Search for the best international schools in the United States; you can find a list at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate,the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
Dominating the upper tiers of world university rankings, the United States has long attracted the lion’s share of international students in higher education. Over recent years, international enrolments at American high schools have risen sharply, as foreign students – including many from China – seek to gain an edge in university admissions.
Nearly 80,000 international students attended US high schools in 2014, of whom 48 per cent were Chinese nationals. Chinese enrolments rose 60-fold over the preceding decade. The vast majority of international students attended private institutions, with six per cent at state schools, which they can join for one year only, paying full-cost fees.
There are several hundred independent schools in the United States, which aim to prepare students for university life, both academically and socially. Most are coeducational, many are religious foundations and a few offer a French or British curriculum.
The 1,836 IB World Schools include many state schools and a growing number of private, international schools, such as Los Angeles International School, which offers bilingual instruction in English and French leading to the IB Diploma across five campuses serving more than 1,000 students aged three to 18.
Some private, independent day schools such as the Henry Newman School in Boston, which arranges home-stay accommodation for international students, have adopted the IB Diploma alongside the American high school diploma. The Dwight School in New York, which emphasises personalised learning, was the first school in the US to offer the full IB curriculum and now operates a chain of international schools around the world.
There are more than 250 private boarding schools in the US, including several historic establishments with strong liberal arts traditions that pride themselves on placing students in Ivy League universities. Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, which was founded in 1797, offers more than 200 different courses alongside a rich co-curricular programme from its rural, 280-acre campus.
Private schools typically require applicants to take the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) or Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) and international students to also provide scores from the TOEFL Junior, an English language test.
Education is compulsory from age 5 to 16 and free for citizens up to age 17, with some variation between states, which manage public education. Children attend six years of primary school and six years of high school, divided into junior and senior phases. At senior high school, students take a wide range of subjects leading to the American high school diploma. Some schools offer Advanced Placement courses and other specialised programmes to high-achieving students.
If you are looking specifically for International Baccalaureate World Schools in the United States, you can find selected schools on our sister website: www.ibyb.org.