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International Students

Two international students in caps and gowns at graduation

California culture and a world-class college prep education.

Kirby offers students from other countries a world-class academic curriculum, a healthy balance of electives, advanced math and science classes, and a fully-integrated performing and visual arts program in Santa Cruz, California. We welcome applications for grades 9-12.

Our International Student Program (8% of our student body) is close-knit and vibrant. We support every student from enrollment through graduation and beyond.

Our highly-effective college counselors provide personalized, one-on-one college guidance. With a 100% college acceptance rate, international students go on to attend a wide range of colleges and universities throughout the United States.

If you’re proficient in English and think Kirby might be a place where you can thrive, download the application kit and follow the instructions. 

International Application Packet 

Kirby is authorized by the U.S. Government to issue I-20 visas. I-20s are issued once a student has been accepted, and their enrollment contract and tuition payment have been received.

Student presenting final Intensive Path project for STIP

Intensive Path final project

Two international students one giving the peace sign at the back to school picnic

Enjoying our Back to School Picnic

11th graders on retreat in front of the White House

Notable Program Aspects

California Lifestyle

Nestled between the expansive Monterey Bay and giant redwood forests, and just minutes from the University of California and Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz has it all: internship and community service opportunities, tech company tours, international cuisine, shopping, scenic beaches, surfing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and much more. Visit the nearby cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Monterey, and Carmel for world-famous museums, restaurants, sightseeing, and shopping.

American Host Family

Kirby international students live with a host family who are well-connected to the community. International students become immersed in American culture, and receive support and guidance while building fluency in English. Kirby international students feel at home and often remain in touch with their host families for many years after graduation.

Active Community

International students are an integral part of our student body. You’ll have the same opportunities as all Kirby students. You will be able to enroll in the same academic courses–including all AP and Honors classes–and can participate in all school activities, including athletics, visual and performing arts, clubs, and student government.

With an average class size of 12 students, you’ll receive individualized attention from kind, passionate teachers who will inspire, support, and challenge you to do your very best work.

Contact Amy Hemmert, International Dean and Admissions, to learn more. 

Picture of Amy Hemmert

Amy Hemmert
International Dean and Admissions 

As a mother, former international exchange student, and a long-time member of the Kirby community, Amy Hemmert, our International Student Dean and Director of International Admissions, understands the unique joys and cultural challenges you are likely to experience as an international student. Amy is committed to helping you get the most out of your Kirby education, and will meet with you regularly to ensure that you’re involved and thriving academically and socially. Amy will communicate regularly with your teachers, parents, agents, and host family. Amy teaches one section of International Student English, she coordinates student outings and gatherings, and has hosted a number of students in her home.

Contact Amy Hemmert to learn more. 

I arrived in California hoping to become more independent and to meet new people. Little did I know that I'd end up making such good friends and getting to know myself so well. The lessons I've learned are priceless and the experiences I had with everyone I met were enriching in a way I wasn't capable of imaging before I went.

Brasilian International Student