Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifies me as an “international” student?
If you are studying on an F-1 visa, you are required to apply as an international student.
In what grades can international students apply?
The King’s Academy accepts international students in grades 8-12. Students from mainland China are encouraged to apply no later than 10th grade to be considered for admission.
When should I apply?
TKA’s International Student Office practices rolling admissions, meaning that students can apply as early as they like. Seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The end of the admission cycle will depend on the residential capacity and number of qualified applicants on any given year. TKA receives far more international applications each year than we have room to admit. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
What documents are required to complete the application process?
- 4 recent photos
- A copy of your passport
- A certified copy of your academic record (transcript) from 8th grade until the time of your application that is translated into English and scaled to the American (100 point) system.
- A certified copy of your English proficiency exam results.
Which language test scores will TKA accept with the application?
In an effort to offer convenient testing options to students in every nation and from a variety of originating sources; including educational institutions and language centers, TKA student applicants can choose to provide results from any one of the following 7 pre-approved tests: SLEP, ELTiS, TOEFL iBT, TOEFL-PB, TOEFL JR, CAE, SLATE (ITEP), or IELTS. Click here
for a complete description.
What are the minimum language requirements?
For a complete list of language requirements by grade level, please click here
How does the application process work?
After a student has completed the online application and submitted the necessary supporting documents, they will be contacted to schedule a Skype or WeChat interview. A final decision will be made and communicated within 2 business days of that interview.
If accepted, the student will receive a letter of acceptance, and Enrollment Contract immediately following the issuance of that decision. The student will then have 2 weeks to return those contracts along with a 5,000 USD non-refundable deposit ($10,000 USD for students applying from Mainland China). Once those items are received, the student is officially “enrolled,” securing their seat in the coming class.
How will I obtain my student visa if I apply to TKA?
Upon confirmation of enrollment, the school will immediately issue a welcome packet to the student, including the I-20 documents needed to obtain an F-1 visa. Upon receipt of those documents, the student will make an appointment with their local consulate to apply for their visa.
What happens to my deposit if I am rejected for my visa?
TKA has been hosting international students since 1986 and is well-equipped to assist with immigration and student visa needs. In the rare event that a student is rejected for their visa after two good-faith attempts, the entirety of their deposit will be refunded in full.
Since I’m applying during the school year, what should I do about my final semester transcripts?
When you apply, we ask for your transcripts from 8th grade through present day. Because you were likely still completing the current semester at the time of your application, the results of your final performance in your home country will likely not be included in our admissions records. When you complete your final semester in your home country, it is important that you provide us with a copy of an official, translated transcript for any coursework completed that was not included in your application documents. Not providing us with this transcript before arrival will negatively affect the student because it will greatly delay their ability to participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities. If you are a diploma seeking student and attending as a 10th, 11th, or 12th grader, you must bring with you a sealed transcript in your home country language so that our college counselors can best assist you with your matriculation to higher education.
When will I travel to the US? When does school start?
Calendars for a coming year, including the start date of school, are determined the first week of February of the prior school year. Do not buy plane tickets before that calendar is published. new international students are generally required to arrive at TKA for orientation around the very end of July, or first week of August. Click here for additional information
What is included in my international tuition?
International tuition generally includes tuition, room and board, transportation, all meals including school lunches in the school cafeteria, insurance, all course fees, the cost of many student life activities, and access to the ESL program.
When is international tuition due?
A 5,000 USD non-refundable tuition deposit ($10,000 USD for students applying from Mainland China) is due within 2 weeks of receiving your admissions decision. The remainder of tuition is due July 1st.
How many “seats” does TKA have available for international students in the coming admissions season?
This number changes from year-to-year and is not communicated publicly. In addition to housing capacity, the admissions committee looks at the diversity of the program and makes an effort to have a wide variety of countries of origin represented. As such, there are times where students from a particular recruitment region will be capped at a certain number, so as to not adversely affect the overall goals of the program.
How many international students are there at TKA?
TKA is proud to serve a large and diverse group of international students, who make up about 5% of the total school population each year. TKA has served international students from over 30 different countries on 6 continents and takes care to limit the total number of international students, as well as the number of students from any one country of origin, to allow for optimal cultural integration.
How many AP courses do you offer?
TKA currently offers 23 AP courses.
What are the residential accommodations offered to international students?
One of the unique features of The King’s Academy’s International Student Program is the ability to offer both a homestay program and residential-style dormitory boarding. Within both of these models, students enjoy enhanced cultural integration, accelerated English learning, and personalized care. Click here for more information
Will I get to choose between homestay and residential dormitory boarding?
