissions Process - Step 5 - Health Insurance
Before an international student is allowed to begin classes at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, they must show proof of medical coverage/health insurance. It is recommended that the health insurance covers doctor visits, medicine, and treatments, in addition to hospital stays and emergency services.
International students may wait to purchase health insurance until after they have received their acceptance email, but a student will not be allowed to attend class until proof is sent to the Admissions Office at Santa Margarita.
If an international student is looking for health insurance, one of the largest companies that provide comprehensive medical coverage is:
Insurance Without Borders
Admissions Process - Step 6 - Registration and Tuition Payment
When a student is accepted, the acceptance email Santa Margarita sends to the international student's family will include information on registering for class and paying for tuition. The registration process will be done online. Registration will require a $1000 registration fee that may be submitted online via electronic check.
All international students (Greencard or F-1 Visas), are required to pay for the entire year's tuition and fees before the new school year begins.   For international students, there is no discount for paying the full year's tuition in one payment. 
Click here for wire transfer instructions
***Students with a Green Card will be required to pay the "international tuition"
Tuition and Fees for 2017-2018 are Due June 1, 2017

Tuition and fees are due June 1, 2017 and all international students are required to pay for their year's tuition and fees in full before the school year begins.  Receipt of these fees signifies that the international student is registered for class and can begin the 2017-2018 school year at Santa Margarita Catholic High School.  Tuition and Fees for the 2017-2018 school year include:
  • Tuition: $21,350 
  • Technology Fee: $685
  • Registration: $1000 (international students are not eligible for the early registration discount)
  • International Student Support Class (this after school class is required if the Admissions Committee determines that additional English support is necessary for attendance at SMCHS): $3000
Please note:
  • International families are not afforded the tuition discount for paying in full.
  • All tuition and fees are due on June 1, 2017.

Additional Fees for 2017-2018    School Due When Student Begins School Year
The following are fees that students will have to pay once they arrive in the U.S. and are ready to begin class in the Fall of 2017. Note that many of these fees are optional or will vary depending on the student's class schedule and living expenses.
  • E-Books and Textbooks (will vary depending on the student's class schedule): $700 ~ $1000
  • Uniforms (will vary depending on the items selected): $300 ~ $500
  • Medical Coverage (varies depending on health insurance plan selected): $500 ~ $1000
  • Spending Money (recommended to provide monthly spending money for student): $1000 ~ $2000
  • Sports Fees (varies depending on the sport played): $1200 ~ $2500
Questions on International Student Admissions
If you have any questions about international student applications or the admissions process not covered above, please contact Jeff Reinert, International Student Admissions Director, at