FAQ – International

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (International Students)

Do I have to be an international student to attend Valley International Academy?

No, the school is designed to accommodate both domestic and international students.  We are a great “fit” for local students looking for a multi-cultural experience, one-to-one curriculum and small group instruction.

Do you accept transfer students?

Yes, we do.  The process for applying as a transfer student is the same as applying for freshman admissions.  Sending your transcript will be very important so we can ensure that we will be able to graduate the student within four years of beginning high school.

What do you look for when accepting students to Valley International Academy?

We want students, first and foremost, who want to come to our school.  We will look at grades, any standardized tests, and teacher recommendations.  We will also hold an interview with the student.  We want it to be the right fit for both the student and the school.

Are you able to issue I-20 documents to international students?

Yes, we can.  Our Registrar will issue your I-20 and help you with any necessary  paperwork to get you through the visa process.

If I need a place to live, what arrangements can be made for me?

Currently, any student who needs help with housing will be placed in an approved homestay house.  Students are given their own rooms and access to all necessary items and rooms to ensure a comfortable living arrangement.  Once our school moves to its permanent site in Saratoga, students will be able to live in our dormitories.

Do you offer financial aid?

We do not offer financial; we do, however, offer merit scholarships. These merit scholarships may cover partial to full tuition. To learn more about our scholarship application process, go to our Admissions tab.

Do you offer Advanced Placement or Honors courses?

Yes, we do.  We currently offer about 20 AP and Honors courses and hope to add additional courses in the future.  You can find a complete list of our course offerings on the Course Descriptions page.

How will my class schedule be determined?  

Once a student arrives on campus, the student will be given math and English placement tests.  Based on these test scores and any previous course work, the Dean of Faculty and Students will create a class schedule based on student needs and interests.  We do not automatically put all ninth graders in the same classes; we individualize each students schedule to ensure that they are properly placed.

What support do you offer if I am struggling in a class?  

All teachers offer tutorial times when they are available for extra help.  In addition, there is Homework Club after school from 3:30 – 5 pm on Mondays – Thursdays.  Most importantly, our classes are quite small so teachers will be able to give students a lot of individual attention during the class period.

If I go to your school, will I be able to apply to four year colleges and universities?

Our graduation requirements meet if not exceed the requirements to apply to  University of California, the California State University, private, and public universities and colleges throughout the United States.  Students will have to do their part by earning high grades, taking required standardized tests, and completing applications.

Is there someone who can help me with the college admissions process?

We have a four-year academic and college-planning process to ensure students have the  necessary information to make informed decisions about college applications.  Students will meet with the college counselor on a regular basis but they make request an appointment at any time if a need arises.  The college counselor will work with students from the introduction of college topics through the actual applications and financial aid paperwork.

Do you provide any test preparation for students?

We offer test preparation in the areas of SAT, Advanced Placement, and TOEFL testing.

If I am interested in pursuing academic programs during the summer, can the school help me with this?

The school has a whole list of summer opportunities listed on the website.  Additionally, students can meet with the Dean of Faculty and Students about classes and programs which may be appropriate for the student.

Is there a community service requirement at the school?

Students are required to complete ten hours of community service each year.  The school plans group activities to help students complete these hours or students are always welcome to find their own community service options.

What types of social activities are there at the school?

The school provides social activities and/or field trips each month.  As a small school community, it is important that our students know and are comfortable with one another.  Each month we have a Birthday Celebration to honor those students whose birthdays occurred during the month.  We have holiday and cultural celebrations.  We take at least one field trip each month – some trips are educational while others are purely social.  As the school continues to grow, we will had more clubs and events for our students.

Can I apply to your school directly?

Yes,the application must be completed in English.  Complete the application,provide the requested documents and submit to the school.

Is your school associated with any religious groups?

No,we are not a religious school; we are a private school.

What are the graduation requirements for your school?

You can find the graduation requirements on the Graduation Requirements page.

Where can I learn more about your teaching staff?

You can find our teachers’ biographies on the Faculty and Staff page.

Does the school have a specific focus?

Our school does not have a specific academic focus.  We are college preparatory; our goal is to send 100% of our students to a college or university.

Even though we are a small school, we strive to provide our students with a well-rounded high school experience.  In addition to classes, our students participate in community service activities, monthly social activities, birthday celebrations and more.

What are your tuition and boarding fees?

International student tuition fee $ 22,000 (per year)

Domestic student tuition fee $ 19,000 (per year)

Boarding fee $20, 000 (per year)

Are ESL classes included in the tuition?

Yes, ESL courses are included in the tuition. ESL classes are given credit and are counted towards our graduation requirements.

When is the application deadline for admission for spring and/or fall semester?

Valley International Academy has rolling admissions, which means our school can accept students at any point during the year. The criteria the admissions committee uses for the basis of acceptance are your transcripts, essays, past scholastic and community achievement, and an interview.

However,we would suggest that you submit your application and other documents no later than April 15 for fall semester and November 1 for spring semester.

Does you require students to submit standardized test scores (such as SLEP, TOEFL, SSAT, SLATE Plus etc.)?

VIA does not currently require that students submit standardized test scores (such as SLEP, TOEFL, SSAT, SLATE Plus etc.) with their application.However, if a student wishes to send score reports, we will take them into consideration.

 Do you require an on-site interview?

No,we conduct interviews with students in foreign countries via Skype or phone.  Local students will have an on-site interview.

Which grades do I need to submit for admissions purposes?

If a student is applying for grade 9, the student should submit his/her transcript showing 7th and 8th grade grades.  If a student is applying for grades 10, 11 and 12, the student should submit his/her transcript starting in 9th grade.
As an international student I may I need more time to prepare my college applications and to improve my English skills, can I repeat a grade in VIA if  I am currently enrolled in a school  ? 

Based on a student’s transcript and teacher recommendation, VIA may allow a student to repeat the same grade again. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

 Do you require a minimum GPA to apply?

No,the GPA will be a reference for our Dean,but it is not a main consideration for admission.

Do you need an essay to apply?

VIA does not currently require that students submit an essay with their application.However, if a student wishes to send it, we will takeit into consideration.

How difficult is it to get into your school?

If students meet our admissions requirements , it is not difficult.

Does the school pick up students from the airport?   

We only provide this service for students who apply to live in the  dorm. We will help to contact the shuttle company to pick up the student from airport to dorm after we receive student’s payment (tuition, dorm, airport pick up fee and other fee).