For the past 40 years, The Athenian School has served international students from 43 different countries. We are committed to meeting the academic and social needs of each student through rigorous English classes, fun field trips, and enriching arts, sports and drama activities. The school is located on 75 acres in the scenic foothills of Mount Diablo, a half-hour drive from the cultural and recreational opportunities of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The School Summer English Language Program (SELP) at The Athenian School offers students the opportunity to improve their English skills by attending intensive English Language classes and to experience living in a residential community. Because class sizes are small, students experience the benefits of individual attention and focused English practice. Students quickly form close relationships with teachers, counselors, and each other. SELP can give students a great advantage when preparing for the TOEFL exam and continuing their education in American schools. Students will have a final evaluation using The Athenian School TOEFL readiness assessment. We have designed our program to accommodate students with beginning, intermediate, and advanced level English skills. Students are tested and grouped according to their English language proficiency levels. Students will also have the opportunity to learn American customs and to travel to cultural and entertainment attractions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. SELP is a wonderful introduction for students to become accustomed to a boarding school environment.
Many learning experiences exist outside the classroom. Balancing classroom study with field trips is an important aspect of our summer program. Our students love discovering beautiful Northern California through activities around the San Francisco area and beyond. Some of the activities students may participate in include:
Students will be housed in a single-sex dormitory. With the guidance of trained dorm supervisors who share the dorms, students learn to make adjustments necessary for communal living. Living closely with other young people from widely differing backgrounds is one of the most rewarding experiences of SELP. For students who will soon be faced with the responsibility and independence of a boarding school or college life, a summer of living in the dorm provides ample opportunity for developing self-discipline, time management skills, and respect for others.
Students are expected to attend all scheduled events, classes and field trips. Students must conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner. Students are required to treat other members of the community with respect and to take responsibility for their own actions.
Our dining services use fresh ingredients and provide students with healthy meals. Our cooks create a well-balanced menu, and cuisines range from Asian, Italian, Mexican, and American dishes. In addition to buying food from local California farmers, we use vegetables from our organic garden. Meals are served cafeteria-style in the dining hall and include unlimited helpings of wholesome food for breakfast: fruit, yogurt, cereal, pancakes, eggs, waffles, bacon, sausage, juices, and milk.
Our food services operations work to preserve and protect the environment by offering whole, clean foods produced in a way that does not harm the environment or animal welfare, supports the community and promote the highest level of nutritional health and wellness. Highlights include: organic produce; antibiotic-free meats and poultry; rBST (hormone free) milk; cage-free eggs; reduced food waste through composting; and reduced sugar, salt and fat choices. Students will also eat at local restaurants while on field trips.
Clean, Secure Dormitories • Air-conditioned Classrooms • An Exceptional Library • Advanced Computer Lab • A 25-meter Swimming Pool • All-Weather Sports Field • A Gymnasium • Center for Performing Arts • Volleyball, Badminton & Basketball Courts
4 Week Fee: $6,350.00 (Includes meals, field Trips, boarding, educational materials, shuttle to and from airport, and health insurance). Airfare not included. A non-refundable deposit of $400, which will be credited toward the total fee, is due with this application. International students must submit the application fee in United States dollars.
The Athenian School is authorized under Federal Law to enroll nonimmigrant students. The Athenian School can issue the necessary documents to apply for a student F1-Visa. However, a F1 Visa is not required to attend the ESL Program. Students may attend the program using a visitor visa.
** We accept students traveling on a B1/B2 Visitor Visa. Please DO NOT request an I-20 if you will not be applying for an F1 Visa. If you have questions regarding which Visa to use, please contact Summer Programs.
1. The first step is to fill out the application form.
You can download an application form in pdf format on The Athenian School website or contact Special Programs to have one emailed to you. Please print your contact information carefully and clearly.
Please note that acceptance into the ESL program does not give students priority in the admission process for the academic year.
2. Once the application form and deposit have been received, you will be sent a registration packet.
Be sure to indicate if you will be applying for an F1 Visa. I-20’s will be mailed to families approximately 50 days before the start of the program. If for any reason you will require it sooner, please contact Special Programs.
School policy requires a Tuberculosis (TB) Skin Test-PPD be current within two years before arrival. THIS IS REQUIRED FOR ANY INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ATTENDING THE PROGRAM. Please make sure Part B of your health form indicates the date of your child’s test. This form must be signed by a doctor. When students arrive at Athenian, a nurse will be on hand to confirm all medical information is complete. If you did not indicate a negative test result or if the date has expired, your child must have a TB test at The School. If the test result is positive, the student must visit our doctor for a chest x-ray. You will be responsible for the additional costs which can be very expensive. Please take care of this before the student arrives.
It is the responsibility of the family to have all the forms completed before the student arrives.
Your application fee is nonrefundable unless The Athenian School is unable to accommodate you in the program. No refunds are given for early withdrawals or student cancellations, regardless of accident, illness, or change of plans. Therefore, plan accordingly. This program’s planning, hiring, and purchasing, as well as the number of enrollments it receives in early spring, directly determine related expenses.
In addition to our registered nurse and first aid/CPR certified staff, a doctor is on call 24 hours a day. The local medical center/hospital is located within 5 miles of our campus.
The Athenian School requires every student to be covered by comprehensive health insurance. For our international students we have chosen United Healthcare Insurance (UHC). It is a wellness, injury, and sickness health care plan. This policy provides health insurance in the U.S. including international transportation in the case of emergency, serious illness or death. There is no additional fee for insurance coverage.
We understand that many students will be traveling alone. We will have an Athenian representative waiting at the airport to meet and escort your child safely to the School. Our representatives will have a picture of your child to assist in easy identification. We will provide each student with a cell phone number of the person who will be greeting him or her at the airport. When your child arrives at the School, we encourage students to contact their parents via email or telephone to confirm their safe arrival.
This program is open to all students’ ages 12 to 16 years old who want to learn and improve their English skills. All levels of English proficiency are welcome. TOEFL test scores are not required. Students who have participated in our program in the past have come from Germany, Italy, Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Russia, Mali, and the Congo.
This program is suitable for most students. Your student should be ready to work hard and be ready to grow academically and emotionally. As they experience American culture, they learn English and how to become responsible global citizens. The Athenian School does not tolerate students who lack cultural sensitivity or are unwilling to work in a team environment. Our program is not suitable for students with significant behavioral problems. The Athenian School reserves the right to remove any student who consistently disregards staff instructions, interferes in the learning process of others, or who posses an uncooperative attitude that is disrespectful to others.
Most of the time students will have a room by themselves. In the instances where students will share rooms, we do our best to make sure they are from different counties to encourage more learning opportunities.