International & Exchange Students

Catlin Gabel welcomes applications for admission from international and exchange students through our global education program. Currently, more than 30 countries are represented in the student body.

Exchange students attend Catlin Gabel for one year or less. Exchange students frequently come to us through unique relationships with partner schools, or partner organizations such as ASSIST. International exchange students must have adequate housing with a parent, relative, or guardian in the area. We will not consider exchange students living with host families arranged by an agency. If you have questions regarding the application process as an international exchange student, please contact Director of Global Education, Dave Whitson.

We also welcome applications from international students that apply with the intent to graduate from Catlin Gabel. As with exchange students, international degree-seeking students must live with a parent, relative, or legal guardian. If you have questions regarding the application process as an international student, please contact Director of Enrollment Management, Sara Nordhoff.

Am I academically suited to attend Catlin Gabel?

Catlin Gabel is an academically demanding school. Strong proficiency in written and spoken English is required. Catlin Gabel does not have a formal English as a Second Language (ESL) program but does have strong 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
  • 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 regular admissions timeline. If you have unique circumstances or timeline concerns about applying as an exchange student, please contact Dave Whitson.

Do you provide housing?

Catlin Gabel is not a boarding school. International degree-seeking students must live with a parent, relative, or legal guardian. Housing arrangements need to include an adult who will be involved in the child's education and be available for conferences. It is the nature of our school to have parent and/or guardian involvement in the child's education. Catlin Gabel finds host families for up to two exchange students annually. We will not consider international degree seeking or exchange students living with host families arranged by an agency.

Is financial assistance available?

Financial assistance availability changes from year to year. Exchange students should contact Dave Whitson with questions. Degree seeking students should contact Assistant Director of Admission, Mary Yacob.

How much is the application fee for international applicants?

The application fee is the same for international and domestic students: $50 (U.S.) for the reduced-fee (early) deadline and $75 (U.S.) for the final deadline.

What admission test is required?

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is the preferred admission test. Our school code for the SSAT is 3004.

Scores from Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), ACT, Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), are also accepted.

The TOEFL test is also required of degree seeking international student applicants.

Do you require TOEFL for degree seeking students?

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required if your primary or fluent language is not English and you have not been taught primarily in English the past four years. The TOEFL helps the admission committee fully evaluate a student's competence in English. We look for a minimum score of 100 on the internet based test, or a minimum score of 25 on each of the three sections on the paper based test.

The TOEFL is required in addition to the SSAT. Catlin Gabel will not accept the TOEFL Junior Test. Please have your scores sent directly to Catlin Gabel. Our school code for the TOEFL is 7621.

What immunizations does Catlin Gabel require?

All upper school students must have:

  • 5 doses Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap)
  • 4 doses Polio
  • 1 dose Varicella (chicken pox)
  • 2 doses Measles/Mumps/Rubella combination (or 1 dose each Mumps and Rubella individually)
  • 3 doses Hepatitis B

Grades 9 and 10 need one additional shot:

  • 1 dose Tdap (booster usually given after age 10)

What is the visa process?

Students who are accepted to Catlin Gabel 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?

When you are ready to apply, follow the steps for all Upper School applicants.

What if I cannot travel to Catlin Gabel for a tour and visit?

We urge applicants to come see the school for themselves but we know that is not always possible. In lieu of a campus visit we will arrange a Skype conversation.

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

Explore why Catlin Gabel is a national leader in progressive education.

We welcome more than 100 new families annually to our inclusive community from the Portland area and beyond.


A demanding and engaging program in which each student is the unit of consideration

Playing sports involves life lessons in determination, grace, and resilience. We invite everyone to be part of a team.

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