Students are asked in their application and during their interview to note their preference, which is considered when making the final accommodation pairings. However, students may not always be granted their preference and international students attending TKA should be comfortable living in either arrangement. Click here for more information
When will I be notified of my residential accommodations?
Residential Accommodation placements will be communicated on July 15th.
May I travel during holidays and summer breaks? Am I required to?
International students are required to exit their residential accommodations during the summer months. All students are required to exit their residential accommodations no later than 48 hours after the Graduation/Commencement ceremony for 12th graders.
During the 2 week Christmas and New Year Break, which takes place between the first and second semester, all international students that are residing in TKA’s Residential Dormitories are required to vacate their school provided accommodations. International students residing in TKA Homestay with host families are not required to exit their residential accommodations, but are certainly able to do so if they would like to take advantage of this long break and fill out travel request forms. Students can choose to stay with their host families, in the dorms, or they can travel (with restrictions) during all other school holidays. For more information on travel, please click here
Will I be able to play sports at TKA?
Athletics inherently involve competition. Some sports at TKA are extremely competitive, while others allow any athletically eligible student who would like to join to do so. With nearly 50 athletic teams to choose from, there is a place for everyone; however, the type of sport will be based on skill level and availability.
International students are required to complete additional paperwork for athletic eligibility. Included in that paperwork is a copy of the students translated and scaled official transcript from their home country, beginning in 8th grade and continuing to present. Students with incomplete documentation will have their eligibility delayed or possibly rejected.
Students in the United States are granted a total of 4 years of athletic eligibility, beginning with the start date of 9th grade (regardless of whether they were in the US or another country when they started that grade). As such, any student who is intentionally repeating, or has already repeated a grade when the they come to TKA will run out of athletic eligibility 4 years after their 9th grade start date. For example, if a current 9th grade student applies to TKA to repeat 9th grade the following year, they would have 3 years of eligibility at TKA (9th, 10th, and 11th) and would be ineligible in their “5th year” – 12th grade.
What electronic device (computer/tablet) do I need to bring with me?
Students are required to bring their own laptop or tablet to TKA. Helpful information on which type of device will work best for your students can be found here
Do I need to carry a translator?
International students are not required to carry a translator and if a student chooses to have a translator they are responsible for the expense of that translation device. International students are only permitted to use translators which do not allow internet access. Smart phones or any devices which allow internet browsing and/or games are not permitted to be used as translators in class. It is our position that students will grow faster in English language acquisition if they do not use a translator. Instead we find it to be far more effective if students use an English to English dictionary that helps students learn harder English words by defining it with higher frequency English words that will be known. You can find an example of this at http://learnersdictionary.com/ and it is also available in the App Store. Students cannot use this website (or the Learner’s Dictionary app) in class, but it is a great tool for homework, projects, and increases English acquisition stronger than translation to home country language.
How will I obtain a phone plan?
Students will need to arrive to the US with a functioning cellular phone. Students will be given assistance in signing up for a simple, local cellular phone plan with monthly pre-paid billing. By inserting a provided SIM card into the phone, students will be able to obtain a local phone number. The monthly billing will be assigned to the credit card that the student brings with them upon arrival.
How will I handle money/banking?
Students will need to arrive to the US with a functioning credit card to cover expenses. Students will be given assistance to open a simple, local checking account to use while in the US. This will allow parents to transfer small amounts of money into an account where the student can withdraw dollars as needed.
Will there be an orientation to help me be successful at TKA?
TKA offers international students a comprehensive orientation prior to the start of school. Students will have a chance to make authentic American friendships, choose the proper courses to help them reach their academic goals, meet their teachers, be introduced to a variety of student life activities, purchase a phone plane, open a bank account, set up their lunch accounts, purchase uniforms, receive their student ID cards etc. The orientation experience grows & improves every year and is a critical part of the student experience at TKA.
TKA features a Global Ambassador program, whereby TKA students volunteer to mentor new international students on a 1-to-1 level. Global ambassadors reach out to their international students through email and social media, beginning in the summer time, and attend international student orientation to assist with welcoming the new students into the TKA family.
How will my parents communicate with the school about my progress and well-being?
Direct communication between the school and parents is vital to student success. Contact info for the entire International Program team can be found here
. Please contact us if you have a question or issue. It would be our pleasure to facilitate a translator when needed to ensure proper communication.
What medical considerations will I need to make to study in the US?
At the time of enrollment, each student will receive notice of TKA’s medical requirements. When you arrive, a physician at TKA will review your immunization records. If you are missing the necessary documents to support that you’ve received any of the required immunizations, we will have them administered to you before you start school, and the student will be responsible for those charges. If you have any questions about the requirements, please contact us. It would be our pleasure to assist you and your home country physician in completing the process before arrival.