Founded by Hungarian Benedictine monks in 1957, Woodside Priory has been a boarding school from its inception. Students from all over the world have lived and studied here on campus for over a half-century in one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking regions in the world.

Studying at Woodside Priory–Silicon Valley’s only boarding school–offers many opportunities to live and study with students and faculty in a unique setting in the United States. Consider the following facts:

  • The Priory sits in the very heart of the world's technology industry. Our campus is less than 30 minutes from the headquarters of companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Oracle. Many families of our day students work in the tech industry.
  • Our 50-acre (20-hectare) campus is located an equidistant short 30 minutes away from both San Francisco International Airport and Mineta San Jose International Airport, connecting the Bay Area to many parts of the world with non-stop flights.
  • Stanford University is a short 10-minute drive away from the Priory and 40 miles (64 kilometers) away from the beautiful city of San Francisco. Our boarding program includes activities for students every weekend away from campus which allows our students to visit world-class museums, attend shows and sports events, try new restaurants, and experience the many regions of the Bay Area.
  • Surrounded by many nature preserves, our campus is nestled among mountains where there are plentiful horse farms, trails, and nearby beaches. Not surprisingly, there are many opportunities to participate in outdoor activities all around including hiking, climbing, surfing, and riding.

Our residential program takes full advantage of our beautiful and prized location. We invite you to read more about the philosophy and curriculum of Priory’s residential program. If you are applying from outside the United States, your application process to the Priory will have some key distinctions. We provide additional guidance in our residential program application for international applicants as necessary.

International Student Application Process

List of 8 items.

  • Visit: Summer Campus Tours at the Priory

    Summer is a beautiful season to visit Portola Valley. We host tours for families interested in our residential (boarding) program once a week. Due to the ongoing changes to statewide restrictions on gatherings, tours for summer 2020 have not been confirmed. Please continue to visit this section for updates on our summer tour schedule.

    In order to sign-up for a tour, you must first create a Ravenna account. Click here and follow the directions to create a login and password. (Please use your primary email address when creating your account. All communications from us will be with the email address you use to create the account.)

    1. Select “2020” from the menu “Applying for the fall of” at the top of the page.
    2. Go to "Explore & Apply to a School".
    3. Select "Regional Schools".
    4. Choose the "San Francisco Bay Area".
    5. Scroll to the bottom for "Woodside Priory School" (schools are listed alphabetically).
    6. Select "Explore" and follow the instructions.
    7. Scroll down to find a step entitled "Summer Campus Tours for International/Boarding Students".
    8. Click on "Register for an Event" to select an available date. 
              1. Apply: A Note for Applicants Applying from Abroad

                Applicants residing abroad may apply online through Ravenna, our online admission application, or through the Standard Application Online (SAO). Applicants for the 2021-2022 school year are welcome to take begin their applications starting in September 2020. Should applicants wish to apply through the SAO, they are also required to create a Ravenna account as admissions decisions are only released through Ravenna.

                To create a Ravenna account and begin an application, please click on the blue Create a Ravenna Account button on the right-hand side.    

                The admission application deadline for the 2020-2021 school year is January 9, 2020, and the application fee for international students is $150.00 USD.

                The application is comprised of the following required documents:
                • Parent short-answer questions
                • Student short-answer and essay questions
                • Two teacher recommendations
                • One principal/counselor recommendation
                • Transcript from the current year and previous year
                • Admissions Entrance Exam/Test (see section Sitting for Required Admissions Exams)
                • Duolingo English Test or TOEFL test results (see section Sitting for Required Admissions Exams)*
                *Please note that applicants from Mainland China must also register with VERICANT, our affiliate in China, for a preliminary interview.  For more information, click below in the "Interview" section.
              2. Tour: Fall Campus Tours

                We understand that visiting the Priory may require planning. International applicants who wish to visit campus have two options to visit us: 

                1. Open House: If you will be in the area on one of our Open House days, international applicants may register for one of our Open Houses through your Ravenna account.
                2. International Campus Tour: We offer one-hour campus tours by reservation only. Interested families should create a Ravenna account to sign-up for a scheduled tour. Please contact our office for further information and availability.

                **Please note that no international campus tours will be offered in December. Woodside Priory is closed for Winter Break beginning December 13, 2019, through January 1, 2020.

                International families interested in attending an Open House or taking a Campus Tour must create a Ravenna account and register in advance.  Please schedule your visit by completing the following steps:

                1. Create a Ravenna account - click on the blue "Create a Ravenna Account" button at the top right of this page and follow the directions to create a login and password. (Please use your primary email address when creating your account. All communications from us will be with the email address you use to create the account.)
                2. Go to "Explore & Apply to a School"
                3. Select "Regional Schools"
                4. Select "San Francisco Bay Area"
                5. Select "Woodside Priory School" (near the bottom!)
                6. Select "Explore"
                7. Select name in "Student"
                8. Select “Fall 2020” to "Entry into School For"
                9. Select "NO" to "Have you attended school in the United States for a minimum of the past three years"
                10. Select “Continue with the exploration process”
                11. Go to step “International Campus Tour” or "Open House"
                12. Select “Register for an Event”
                13. Select preferred date
                14. Provide the information requested to register
              3. Submit: English Proficiency Test Results

                For applicants where English is not the primary language of instruction nor the applicant’s native language, an English language proficiency test is required. These students should submit results from either the Duolingo English Test or TOEFL for review. 

