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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LIFE

International students in our community represent more than 20 countries. They bring their perspectives into the classroom and daily life, enriching the experience for everyone in the community. Traditions and cultures are shared and celebrated among the entire school community.

Families choose Cheshire Academy because of our reputation as one of the top internationally minded college-preparatory schools in the United States and our tradition of enrolling international students dates back to 1850.

International Support

Cheshire Academy provides a comprehensive learning environment and support system for students and their families that includes the following programs:

  • ELL classes (also known as ESL)
  • Transportation
  • A dedicated International Student Office
  • SEVIS/F-1 Visa and I-20 Support
  • A Peer Counselor Program for new students
  • Monthly orientation meetings for new students
  • Thanksgiving and Spring Break on-campus program

General Information for International Applicants
Cheshire Academy provides an in-depth support system for parents, consultants, and students from overseas.

Cheshire Academy is home to students from more than 20 countries, many of whom chose Cheshire Academy because of its reputation as one of the best private schools in the USA. Students from around the world have attended the Academy since 1850, making the New England boarding school one of the first to enroll international students.

Cheshire Academy offers a unique support system for international students that includes ESL and individualized academic assistance through the Roxbury Academic Support Program, and the option to participate in the IB Programme and earn an International Baccalaureate Diploma.

With guidance from academic advisors and the International Student Office, families from abroad have an in-depth support system that works to communicate with consultants, parents, and students, providing a true student-centered learning and living experience.

Once you are accepted and enrolled at Cheshire Academy, the International Office will issue an I-20 so that you can obtain your student Visa in time for travel to the United States. You may contact the International Student Life office with any questions.

Cheshire Academy has a limited financial aid budget and we are not able to guarantee that financial aid will be available to late applicants or students who begin at Cheshire Academy paying the full tuition. Thus, it is best for a family to apply for financial aid by the financial aid application deadline rather than waiting until the applicant has been accepted for admission or already enrolled in the school.
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Guide

Most of Cheshire Academy’s international students, who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States, will be issued an F-1 (non-immigrant) student visa. If you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda, you do not need a visa, but you will need to obtain a Form I-20. If you or your family has another type of visa, or if you are transferring from another U.S. school, please contact the International Student Coordinator for further information.

Cheshire Academy is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), administrated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to issue the Form I-20 which is the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. Please note that you must apply to, be admitted to, and agree to enroll at Cheshire Academy (including the submission of your enrollment agreement and appropriate deposit paid) before we may issue the Form I-20. After CA issues the Form I-20, you should schedule the “Initial Entry Visa Interview” with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please check with your U.S. Embassy or Consulate to determine their policies and procedures. You can check the U.S. Department of State website and select your city, then click the link for visa information. Wait times for student visa appointments at embassies and consulates worldwide can be found at www.Travel.State.Gov.

Visa interviews generally require the following documentation:

  • Your Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
  • Your acceptance letter from Cheshire Academy
    SEVIS I-901 receipt
    Passport which must be valid for 6 months after entry into the US
  • Transcripts or diplomas from current or previous institutions
  • Program of study description
  • Accommodation information
  • Evidence of funds to cover tuition and living expenses for one academic year


Once you receive your F-1 visa, it might be time to pack your bags for Cheshire Academy! Keep in mind that you can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before your program start date. Upon arrival at a United States Port of Entry you must present:

  • Your form I-20, with signatures
  • F-1Visa
  • Passport
  • I-94 Card

Your Form I-94 will be updated each time you arrive to or depart the U.S. and can be obtained by visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

International Student Union

The International Student Union (ISU) is a group of students who work with the International Student Coordinator to organize trips and activities that highlight our diverse Global community.

In addition to celebrations throughout the year like the Moon Festival and Lunar New Year, the ISU hosts the International Awareness Community Weekend in February.  This three-day celebration includes lessons, music, dance, and cuisine representing the many cultures and traditions of our community. The highlight of the weekend is the International Food Festival with beverages and food from over twenty countries prepared by our students.

The International Student Union is also a space for students to engage in discussion about different events happening in the world to help educate our community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What visa will I need?

Most students who wish to study at Cheshire Academy will have F-1 student visas. Residents of Canada or Bermuda do not need a visa, but must have an I-20. If you have another type of visa, please inform the Office of Admissions and the International Student Coordinator.

Who is considered an international student?

Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. are considered international students.

Where are international students from?

Cheshire Academy is proud to be an international community. International students represent 36 countries including Bermuda, South Korea, France, Germany, Spain, China, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, India, Brazil, Ghana, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Bahamas, Georgia, Ukraine, Singapore, Nigeria, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Israel, Hong Kong, and Turkey.

When will I receive my I-20 for Cheshire Academy?

A Form I-20 is a “certificate of eligibility” necessary to obtain F-1 status. In order to receive the Form I-20, a student must be officially admitted to CA, as well as provide documentation that the student has sufficient financial resources to meet CA tuition, fees and expenses. After the I-20 is received, students will make appointments at local embassies for their F-1 visa interview.

What kind of academic support programs are in place for international students?

You will have a faculty advisor with whom you will meet weekly. Some courses are modified for language learners in both English and History. The Writing Center is available to support writing and reading comprehension, and intensive writing classes in academic writing to prepare for college are available. Your placement in Writing and Composition I and II, English I and II (modified or transitional), as well as Introduction to American Culture, World Cultures I and II, and American History (all of which are modified or transitional) will depend upon your fluency, your spoken expression and your academic writing skills. Your placement in these classes will be determined by the academic dean in conjunction with the department chairs. Further academic support can be arranged through the Roxbury Center, which provides one-on-one academic tutoring.

Am I required to have health insurance?

Yes. All international students will be automatically enrolled in our mandatory Cheshire Academy international medical insurance plan. This International Student Accident and Sickness medical insurance plan will cover international students for the 10 month academic year. This health insurance charge is itemized in the tuition bill and must be paid prior to students arriving at school.

What are the graduation requirements?

You are required to take 5 credits for letter grades each semester. Twenty academic credits are required for graduation. The Academic Office must approve credits that are not earned at Cheshire Academy.

How often do I submit health forms?

Health registration is an annual process. All students must have a physical exam and a tuberculosis screening yearly.

Does Cheshire Academy require language proficiency testing?

Yes. If English is not your first language, you must provide recent scores from either an IELTS exam, TOEFL or Cambridge exam with your application. Please contact the Office of Admission if you have any questions related to proficiency testing for your application.

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