Welcome International Students! Welcome to Our Private School in Texas

San Marcos Academy is one of the few Texas private boarding schools that actively seeks international students in grades 6-12 to live in our campus Residence Hall. In any given year, our international students represent as many as 12 different countries. The presence of these exceptional young men and women enhances the diversity of our student body and nurtures in all of our students a better appreciation of different cultures, traditions, and histories.

Ease of Access

As a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) certified school, our international students can come to the Academy to study on an F-1 visa. We provide English as a Second Language support through immersion in the core classes and individualized assistance as needed.


In the dormitory setting, our international students have the opportunity to improve and refine their ability to read, speak, and comprehend English at a level necessary for success should they continue their college education in the United States. The majority of our international student graduates do continue their education in this country and are accepted to major universities throughout the United States.

No Tests Required

San Marcos Academy does not require a language proficiency test or any other admissions test for international students. The Admissions Office may request a Skype interview as part of the admissions process in order to evaluate the student’s level of proficiency in conversational English.

2022–2023 Program Costs

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Guide to Studying in the States

2022–2023 School Calendar

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Senior College Acceptances

A Strong Academic Foundation

We believe our program provides a strong academic foundation for students from other countries, offering them an excellent Western educational experience that will pave the way for their future educational endeavors. Upper School students prepare for college-level work through a rigorous Christ-centered curriculum. SMA students follow the Texas state-mandated course requirements to graduate and/or obtain one or more endorsements in areas such as Arts and Humanities, STEM, Multidisciplinary Studies, Public Service, and within the next two years, Business and Industry.

College matriculations for international students have included renowned institutions such as Penn State University, Boston University, Michigan State University, the University of Texas, and many others.

With our small classes we can really help students learn to communicate, work through problems or experiments, and be leaders in their classrooms.

—Sherry Christensen, a proud parent to two SMA graduates and a Middle School science and math teacher at the Academy.

Support for Success

The Counseling and Guidance Program at SMA also contributes to student success. Guidance counselor Teri Nash works with families regarding college selection, applications, essays, resumes, recommendation letters, tours of Texas colleges and universities, and standardized testing. Students are welcome to visit her office at any time to seek advice or get their hands on any kinds of materials needed to help design their paths.

Students come to SMA from all walks of life with their successes and struggles in tow. SMA staff and faculty celebrate their success and allow the students to see past the struggles to new successes. This allows them to discover a nurturing and caring atmosphere in which to learn.”

—Guidance Counselor Teri Nash

An Emphasis on Well-Being

International families should know that San Marcos Academy places the highest priority on the safety and well-being for all students We have a Student Resource Officer and other safety officers on our campus to provide support, protection, and training in safety procedures. Our campus has an access gate that is monitored by a safety officer, who requires identification for all who enter the campus. SMA cooperates fully with law enforcement officials in the city, county, and state to provide high-quality training for our staff and faculty. We implement and offer training for students through routine safety drills and procedures throughout the year. We are happy to provide any other information and answer any other questions families may have about our campus safety program.

We help students to become personally responsible individuals with a value and regard for those around them. This helps them become interdependent self-managers, concerned not only with how they can improve themselves, but also with how they can inspire others to become better citizens.

—James Portis, SMA Faculty and Parent

A Connected Community

While at San Marcos Academy, students are surrounded by teachers and staff who really love what they do, no matter how overwhelmingly busy it can be. “It is very much a family atmosphere,” explained Toby Wade, who teaches Economics, AP Macroeconomics, and Dual College-Credit Government, as well as serving as Athletic Director and coach for football and baseball. Colleague Vickie Boyer agrees.

Those who reside on campus enjoy 24/7 engagement, with schedules filled to the brim with exciting activities and mentally-stimulating academic experiences. Athletics play a pivotal role in student development as all SMA students are encouraged to get involved in sports to build values in sportsmanship, integrity, and character. The Student Recreation Organization also hosts weekly and monthly events such as board games, karaoke, card games, arts and crafts, holiday-themed festivities and much more. SMA also offers a unique opportunity for international students to join the LEO Club, offering them at path to become members of the Lions Club International as adults in their home countries.

It is a fun, loving environment that is always exciting. I enjoy coming to work in the mornings, when I have an opportunity to talk with my senior advisory group about sports and their other activities and encourage them to have an amazing day. Then after school, we have an opportunity to attend their sporting events and cheer our Bears and Lady Bears on to victory!

—Vickie Boyer, World History and English teacher at SMA

Read about us at Study International!

At San Marcos Academy, a well-rounded student experience, a connected community, and a suite of opportunities are ready and waiting. Convinced?

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