The Ultimate Guide to Secondary School in the US for International Students

Posted on March 15, 2023 By Mathew Berg

Requirements for Attending Secondary School in the US

In the United States, secondary school is generally referred to as high school and typically includes grades 9 through 12. There are several requirements to consider for attending high school as an international student:

  • English Proficiency: To succeed in a US high school, international students must have a strong command of the English language. Many schools require students to take an English proficiency exam, such as the TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Age Requirements: International students must meet the minimum age requirements set by the school district they wish to attend. Typically, students must be between the ages of 14 and 18 to attend high school.
  • Financial Resources: Attending high school in the United States can be expensive, and international students are generally not eligible for financial aid or scholarships. As such, students and their families must have the financial resources to cover tuition, living expenses, and other associated costs.
  • Credential Evaluation: One important consideration for international students who wish to switch to high school in the United States is foreign high school diploma evaluation. Credential evaluation is the process of verifying the academic credentials of an individual who has studied outside of the United States. This evaluation is necessary to ensure that international students meet the academic requirements for admission to a US high school and to determine whether they are eligible for college admission or other academic programs.

Different Ways to Attend Secondary School in the US

International students have several options for attending secondary school in the United States, depending on their needs and circumstances:

  • F-1 Student Visa: The F-1 student visa is the most common way international students attend high school in the United States. To obtain an F-1 visa, students must apply to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved school and provide proof of financial support, English proficiency, and academic qualifications. Once approved, students can attend high school in the United States.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa: The J-1 exchange visitor visa is another option for international students who wish to attend high school in the United States. This visa is typically reserved for students participating in a cultural exchange program, such as the American Field Service (AFS) or Youth For Understanding (YFU).
  • Private Schools: Many private schools in the United States welcome international students and offer specialized programs and support services. Private schools typically have more flexibility in their admission requirements and can offer more individualized attention to students.

Why Attend Secondary School in the US

The United States is home to some of the best high schools in the world, offering a rigorous and challenging curriculum that prepares students for college and beyond. International students attending US high schools can benefit from this high-quality education, gaining valuable knowledge and skills to help them succeed in their future academic and professional pursuits.

US high school education strongly emphasizes college preparation, providing students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in higher studies. US high schools are also known for their diverse student populations, allowing international students to learn and grow alongside students from different cultural backgrounds. This exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences can broaden students' horizons and help them develop a more global perspective. Here you can read more about why is this a good time to pursue higher education in the US?

Finally, attending a US high school can also help international students develop important personal and professional skills, such as leadership, critical thinking, and communication. These skills can help students succeed, regardless of their chosen field or industry.

With the right preparation and support, international students can successfully navigate the US secondary education system and achieve their academic goals. We hope our US secondary education guide helps set you on the path to fulfilling your dream of studying in the US.

US Secondary Education Guide: Start Your Journey Today

Attending secondary school in the United States can be a life-changing experience for international students, providing them access to new opportunities and experiences. However, it is essential to understand the requirements for admission and the different ways to attend, as well as the importance of credential evaluation services.

If you are looking for credential evaluation services, choose ERES for comprehensive education evaluations. We provide students educated outside of the United States with reports that determine the US equivalent of their credentials.

We have been a NACES member accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 1993. Our credential evaluation report can be used for secondary school applications and transfers in the United States. Contact us today at +1 (707) 759-2866 to learn more about our services.

Start Now



Educational Records Evaluation Service helps Non-US educated individuals to receive their US equivalences with our credential evaluation reports.

Contact us

Tue - Fri: 10:00 to 16:00 ( PST )

4773 Mangels Blvd, Fairfield, CA 94534, USA.

© 2024 Educational Records Evaluation Service. All rights reserved.

|Privacy Policy |Cookie Policy | |Terms and Conditions