International Students

Palma School will consider international applications from students grades 7-11. 


  1. A completed application, financial disclosure, and interview (in person or over the telephone for students outside of the United States as well as an interview with the host family).
  2. TOEFL testing to determine English language proficiency. A minimum score of 475 (paper) or 53 (Internet-based) is required.
  3. A review of the records of classes taken by the student and grades in those classes to evaluate the student’s ability to succeed academically. Transcripts must be translated into English.
  4. Evidence of immunizations.


After all application documents have been submitted, interviews are scheduled with the prospective student. It is required that the sponsoring family be interviewed before the decision to accept a student will be granted.

Following the submission of all the application requirements and the interview, the Admissions Committee makes a decision regarding the applicant, typically within 2 weeks. Upon approval, a letter of acceptance is sent. After receipt of the tuition contract and international students fees are met, the I-20 will be issued to the student. This document is the basis for receiving an F-1 visa status from the United States Department of Homeland Security. Incoming international students must show proof of medical insurance before entering Palma School as a student.

There are specific California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and Central Coast Section (CCS) rules that apply to sports participation for international students that Palma School is required to meet. International student applicants should request an athletic eligibility determination before a final decision to seek admission to Palma if school sports participation is desired.


International students have two payment options: payment twice a year at the start of each semester (June 1 & January 1) or payment in full due on June 1.

List of 6 items.

In addition to all fees, Palma students also must purchase their own textbooks every year. Please visit our online book list and prices.

If a visa is denied, all but $400.00 of the registration fee will be returned. A portion of the registration fee will only be returned upon receipt of the denial letter from the US Embassy stating the reason for your denial, and the return of the original I-20. There is a $50.00 fee for a lost I-20.

There is no financial aid option for international students here on a F-1 visa.


Palma School does not board students. Parents must privately arrange for the placement of their student with a legal guardian. The host family/relative (legal guardian) in the Monterey County area will be responsible for all out-of-school supervision, school business, communication, and housing. At least one of the adults in this family must be 25 years or older and be granted legal guardian status over the student throughout the school year. It is required that the sponsoring family be interviewed before acceptance of an international student will be granted.

Palma discourages students from changing legal guardians during the school year. Students who desire to change legal guardians must report it to Palma immediately or risk being asked to leave school. If an international student is not adjusting well to their legal guardian or to Palma School, the student may be required to return to his country of origin.


The safety and security of our international students is a top priority of Palma School. Therefore, health insurance is required for all international students. It is the responsibility of each international student to obtain coverage that meets Palma’s minimum requirements (at least $50,000 maximum coverage for an accident or sickness). You may already have a plan from your home country or with your legal guardian that is acceptable. If you are in need of finding adequate medical coverage, please contact the Admissions Office as soon as possible for information.


List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Does Palma School have an ESL program?

    Palma does not have an English Second Language program for our international students. Because international students join with domestic students in all the college-preparatory classes, each student accepted into Palma must demonstrate proficiency in both written and spoken English. International applicants will demonstrate this proficiency through a good score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language test), as well as being able to listen and speak with us comfortably during the admission interview (in person or via webcam).
  • In what grade level does Palma take international students?

    Palma will consider international applications for students entering grades 7-11. Unfortunately we cannot consider applications for international students entering grade 12.
  • Does Palma accept new international students in the second semester? (January)

    Generally, all international students are accepted to begin only at the start of an academic year — our fall semester (mid-August). Occasionally, we do accept a few international students for the second semester if they have been in the US school system for at least one year, have high grades, and demonstrate excellent written and spoken English skills.
  • When is the application due?

    Applications are due the first week of February. Please check directly with the Palma Admissions office for how to apply after the due date.
  • What is the application process for international students?

    a. An application, filled out by the parent or guardian
    b. International Applicant Supplement, completed by the applicant in his own hand writing
    c. Applicant’s Math and English Recommendations (translated into English)
    d. Academic records (grades) for the current and the previous two school years (translated into English)
    e. Financial Disclosure Form, filled out by the Parent or Guardian
    f. Photocopy of student’s current valid passport
    g. Current photo
    h. TOEFL and SSAT scores
    All of these items must be mailed or faxed together directly to Palma School. After all application materials have been submitted and received initial approval, an interview is scheduled. If the student is not in the Salinas area, the interview can be done via a webcam using Skype. The guardian or host family is also interviewed. Final admissions decisions are made within two weeks of interviews.
  • What about the I-20 and F-1 visa?

    International students must obtain an F-1 visa from their local US Embassy to attend school in the US for more than one year. In order to obtain an F-1 visa, the international student must first be accepted at a SEVIS-approved school, such as Palma School. After the student has been accepted to Palma, and his family returns the Enrollment Contract to our school, we issue the student the I-20 form. We send the I-20 by certified mail courier to the student in their home country. The student then takes this form to the US Embassy and requests an F-1 visa.
  • How do I get an application?

    You can apply online on our website at
  • Does Palma School board students or have a homestay program?

    Palma does not board international students or directly place students in homestays. Many students stay with friends or relatives in the area.
  • What are the requirements for guardians and host families?

    We develop close relationships with the guardians for our international students. They have a personal interview with us, just as does the international student. The family in which the student lives must have at least one adult over the age of 25; married couples are preferred. The guardian should have a Limited Power of Attorney form signed and on file with us so that we can share information related to the student’s progress in our school. The Limited Power of Attorney form should be written to give the guardian the legal authority to make decisions about the student’s health, education and general welfare.
  • Do students need health insurance to attend Palma?

    Yes, all international students must have health insurance to attend our school. They may select and purchase their own health plan in their home country if it is recognized in California, or they may purchase a plan in California immediately upon arriving.
  • Is there financial aid available for international students?

    We are sorry, but there is no financial aid for students attending Palma from other countries.
Salinas Valley is also known as “the Salad Bowl of the World” as cool ocean breezes and rich agriculture lands produce much of the lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and artichokes sold throughout the world. It’s also known as Steinbeck country, named for famed local author John Steinbeck. The Monterey Bay, Cannery Row and Pebble Beach are nearby.
Palma is a private, college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 through 12 owned and operated by the Christian Brothers Institute of California. Palma School is dedicated to providing young men an excellent education in a Roman Catholic environment that embraces the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education and challenges each individual to develop spiritually, intellectually, morally, physically, and socially.
919 Iverson Street . Salinas, CA 93901 . 831.422.6391

Palma School is a 501(c)3 corporation owned and operated by The Christian Brothers Institute of California.