Why Gunston?

Top 15 reasons
international students & families
choose Gunston

1. Strong Academics

Our challenging and rigorous academic program prepares international students for admission to colleges and universities in the United States, and also for a life of learning and inquiry. Gunston's teachers are remarkably skilled, experienced, and caring. We offer a full-range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. During their senior year at Gunston, our international students typically average 1720 on the SAT, and between 90-100 on the TOEFL, with many scoring above 100 and some above 110. This, in combination of the many AP courses offered at Gunston, allow the international students to be in profile for many of Top 50 Universities and Colleges in the United States.

List of College Acceptances

2. Small Classes

At Gunston, each class has approximately twelve students. In this environment, all students have the opportunity to learn, think, and discuss. In addition, small class size provides every student with a high-degree of individualized attention.

3. An Emphasis on English

All students at Gunston sign the strictly-enforced “English Immersion Promise", which ensures that Gunston is a total English immersion environment at all times. In addition, all students take a series of English language and literature courses that aim to promote their development in the English language. Gunston also takes great pride in the development of each student's writing ability. Therefore, international students have the opportunity to receive individual writing tutorials in our Writing Center. Our two-week orientation program includes an American “Conversation Buddy" for all new students to help them quickly get comfortable with speaking English.

4. Safety and Location

Gunston is located on a beautiful 35-acre riverfront campus in a virtually crime-free area of Maryland. The school is located just outside Annapolis, Maryland, and is less than an hour from the cities of Washington, DC and Baltimore, two hours from Philadelphia, 3.5-hours from New York City, and the school is easily accessible to three major international airports.

5. Our Waterfront Location

Gunston is a place of beauty, and our students take advantage of our waterfront campus through sports and academics. All students must pass a swim-test in order to participate in water sports.

6. Host Family Quality

Gunston selects host families with great care, and often host families include current Gunston teachers as well as current Gunston American students. Most host families have many years of hosting experience. In addition, each host family must be interviewed by our Director of Global Programs, and all host families undergo intensive interviews, annual background checks, home inspections, and training.

7. College and University Counseling

Gunston provides intensive and individualized college and university guidance to all international students, and Gunston's Director of College Guidance has many years of experience helping international students navigate the college and university landscape in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In addition, the school provides strong guidance on SAT and TOEFL testing, and Gunston is visited each year by dozens of college and university representatives from around the nation. In the past two years, our international students have been accepted to many of the Top 50 universities in the United States. Gunston also helps international students with the complex financial paperwork that also needs to accompany their applications.

8. Student-support

Moving to a different country and living with a host-family is a life-changing experience. To support our international students in their transition and during their stay at Gunston, we employ a full-time International Student Coordinator who is responsible for supporting our international students with their various social, emotional, health, and other personal needs. In addition, our Associate International Student Coordinator is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, and is available at all times to help communicate with families from China in their native language.

9. Friendly, warm environment

Gunston strives to develop strong relationships with all of our international families. When families visit Gunston from overseas, we are happy to welcome them to our campus, and we do our best to provide a warm and hospitable welcome. In addition, on almost a yearly basis, the school sends a delegation of faculty and/or administrators to visit the host countries of our international students.

10. An “American Experience"

In order to provide a balanced, rich, and diverse “American-international" community texture, the school seeks to maintain a balance of approximately 80% American students in the school to 20% international students. With this balance, combined with of the school's emphasis on small class size and our family-like environment, international students and American students are guaranteed the opportunity to interact intensively on a daily basis in both academic and non-academic activities.

11. Global Programming

With the knowledge that Gunston students will be the potential global leaders of the future, Gunston's program provides a strong emphasis on global awareness programming through our Humanities curriculum, a focus on the natural environment, our participation in the NAIS Challenge 20/20 program, and through our Global Awareness Day and Lunar New Year celebration programming.

12. Technology-rich environment

Gunston seeks to prepare all students with the necessary technology skills to be successful in a university and work environment. With on-campus wireless access, a modern computer lab, the integration of Google sites and apps, and most classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards, students use to learn technology as tools for learning, organization, and productivity.

13. Healthy Minds/Healthy Bodies

Every student at Gunston participates in a physical education and athletics program while at Gunston, ensuring that all students maintain a healthy level of physical fitness. We offer sports opportunities in Soccer, Field Hockey, Tennis, Rowing, Sailing, Fitness, Basketball, and Lacrosse.

14. Music, Art, and Drama opportunities

Every Gunston student participates in the arts. Gunston students who are interested in music can participate in Chorus, Piano, Guitar, Music Composition, Voice Lessons, and Independent Music. Students who enjoy Art can study Drawing and Painting, Photography, Digital Video, Sculpture, Pottery, Silkscreen, Studio Techniques, and many others. Each year the school produces a high-quality dramatic production.

15. Special Trips

Each year, all students can participate in a number of domestic and international special trips. These trips include the Headmaster's Ski Holiday, where students spent three days skiing in Pennsylvania. Students also participate each year in a week-long Bay Studies tour where they travel to the different areas of the Chesapeake Bay region to study science, history, and culture. International trips have gone recently to Europe and South America.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. David Miller, Director of Global Programs, at dmiller@gunston.org. If you would like to speak with our Chinese-speaking Associate International Student Coordinator, Mrs. Weixing Shepardson, please email her at wshepardson@gunston.org. You can call 1-410-758-0620.