International Students

Offering a challenging college preparatory curriculum in the context of a traditional Orthodox way of life, St. John’s is a unique school in North America. It is an English-speaking school for Orthodox students based at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in one of the USA’s most attractive cities.

Consequently, it presents an ideal setting for Orthodox high school students from abroad to develop their English language skills while continuing their academic preparation for university. Similarly the Academy provides a wonderful opportunity for Orthodox students from the USA, including those who have been home schooled in younger years, to study within a committed Orthodox educational environment.

Young people from Russia, former Soviet republics, Greece, Eastern Europe, the USA, and elsewhere will find at St. John’s a classical curriculum that highlights language and humanities courses while typically including preparation for Advanced Placement exams in English, US History, Modern European History, French, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus. Classes are small, giving a low student-teacher ratio and a family-style atmosphere. The Academy serves day students in grades K-12, and facilities are shared among all students.

The entire community meets together for prayers both before and after school, and at the close of the school day, all students go into the Holy Virgin Cathedral to venerate the relics of St. John of San Francisco. On major feast days prescribed by the Russian Orthodox Church, the school celebrates Divine Liturgy, and during the first week of Great Lent and Holy Week, the students participate in many of the daily and nightly services.

Students attending St. John’s from outside the Bay Area reside in local home-stay accommodation. With its educational partners, the Academy provides an all-inclusive program including transportation to and from San Francisco, local transportation, insurance, obtaining the proper visa, room and board, class trips, activities, and service opportunities.

For further information, please contact the Academy office at or +1-415-221-3484.

"This school is authorized under Federal laws to enroll non immigrant alien students."

Saint John of San Francisco is authorized under federal laws to enroll non-immigrant alien students who are citizens of countries other than the United States.  International applicants who need an F-1 student visa are required to submit documentation in addition to the academic credentials necessary for admission committee review. 

The following documents are required and all must be received before an I-20 can be issued:

  • Personal statement or statement from benefactor affirming that all expenses will be met during the student's period of enrollment at St. John's Academy.  Expenses include tuition, fees, books, housing, medical and all other living expenses (in U.S. dollars).   
  • Declaration of Finances Form must be accompanied by a current bank statement issued within 90-180 days of the expected start date (in U.S. dollars).  Current bank statement must verify that funds are available to support the student's stay at Saint John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy.  
  • Students must have health insurance. Students who have health insurance that is valid in the United States must show proof of insurance coverage in English at registration (a minimum of $250,000 U.S. dollars in coverage). Otherwise, students must purchase health insurance at registration.
  • Tuition payment for the first installment of tuition  (U.S. currency bank check payable to Saint John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy).

Eligibility Requirements:

To apply for enrollment at the Saint John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy's international program, you must meet the following minimum requirements.

  • A student must be middle or high school age, 14 to 19 years old.
  • Your academic grade point average (GPA) must be 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for the school year programs and 2.0 or above for the summer and winter programs.
  • Students need to demonstrate qualities that are essential to intercultural adjustment such as flexibility, open-mindedness, curiosity, and tolerance for personal error.
  • An ability to adapt to an unfamiliar environment is necessary.

Visa Regulations:

For accurate information about visa regulations: