Important Information

Rira SeoInternational Student Coordinator rseo@vcs.net 408.513.2530
Julie Houp, International Admissions international.admissions@vcs.net, 408.513.2507
Kris Rapazzini, Director of International Students. international.info@vcs.net, 408.513.2498

How many international students attend VCS and which countries do they come from?
We have approximately 100 international students. Students come from many different countries, including: Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Burma, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, and Europe. They attend classes with the 1500 American students in our high school.

What colleges are VCS international students accepted into?
International student graduates from VCHS currently attend prestigious universities, including UC Berkeley, UCLA, Carnegie Mellon, Boston University, Syracuse University, USC, University of Santa Clara, UCSD, and University of Washington. Because of our excellent college preparation and many honors and Advanced Placement courses, international students who attend our school for 3 to 4 years have higher college placements than those who only attend for only 1 or 2 years. Students can also build strong college applications through participation in our Conservatory of the Arts program or through the Applied Math, Science, and Engineering Institute (AMSE). Each international student is assigned to one a special VCHS college counselor who helps him or her find and apply to many different colleges.

Does VCS have an ESL program?
We do not have an English Second Language program for our international students. Because our international students are mixed in with our American students in all of the college preparatory classes, each student accepted into VCS needs to demonstrate strong abilities in written and spoken English. They demonstrate this knowledge through a score of 75 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language test), or a score of 865 on the TOEFL Jr. or iTEP SLATE minimum score of 5.0. Students also need to be able to listen and speak with us comfortably during the 30-minute interview (in person or via webcam).

What grade levels does VCS accept?
We recommend entering our school in grades 8, 9, 10 or 11. We do not take students new to the United States in grade 12. Students with strong family support are allowed to apply to grades 6-7.

Do you take new international students to VCS in the spring semester (beginning early January)?
Generally, all international students begin at the start of an academic year—our fall semester (beginning mid-August). Occasionally, we do accept an international student for the spring semester if the student has been in the U.S. schooling system for at least one year, has high grades, and demonstrates excellent written and spoken English skills (TOEFL score of 75 or greater).

When is the application due?
The early date to return completed applications, along with the application fee, is Monday, February 6, 2017 for Priority Consideration. Applications received after that will be considered after the Priority Consideration applicants have been evaluated.

What can I do to increase my chance of acceptance into Valley Christian Schools’ International Student Program?
Students have the highest likelihood of acceptance if they apply by the Priority Consideration Deadline in February and can demonstrate the following: a high level of skill when speaking and writing in English, outstanding grades in their current school, excellent teacher recommendations, and involvement in programs that they will continue to pursue once accepted to VCS (such as music, dance, theatre, sports, clubs, etc.).

What is the application process for international students?
Documents that need to be submitted online are:

  1. An application, filled out online by the parent, guardian, or student, along with the application fee of $100. 
  2. A Student Questionnaire, filled out by the student in his/her own handwriting, with both essay questions answered.
  3. Two Teacher Recommendations and one Math Teacher Recommendation (three total).
  4. Official Academic records (grades) for the current school year and the last two school years, stamped, sealed, and translated into English. If the applicant is accepted, we will need his/her current school transcript.  It must be stamped, sealed, and translated into English.
  5. A Financial Disclosure Form, filled out by the parent or guardian.
  6. Complete immunization records translated into English.
  7. A photocopy of the applicant's passport.
  8. A completed parent, guardian, or clergy statement.

A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or TOEFL Jr or iTEP SLATE score must also be submitted as proof of the student’s level of English. After all applications have been submitted and received initial approval, an interview is scheduled. If the student is not in the San Jose area, the interview can be done via a webcam using Skype. The guardian or host family is also interviewed. Final admissions decisions are made by the end of March if the application is received by the Priority deadline.

What about the I-20 and F-1 visa?
International students must obtain an F-1 visa from their local US Embassy to attend school in the US for more than one year. In order to obtain an F-1 visa, the International student must first be accepted at a SEVIS-approved school, such as Valley Christian Schools. After the student has been accepted to VCS, and his/her family returns the Enrollment Contract and fee to our school, we issue the student the I-20 form. We send the I-20 by certified mail courier to the student in their home country. The student then takes this form to the US Embassy and requests an F-1 visa.

