International Students

International Student Program

Vistamar School has had an International Student Program since 2016. Currently, we have 14 international students enrolled, coming to us from China, Korea, Singapore and Ukraine. Our goal is to enroll a diverse group of international students interested in studying in the United States for high school.

Our international students have enrolled in prestigious colleges and universities such as: 
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Parsons School of Design
  • Pratt Institute
  • Purdue University
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • The University of Washington
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC San Diego
True to our mission, we know that having a diverse global perspective will enrich our community and help all of our students prepare for a global society. We recognize that English is not a first language for most of our International students, therefore we have developed an English as a Second Language (ESL)/Sheltered Immersion program for 9th and 10th grade students. International students are supported and monitored with a dedicated ESL instructor/advocate throughout their time at Vistamar School. More information is below and on our website here.

International Admissions Process

Vistamar School partners with international placement agencies and consultants. We encourage international candidates and their families to contact an agency or consultant to begin the admissions process. Agencies and consultants provide key services to international students, such as:
  • Application guidance
  • Reserving an admission spot
  • The I-20 Form Visa Application Support: The certificate of eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status 
  • Finding a vetted homestay family
  • Providing a Power of Attorney (POV) for host families to act as guardians
  • Tuition payment
  • Health Records​
  • Health Insurance
  • Communication with the families in their native language
In some cases, we can work with students who already have specific immigration status without the support of an agency.

International students are welcome to apply as 9th graders or transfer students (grades 10-12) for the 2023-2024 school year. 

For more information about applying to Vistamar School, please review the Admissions Process below.

Step-by-Step Instructions

List of 5 items.

  • STEP ONE: Submit the Inquiry Form

    Please click here to fill out the online inquiry form. By doing this, you and your family will be added to our admissions database. This step lets us know your interests and ensures you receive important communication from the Admissions Office. 

    If you are working with or are an agency, please submit the inquiry form to help us match the application materials.

    If you have permanent legal status to reside in the US, you may meet the requirements to apply without an agency.
  • STEP TWO: Submit Your Application

    Vistamar School uses the Standard Application Online (SAO). To begin your application, click here. Make sure to select "Vistamar School" from the school list. We will accept applications from our partnership agencies. However, applicants MUST fill out the Inquiry Form. Afterwards, agency coordinators will need to email the application as a PDF to
    SAO Issues: or by Phone (Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST) : 609.683.4440
    * There is a one-time application fee of $125. 

    SAO Issues: or by Phone (Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST) : 609.683.4440
  • STEP THREE: Supplemental Forms

    In addition to the application, each applicant is required to submit their transcripts and letters of recommendation from an Administrator, English teacher, and Math teacher.  There is a standard form that all members of the LAIS (Los Angeles Independent Schools) Consortium use and they are available below. 

    We will accept an agency's official forms or on the sending school's letterhead.
  • STEP FOUR: Schedule Your Interview

    After your online application has been submitted, we will contact you to set up an interview with a member of the Vistamar Admissions Committee. We realize not every family can travel to the U.S., so we offer each applicant the option for a Zoom video conference.
  • STEP FIVE: Submit Your Admissions Testing

    See guidelines and requirements in the section on the right.

Additional Information

List of 3 items.

  • Housing Information

    In order to provide an I-20 Visa, we must have proof and confirmation of a student’s local living arrangements. Students must have a local guardian even if they have or will turn 18. Vistamar School does not offer on-campus housing, but partners with host family placement organizations to find family hosts in the area. Students MUST confirm housing prior to the start of each year in order to keep their Visa in good standing.  

    In order to expedite an F-1 Visa application, students need to make arrangements with their agencies to establish a U.S. address to meet visa requirements.

    For additional information, please email the Admissions Team,
  • Tuition Information

    Tuition for International Students and those enrolled in the ELL program for the 2022/2023 year is $49,366. 
    A deposit of 10% of tuition is due with the contract. Tuition must be paid in full in US dollars for the I-20 to be processed. Tuition insurance is available for international students for an additional charge. Please refer to your contract for more information.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)/Sheltered Immersion Program

    International students who enter Vistamar will spend their freshman and sophomore years integrated into mainstream courses. However, instead of taking a foreign language course, they will take a course that offers them further foundational support with the building of English skills.

    Cultivating critical thinkers who are empathetic and comfortable in culturally diverse settings is at the heart of learning in the ESL program and across the school. Units of study in the ESL program are based on the California Department of Education Standards for English Language Development. Once students have exited the ESL program, they will continue to have dedicated office hours with the ESL instructor for any academic guidance they may need.

International Admissions Team

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Ivette Bustamante

    Ivette Bustamante 

    Assistant Director of Admissions
  • Photo of Lucia Linares

    Lucia Linares 

    ESL Instructor/ Int'l Student Advocate

TOEFL requirement or equivalent standardized testing

International students who apply to Vistamar School must take the TOEFL or equivalent. Vistamar School's TOEFL code is "C219." The TOEFL test measures all four academic skills — reading, listening, speaking and writing. The TOEFL is one factor we consider in gaining a clear academic picture of each applicant.

The combined minimum score we typically accept for a 9th grade applicant is 60 (the equivalent score in Duolingo is 100). 

For transfer 10th grade applicants the TOEFL minimum score is 72 (the equivalent score in Duolingo is 105), given that Vistamar’s Humanities program in 10th grade requires a higher proficiency level in the target language than in 9th grade.

For transfers to 11th and 12th grade, a combined TOEFL score of 91 is required (the equivalent score in Duolingo is 120). 

Here are performance descriptors for the TOEFL iBT test.  An equivalency chart for the two tests can be downloaded here.

If students have also taken the ISEE, SSAT, PSAT, or AP Testing we will accept and review those official scores as well. Here are our school codes: ISEE: 054327 & SSAT: 7976

All test results must come to Vistamar School directly from the testing company or through the agency.

Supplemental Forms

In addition to the application, each applicant is required to submit their transcripts and letters of recommendation. Recommendations can be returned via:

EMAIL (preferred): As a PDF file ONLY to

MAIL: Vistamar School, "Attention Admissions", 737 Hawaii Street, El Segundo, CA 90245

FAX: 310-643-7371

International Partner Organizations

Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.

Vistamar School