“The small campus means you can know all
classmates. You have more focus from teachers
and more opportunities to talk to the faculty.
I personally love this fact and enjoy talking to people
who are older and more experienced than me.
How on earth did the school get so many fantastic
teachers? Trust me, classes are not easy here!”
— Harry Lu, Class of 2018
“Compared to other schools, SV is more like a family.
All the teachers and students are friendly and nice to
you. When I just got here, I felt confused about lots of
things. My teachers came to talk to me and were
always trying to help me.”
—Willa Wei, Class of 2019
“What I enjoy about St. Vincent’s is the various
activities. I’ve attended almost all the school dances—
they were really fun. The art and fashion shows every
year are my favorite. They are all great opportunities
to hang out with friends and have fun. I got closer
with my classmates and made more friends during
— Krystal Weng, Class of 2018
“St. Vincent’s is a great place to find your goals and
achieve them. I enjoy the vigorous academic
environment and sports programs. More
importantly, I have friendly classmates and teachers
with outstanding expertise. They’re great people!”
— Bryant Yang, Class of 2019
“St. Vincent’s fully prepares their students for
universities. I feel very confident when I apply
to all these great colleges. St. Vincent’s also has
a great college counselor who always cares about
my applications. All of the international students
in my grade (including myself) have already been
accepted to universities in the United States.”
— Bean Zheng, Class of 2018
St. Vincent de Paul High School has been fortunate to welcome and share culture with students from countries around the globe. The international student program began over six years ago, but St. Vincent de Paul has been educating youth in Sonoma County, CA for over one-hundred years.
SVHS is a small school with fewer than 240 students, which provides a safe and nurturing atmosphere that allows international students to flourish. We cultivate a strong relationship between our students, faculty, and staff—giving our students the tools they need to succeed in a new school in a new country.
We also develop their academic and spiritual growth. Moreover, we strive to foster a social environment in which students can thrive. In a recent WASC accreditation report, SVHS was described as the “Friendliest School in America.” The SVHS International Student Program also offers support services for our foreign students through our International Student Coordinator.
The school is located in the safe, quiet, comfortable, suburban community of Petaluma, California. The location offers our students the opportunity to experience life in beautiful Sonoma County, and they are only 40 miles (64km) from San Francisco, California.
College Preparatory Environment
St. Vincent de Paul High School is a rigorous four-year college preparatory school. We provide a mixture of advanced placement and honors courses to ensure that every student is challenged in their areas of strength. The curriculum emphasizes excellence in the sciences, mathematics, language arts, social sciences, world languages, theology, computer technology, and the arts.
SVHS graduates are expected to demonstrate mastery of many skills and disciplines.
English as a Second Language Classes
Students are provided with a transitional language program. On average, students spend two to three years in the ESL program, progressing through beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels practicing writing and speaking in English.
The ESL program has courses in English language development and academic preparation as well as mainstream English courses, which have been modified to meet the needs of the ESL students. Outside tutoring is sometimes needed and can also be arranged for students needing additional assistance.
Our host families are responsible for providing safe and welcoming homes for our international students. All host families receive a monthly stipend to help them provide a nurturing home environment for the student. Prospective host families undergo a rigorous application process and preparation meetings to help them welcome their new family member.
SVHS partners with The Cambridge Network to provide great home environments for all our students.
Provide two copies of the applicant’s transcripts for the past three years (one copy must be in the original language and one copy must be translated into English by an official translator or school official). These records should include courses taken and credits earned.
Submit a letter of recommendation from a school administrator at the applicant’s current school. This letter should include the student’s discipline and attendance records.
Provide a copy of the applicant’s immunization records.
Provide a copy of a valid passport.
Complete I20 Questionnaire. Please note: St Vincent de Paul High School is approved to admit international students and issue I -20 forms to facilitate the visa process.
Participate in a Skype interview.
Write a brief written essay (instructions to be issued during the interview process).
In the past 10 years, more than 99% of our graduates have been admitted to college
21 Advanced Placement and Honors Courses are offered
Over 20 Clubs and Organizations
Art/Music courses, Athletics, and Technology courses are offered
College counseling services to help with the university admissions process
Our students have gone on to many prestigious American universities, such as Brown, California Polytechnic University, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Notre Dame, NYU, Reed College, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC and Yale.