Important Information

Rira Seo, Director of International Students, international@vcs.net, 408.513.2498
Pam Biasotti, International Admissions Coordinator, international.admissions@vcs.net, 408.513.2507
Juliette Hamilton, International Student Coordinator, jhamilton@vcs.net, 408.513.2530

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, Congo, Burma, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Europe, Serbia, Philippines, and Portugal. They attend classes with the 2500 American students at Valley Christian Schools. 

What colleges do VCS international students attend?
International student graduates from VCHS currently attend prestigious universities, including Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, NYU, Barnard College, and Wellesley College. Each international student is assigned to one special VCHS college counselor who helps the student to select and apply to many different colleges. Because of this excellent college preparation and many advanced courses including honors and 23 AP courses, international students who attend our school for three to four years have higher college placements than those who only attend for one or two years. Students can also build strong college applications through participation in the following:

  • AMSE (Applied Math Science and Engineering) Institute
  • BEI (Business Entrepreneurship Initiative) Program
  • Conservatory of the Arts (Music, Dance, Visual Arts, Theatre, Media)

Does VCS have an ESL program?
No, we do not have an English Second Language program for international students. Because international students attend classes with domestic students in all of the college preparatory classes, each student accepted into VCS must demonstrate strong abilities in written and spoken English. 
This requires the following minimum English proficiency test scores:

  • TOEFL iBT    75
  • TOEFL Jr.    865
  • iTEP SLATE  5.0
  • IELTS            6.0

Students also need to be able to listen and speak comfortably during the 30-minute interview (in person or via Zoom or Skype).

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

Do you accept new international students to VCS in the spring semester (beginning early January)?
International students begin at the start of an academic year—the fall semester (beginning mid-August). Occasionally, we 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.

When is the application due?
The early date to return completed applications, along with the application fee, is Monday, February 10, 2020 for priority consideration. Applications received past that will be considered when 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 such as Robotics, business, music, theatre, or sports...etc.

What is the application process for international students?
The following documents must be submitted:

  1. Application, filled out online by the parent, guardian, or student
  2. $100 Application Fee (Non-Refundable)
  3. Student Questionnaire (filled out by the student in his/her own handwriting) including two essays
  4. Parent/guardian statement or clergy recommendation
  5. English Proficiency Test results (sent directly from the testing agency – VCS TOEFL code 6690)
  6. Official transcripts for the past 2 years AND the first grading period of the current year
  7. Two educator’s recommendations (one must be completed by an English teacher, and an additional teacher in any of these subjects: science, history or religion)
  8. One math educator recommendation
  9. Financial Disclosure Form
  10. Immunization record (translated into English)
  11. Passport

Once all application documents are submitted and receive initial approval, an interview is scheduled. If the student is not in the San Jose area, the interview can be done via Zoom or 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 Consideration 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. Once the student has been accepted to VCS, and his/her family returns the Enrollment Contract and fee to VCS, we issue the I-20 form to the student. 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?
Students who need homestays are referred to a host family coordinator who provides excellent homestay families close to the school.  All VCS International students who do not live with their parents must work through an agent or a homestay coordinator. Please contact Mrs. Pam Biasotti at pbiasotti@vcs.net for a referral for the homestay coordinator.

What are the requirements for guardians and host families?
Host families work closely with the school to provide a room,  meals, transportation, supervision, care, and a positive family living environment.  Host families are required to meet with the school or the homestay coordinator on a regular basis to review school policies and the students’ progress in the home. 

Does the student have to be a Christian to attend Valley Christian Schools?
Most students who attend VCS consider themselves Christians. However, we also accept students, who are not Christians but are 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 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) during the day and winter temperatures average 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).

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.

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 arrival in the US.

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 this program after they are accepted to VCS. There are opportunities 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 international students here at VCS are part of the Conservatory of the Arts program. For more information on this program, click HERE.

What is the Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) Institute?
The AMSE Institute is an innovative program for VCS students who have a particular interest or strength in math, science, engineering or technology. The program is ideal for students who want to be trained through the highest courses in these subjects, and work closely with local business entrepreneurs and scientists. These students have opportunities to do research on university-level projects, enter elite math and science competitions and more. Students submit an application to the AMSE Institute after they are accepted to VCS. For more information about this program, 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 school and want to answer all of your questions. Please contact us!

Rira Seo, Director of International Students, international@vcs.net, 408.513.2498
Pam Biasotti, International Admissions Coordinator, international.admissions@vcs.net, 408.513.2507
Juliette Hamilton, International Student Coordinator, jhamilton@vcs.net, 408.513.2530

Personal Interview

The Personal Interview is a pleasant experience, during which a member of our Admissions Committee speaks directly with the student and often with a parent/guardian (if possible) for about 30 – 45 minutes. This is done in person at Valley Christian Schools or via Zoom. The interview does not take place until the application is completed.

Acceptance Letter

Following the decision for admission by the Admissions Committee, the acceptance letter and enrollment information is sent directly to the student and parents. Sometimes, when the student arrives in the US, additional testing may be required to place him/her in the right classes and grade level.

Grade Level

International students are not allowed to enter Valley Christian for the 12th grade only; they must begin in grade 11 or younger. Exceptions to this may be made if the student has attended multiple years of US schooling.

Semester-Only Applicants

VCS normally gives admissions priority to international students applying for at least one full academic year or longer. It is unusual for VCS to accept a student attending for just one semester. For more information about international student admissions, contact Mrs. Pam Biasotti, Valley Christian InternationalAdmissions, international.admissions@vcs.net, 408.513.2507.

Issuing the I-20

Upon acceptance to Valley Christian High School and after receipt of the International Student Enrollment Contract and Administration Fee, the I-20 will be issued to the student. This document is the basis for receiving an F-1 visa status from the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Medical Insurance

Within two weeks before starting school, the student is expected to secure medical insurance and make sure all immunizations are up to date. Be advised that dental and vision insurance are usually not included in medical insurance. Check with your medical insurance associate if you would like to add them.

Athletic Eligibility

There are specific California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and Central Coast Section (CCS) laws that apply to sports participation for international students that Valley Christian Schools is required to meet. International student applicants should request an athletic eligibility determination before a final decision to seek admission to Valley Christian Schools if school sports team participation is desired.

Non-Discrimination Policy: Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

Valley Christian Schools admits students of any race, color, and national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
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