                Duolingo English Test

                The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $49. The test is taken online via a computer with a webcam and microphone. The test includes a proficiency score,
                video interview, and writing sample which are shared with Woodside Priory when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

                • This exam requires the use of a Google Chrome browser and your computer's self-facing camera and microphone. 
                • Please share your Duolingo English Test results with us! For information on sharing your results, visit the Duolingo English Test FAQ. Our strongest applicants will typically score 115 or higher.
                • The Duolingo English Test must be taken within the admission cycle. For Fall 2020 applicants, results will only be accepted if taken after August 1, 2019.
                • The Duolingo English Test may be taken after the application deadline, but we must receive the score report by January 25, 2020

                TOEFL exams are offered worldwide annually. Exam results should be recent and the test must have been taken during the current admission cycle. For applicants for Fall 2020, results will only be accepted if taken after August 1, 2019.

                • Woodside Priory’s testing code is 2055. Successful applicants generally score a 95 or higher. 
                • The TOEFL may be taken after the application deadline, but we must receive the score report by January 25, 2020.   
                • Kindly note that the SLEP or Junior TOEFL results are not accepted for admission.
                *Applicants from Mainland China are required to set up an interview with VERICANT, our affiliate in China, to be considered for admission.  Please see additional information about the Vericant process described in the following section entitled Signing up for an Interview.
              4. Submit: SSAT Admission Exam Results

                All international applicants to Woodside Priory must take the SSAT entrance exam.
                • Applicants should take the upper version of the SSAT, and results must be sent by the SSAT directly. Woodside Priory’s testing code is 8296.
                • Our strongest applicants generally score around 2100 or higher.
                • The SSAT may be taken after the application deadline, but we must receive the score report by January 25, 2020.  
              5. Read: Interview Process

                Due to the high volume of international applications, only a select number of applicants will be contacted for interviews with a member of the Priory faculty. Interviews will be conducted online, most often through Skype.
                Applicants from Mainland China are required to set up an interview with VERICANT, our affiliate in China, in order to be considered for admission.  Please register for Vericant account directly through their website. Once an applicant submits his or her Application Form (the first part of the application containing biographical information) and the Application Fee through Ravenna, Vericant will send his or her video to the Priory Admissions Office. A selected number of these applicants may be contacted for follow-up interviews by Priory faculty in February. These follow-up interviews will be conducted online, most often through Skype.
              6. Notify: Admissions Decisions Release Date

                International admissions decisions from the Priory will be published in Ravenna on March 10, 2020. Initial offers of admission must be accepted (or declined) by families by March 27, 2020.  During this period,  admitted students should contact the Admissions Office should they have any questions about the Priory.

                Students offered a place in the Wait Pool may be considered for admission throughout the spring and summer months. Information for applicants in the wait pool will be provided on March 10.
              7. Read: Authorization to Study in the U.S. for Non-Citizens

                Woodside Priory School is authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue I-20 documentation for international students seeking an F-1 Student Visa. The I-20 is issued following acceptance by the Priory and payment of the Enrollment Deposit. Woodside Priory School only supports F-1 Student Visas for students participating in our Residential (Boarding) Program.


              List of 6 items.

              • Can international students apply as day students?

                Woodside Priory School sponsors F-1 Student Visas and issues I-20s to international students who are students in our residential (boarding) program only. 

                Priory does not issue I-20s or support F-1 Student Visas for students in our day program.
              • Which grades accept international student applications?

                International students are eligible to apply for grades 9, 10, and 11. Please note that our main intake year is in grade 9. Although spaces are typically more limited in grades 10 and 11, prospective students are invited to contact the Admissions Office for further guidance.

                The Priory does not accept applications for grade 12, our final year of high school nor do we offer a post-graduate program.
              • Does the Priory offer a homestay programs?

                No. All students requiring an F-1 Student Visa and an I-20 from Woodside Priory must be students in our residential (boarding) program.
              • Are there any age requirements?

                Students applying for entry into grade 9 must not turn 16 years of age before January 1 of grade 9. (In grade 10, the student must not turn 17 years of age before January 1 of grade 10, and in grade 11, the student must not turn 18 years of age before January 1 of grade 11).
              • Are applications accepted for students wishing to start midyear?

                No. Students may only apply to begin school in the fall at the start of the school year.
              • Which countries do students apply from?

                In recent years, we have had applicants from over 20 countries worldwide including Austria, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam.

              Important Dates for International Applicants

              • January 9, 2020 - Applications Due
              • January 25, 2020 - English Proficiency Tests and SSAT must be taken by this date
              • March 10, 2020 - Admissions Decisions are released online through your Ravenna account
              • March 27, 2020 - Last day for international applicants to enroll
              "I love the teachers at Priory. They are always willing to stay after school to answer students' individual questions. I see them not only as teachers but also as friends who I can talk to whenever I need help."

              - Alumnus, Class of 2018, Taiwan 

              "The Priory dorm is a second home to me. It is a close-knit community, where I became friends with people from all over the world and in various grades. We support each other and grow together. Being in the dorms and living with friends and my second family is the one thing I miss most when I graduated."

              Alumnus, Class of 2014, Hong Kong

              "Leaving my country to a country that I have never been before was a little scary for me, but the community that I found myself in at Priory when I arrived in the United States made me feel at home in no time. At Priory I made friends that are now more like family to me. The experiences that I had living in the dorms is something that I will always cherish. Priory really prepared me for college both inside and outside of the classroom and I will always be grateful for the opportunities given to me by Priory."

              Alumnus, Class of 2015, Nigeria

              "From the very beginning of my time at Priory, I have always felt welcome both at the Priory dorms and at the school. With the help of the Residential Faculty members, prefects and teachers I adapted to my new school and living environment easily. The students at Priory were kind, open and communicative. After a short time, Priory felt like home."

              - Student, Class of 2017, Germany

              Woodside Priory School