International students

Our community is enhanced by people from varied backgrounds locally and around the world. We have a long history of welcoming international students from many countries including Albania, China, Colombia, Germany, Iran, Israel, Korea, Paraguay, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Uganda. We accept international applications for grades 9-12.

We are located two hours by car from Washington, D.C., and are located in the same town as several colleges and universities.

Our international program is designed to foster a student’s English proficiency with individualized instruction and excellent academics. We offer a wide variety of courses in math and science, technology, the humanities, and the creative and performing arts. Students work one-to-one with faculty and with our College & Career counselor for a transcript that is well suited for college admissions.

International EMS students live with a host family where they gain skills to prepare them for independent living in the U.S. if they attend university here. We offer an annual trip to a TOEFL testing center for continued measurement of English language progress.

Recent international graduates have attended Boston University, Pennsylvania State University, University of California-San Diego, University of Maryland, University of Miami, Virginia Tech, Washington & Lee University, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Students from China and Korea may contact the The Cambridge Network for admission to EMS. All other students may contact our Admissions Office for further information at or +540-236-6021.

International Application Requirements

  • Online application: Click here to begin. Select “international” as the application.
  • Request three references and list them in your application. They should include a parent reference plus references from two current teachers.
  • Request school records with an explanation of the grading system, translated into English be sent to the school.
  • TOEFL iBT® or iTEP® SLATE test for English proficiency.
  • Complete a school entrance physical examination with a physician. Submit to the school along with a copy of immunization records.
  • Copy of passport.
  • Video interview with Marsha Thomas, admissions counselor.

Application deadline:

May 1 for Fall Semester admission. The application fee is $100US when submitting by May 1. Applications submitted after May 1 require a $350US application fee.

We require a TOEFL iBT® score of 57 and an iTEP® SLATE score of 4.5 for admission.

The admissions counselor, Marsha Thomas, will interview the student by video call. This will be arranged during the admissions process. It will last approximately 45 minutes.

Acquiring a Visa
Once admitted and enrolled, the admissions office will send the student an I-20 form to apply for an F-1 visa from the U.S. Embassy in the student's home country.

All new international students are required to attend an orientation in mid August, one week before classes begin. We strongly encourage parents to accompany their student to orientation and make arrangements to stay in the area for several days as their student adjusts. We are happy to assist parents with lodging.

Orientation week offers students time to settle into their new home and offers parents an opportunity to meet the host family and school personnel. During orientation, students learn about the school and complete placement tests to ensure the appropriate support.

Faculty, staff and the international student advocate provide support throughout the year. Special activities for international students and yearly transportation to a TOEFL testing center will be planned. The international student advocate will also assist students with travel arrangements for Christmas and summer breaks.