International Students

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. Currently, we do not accept spring semester transfers.

English language proficiency is critical to the student's success at SMCHS. International students must demonstrate strong English proficiency skills as all of the classes at SMCHS are taught in English at an accelerated rate. All international applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency by submitting TOEFL exam scores with a minimum score of 65, and complete an admissions interview and English language assessment. No English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered.

You should apply for admission as an international student if you are not a United States citizen with a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport. International student applicants includes all students who will be entering, or have already entered the United States with a student visa, and all other students holding a Green Card or other non-immigrant visa.


Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are now being accepted. Priority applications will be accepted through January 25, 2020. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed if space is available.

Please contact Joy Francis, International Student Admissions Director, at francisj@smhs.org.



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 the following steps:
  • Online application
  • $300 USD application fee
  • Three letters of recommendation - please electronically request these through the application portal
    • Current Math Teacher
    • Current English Teacher
    • Current Principal/School Counselor
  • Upload school transcripts for the last three years including your current coursework and progress report. If a prospective student is attending school in a country where English is not considered a native language, all official documents must be submitted in the native language along with a CERTIFIED LINE-BY-LINE ENGLISH TRANSLATION of all official documents.
  • 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.
  • Upload color photo of student
  • Upload copy of passport
  • Upload documentation of available financial support - For students applying for an I20 and student visa, the US government requires proof of the ability to pay tuition and living expenses for the first academic year.
  • For students applying for Grades 10, 11 or 12, use the writing prompt in your application portal to electronically complete and submit a student essay
  • Upload current Immunization Record in English

For immunization Records issued from outside the United States, please have your doctor sign and complete the immunization Requirements here) ***All immunization records must be received before the I 20 will be sent. Students must receive at least the first dose of each required vaccine and not be due for any dose before they can be conditionally admitted.

All of the application steps must be completed prior to proceeding to Step 2 and scheduling an Interview. The student's application will not be reviewed for an acceptance decision until the application is complete.

Interviews & Examinations

Once the application is complete and reviewed by our Admissions Committee, a Skype interview and English Language Assessment will be scheduled by the International Student Admissions Coordinator.

International Students Entering 10th, 11th, or 12th Grade Wishing to Play a Sport at SMCHS

International Students wishing to participate in athletics at SMCHS are required to complete the International Student Transfer Worksheet here. Please download, print, complete, and turn in this form with your application documents. International Students entering Grade 9 may skip this step.

Application Acceptance & I-20 Application

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 and registered for school, 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 two 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 green card with sufficient English proficiency are to be considered for admission to SMCHS through the international program. Please submit a copy of your green card with your application.

Homestay Verification

Homestay Verification:

International students who attend Santa Margarita Catholic High School must live with either their parents or a pre-approved Homestay. For your Homestay Services, SMCHS 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.


Health Insurance

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

Registration & Tuition Payment

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 registration and paying for tuition. The registration process will be done online. Registration will require a $1,000 registration fee that may be submitted online via electronic check.
All international students, (green card 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."

2019-2020 Expenses for International Students

All international students are required to pay for their year's tuition and fees in full on or before May 1, 2019. Receipt of these fees signifies that the international student is registered for class and can begin the 2019-2020 school year at Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

Fees Cost
Tuition $25,500*
Registration $1,000**
International Student
Support Class ***
if determined necessary for all NEW students
E-books and textbooks$700-$100
will vary depending on schedule
will vary
Medical Coverage$500-$1,000
will vary
Spending money$1,000-$2,000
will vary
Sports fees$1,200-$2,500
if a student participates in sports
varies depending on the sport played

Please note:
*International students are not eligible for tuition assistance or any other tuition discounts.
**The international student support class is required for all NEW international students if the Admissions Committee determines that additional English support is necessary for attendance at SMCHS.