How do I get an application?
You can apply online on our website at https://www.govcs.net/application. Applications open in October.

Does Valley Christian board students or find homestay families?
VCS does not board international students, or directly place students in homestays. Students may be approved by the school to live with a family member or relative. Students are also referred to a host family coordinator who can find excellent homestay families close to the school. 

What are the requirements for guardians and host families?
We develop close relationships with the guardians of our International students. They have a personal interview with us, just as does the international student. The family that the student lives with must have at least one adult over the age of 25; married couples are preferred. The guardian should have a Limited Power of Attorney form signed and on file with us so that we can share information related to the student’s progress in our school. The Limited Power of Attorney form should be written to give the guardian the legal authority to make decisions about the student’s health, education and general welfare.

Does the student have to be a Christian to attend Valley Christian Schools?
Most students who attend our school consider themselves Christians. However, we also take students who, along with their parents and guardians, are not Christians but are very open to learning more about Jesus Christ and the Bible. Although each student is free to make his/her own choice about religion, many of our international students become Christians as a result of attending our school. The family and guardian must support this decision as a positive step in the student’s spiritual and moral growth.

What is the weather like in San Jose?
The South Bay Area has some of the nicest weather in the entire world! Summer temperatures average about 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) during the day and winter temperatures average about 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) during the day. There is very little humidity in our region and not much rain—only about 15 inches of rain per year, mostly in December, January and February. There is snow (and skiing!) up in the mountains a few hours away, but no snow in San Jose.

Is there transportation to Valley Christian Schools?
Guardians need to provide transportation to and from VCS. In addition, we have a number of buses and vans that go to different locations throughout the South Bay Area to pick up students. Students are dropped off at these locations before and after school. There is an additional fee for this service.

Is financial aid available for international students?
We are sorry, but financial aid is not available for students attending VCS from other countries. We do, however, place a part of each student’s tuition into an International Student Fund, from which we pay for the student’s sports fees, VC theatre tickets, VC dance tickets, and much more. We also pay a portion of their school trip fees and the VC SAT prep seminar fees from this fund.

Do students need health insurance to attend VCS?
Yes, all international students must have health insurance to attend our school. They may select and purchase their own health plan in their home country if it is recognized in California, or they may purchase a plan in California immediately upon arriving, or they may purchase a plan on our website.

What is the Conservatory of the Arts?
The Conservatory of the Arts is an outstanding program that is most unusual in the United States. Students submit a short application to the Conservatory after they are accepted to VCS and have the opportunity to take many music, theatre, dance or visual arts classes. Students may also take special lessons outside of school, give recitals and build a portfolio for college. A number of our international students are part of our Conservatory of the Arts program. For more information on the Conservatory, click HERE.

What is the Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) Institute?
The AMSE Institute is for VCS students who have a particular interest or strength in science and/or math. The program is ideal for students who want to be trained through the highest courses in math and science, and who want to work closely with local business entrepreneurs and scientists while they take their regular college preparatory classes. These students have opportunities to do research on university-level projects, enter special math and science competitions, and more. international students may apply into AMSE after being accepted into Valley Christian Schools. For more information on the AMSE Institute, click HERE.

Who should I contact for more information about the VCS International Student Program?
We are so glad you are learning more about Valley Christian Schools—we love and care for each international student in our program and want to answer all your questions. Please contact us!

Rira SeoInternational Student Coordinator rseo@vcs.net 408.513.2530
Julie Houp, International Admissions international.admissions@vcs.net, 408.513.2507
Kris Rapazzini, Director of International Students. international.info@vcs.net, 408.513.2498

  • Elementary School 1450 Leigh Avenue
  • San Jose, CA 95125 408.559.4400 FAX: 408.559.4022
  • Junior High 100 Skyway Drive, Ste. 130
  • San Jose, CA 95111 408.513.2460 FAX: 408.513.2472
  • High School 100 Skyway Drive, Ste. 110
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