International and Exchange Students

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Admission information and Frequently Asked Questions

Catlin Gabel welcomes applications from international and exchange students through our global education program. Currently, more than 30 countries are represented in the student body. If you have questions about applying as an international or exchange student, please contact global education coordinator Dave Whitson.


International students are those with parents or guardians residing outside the USA who apply to Catlin Gabel with the intent to graduate from Catlin Gabel. International students using an agency often find their own housing in Portland. However, we prefer arranging for host families from within the school community.  
Exchange students attend CG for one year, one semester (usually first semester), or less. Exchange students frequently come to us through unique relationships with partner schools, or through organizations such as ASSIST.

Is Catlin Gabel the right fit for you?

Am I academically suited to attend Catlin Gabel?
Catlin Gabel is an academically demanding school. Very strong proficiency in written and spoken English is required. We do not have a formal English as a second language (ESL) program, but do have strong English language learners (ELL) and study skills support.
Ideal students possess:
  • strong time management and organizational skills
  • an understanding of our experiential learning approach and educational philosophy
  • excellent proficiency in written and spoken English
  • outgoing attitude toward making friends and integrating with homestay families (we are not a boarding school)
  • willingness to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, robotics, and student clubs
How do I apply?
The application process is competitive. We accept a limited number of exchange and international students each year. Generally, students follow the normal admissions timeline. Start your application here. If you have unique circumstances or timeline concerns, please contact Dave Whitson.
Do you provide housing?
Catlin Gabel is not a boarding school. It is common that students find their own accommodations, either through family connections or the exchange program they are using. 
Is financial aid available?
Financial aid availability changes from year to year. Please contact Dave Whitson to inquire.
How much is the application fee for international applicants?
Applicants should submit the application form and the non-refundable fee of $50 (U.S.) as soon as possible after September 7. If submitted after December 16, the fee increases to $75.
Note: we do not render "early admission decisions" like colleges, the reduced-fee deadline of December 16th allows you savings of $25.
What admission tests are required?
The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is the preferred admission test. Scores from the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), ACT, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) are also  accepted. For international students the TOEFL test is not required, but encouraged.
What immunizations does CG require?
All High School students must have:
5 doses Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DtaP)
4 doses Polio
1 dose Varicella (chicken pox)
2 doses Measles/Mumps/Rubella combination (or 1 dose each Mumps & Rubella individually)
3 doses Hepatitis B     
Grades 9  & 10 need 1 additional shot:
1 dose Tdap (booster usually given after age 10)
What is the visa process?
Students who are accepted to our school receive an I-20 statement from Catlin Gabel, which is required to apply for an F-1 visa (in most cases).
How can I get information about the admission process?
You can create an account in our Orcas system and explore the process of applying without payment or committment. When you are ready to move from explore to "apply", follow the steps until completion and submit a payment as the final step. Please adhere to all deadlines.

What if I cannot travel to Catlin Gabel for a tour and visit during the admission season?
We urge applicants to come see the school for themselves and meet the global education coordinator, admission officer, faculty, and current students. When it is not possible for a student to visit in person, a video conference will likely be arranged.
What is the admission deadline?
The normal admissions deadline is early February, however, we welcome inquiries from exchange students into March.