International Students at Gunston

International students have been part of the Gunston community's fabric since the inception of the school in 1911. International students attend Gunston with the aim of receiving a rigorous, personalized, and nurturing educational experience, as well as gain admission to selective colleges and universities in the United States. Throughout Gunston's history, we have welcomed international students from the countries of Germany, Spain, Poland, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and China, among others. International students at Gunston have the opportunity to experience American life and culture through both our school's curriculum and our varied extracurricular programs. Our international students live with host families within the local community, some of whom are teachers and many of whom have their own children enrolled at Gunston. Because of this, the Gunston experience is highly English-intensive and fully focused on an integration into American culture. It also means that Gunston is a less expensive option than many boarding schools. Our host family program allows for a comfortable, friendly, and safe environment that provides a perfect balance of the American experience and excellent preparation for admission into the most competitive colleges and universities.


To submit an application or if you have any questions, please contact a consultant at an international placement agency, or David Henry, Director of Admission at Gunston.

Step 1: To apply successfully, each potential student must complete the following:

  • Parent Statement
  • Student Statement
  • Request for Grades form
  • Confidential Financial Statement
  • Recommendation Forms
  • Provide score from either the iBT TOEFL or SLEP English proficiency exam

Step 2: Schedule a Skype interview with the Admissions team.

Upon acceptance to The Gunston School, the student will receive an Enrollment Contract which will need to be completed and returned along with the tuition deposit. Once this has been received the I-20 process can begin so that the international student may obtain his/her F-1 student visa.

International Tuition & Fees

Please contact David Henry, Director of Admission at Gunston
at 410.758.0620 x 6.

Academic Resources

English as a Second Language class (ESOL)

This class is designed to help international students become proficient in the English language and to prepare them for entrance into the school’s standard English and history classes. Through an immersion approach, listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are developed. In addition, students are exposed to American culture and lifestyles.

English Literature Class

This class follows ESOL in sequence and introduces international students to reading complete works of literature and provides careful and thorough instruction in the Gunston writing process. Students who successfully complete the English Literature class are ready to transition into the standard English class for their grade level.

The Gunston Writing Center

The Writing Center is staffed by an English instructor who works directly with the international students on developing their writing skills. Students either work one-to-one with the instructor or in small groups of two or three. The Writing Center is open daily and students are either assigned for sessions by their English teacher or they may drop in for extra help.

Homework Period

Study time is built into the students’ daily schedules giving them the opportunity to complete assignments, prepare for tests, read, conduct research, write papers, or meet with teachers for extra help.

Tutorial Period

Tutorial Period is a daily academic support period open to all students. All classroom teachers participate in tutorial period. Students may elect to attend tutorial to review material or to prepare for upcoming assessments. Teachers may assign students to tutorial when they identify the need for extra help or when the student performance is below course and school expectations. Tutorial is designed to ensure academic success by providing early intervention to students who are experiencing academic difficulty.


TOEFL Tests are offered most weekends throughout the school year. Students can seek guidance from the Director of Global Programs or visit the TOEFL Web site at Registration can be done on-line and must be done in the students name that is on their passport.

SAT Tests

SAT tests are offered throughout the school year. Information on dates and registration for these tests can be obtained from the Gunston College Guidance Office. Registration can be done online through the College Board website:


International students are required to meet the two-season sport requirement each year, and we believe that participation in team sports is one of the most effective ways for international students to facilitate their integration into both the American and the Gunston culture. Students must also attend the required pre-season training for fall team sports. Prior to matriculation, the Director of Global Programs works with the Director of Athletics to coordinate athletics registration.


International students who wish to receive a Gunston diploma must meet the graduation requirements of the school as outlined in the Student Handbook. Applicable credits transfer from other accredited high schools as outlined in the Student Handbook.

English Immersion

International students attend Gunston with the aim of mastering the English-language and gaining admission to colleges and universities in the United States. Therefore, Gunston seeks to be a full-immersion English environment for international students.

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 students typically average 1230 (1382 for the top 30%, and 1443 for the top 10%) 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.

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 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

Host families are selected 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, and undergo 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 85% American students in the school to 15% 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.
US News Top 50
National Universities & Colleges

Boston College
Boston University
Georgetown University
Georgia Tech
Lehigh University
New York University
Northwestern University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of California - Davis
University of California - Irvine
University of California - Los Angeles
University of California - San Diego
University of California - Santa Barbara
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
University of Miami
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of Richmond
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Villanova University
Wake Forest University

US News Top 100
National Universities & Colleges

American University
Drexel University
George Washington University
Indiana University - Bloomington
Michigan State University
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
Purdue University - West Lafayette
Rochester Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology
Syracuse University
University of California - Santa Cruz
University of Connecticut
University of Iowa
University of Maryland - College Park
University of Pittsburgh
University of San Diego
University of Washington
Virginia Tech
Washington College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Other Universities & Colleges of Note

Auburn University
California College of the Arts
Iowa State University
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Manhattan College
Quinnipiac University
Savannah College of Art & Design
School of the Art Institute - of Chicago
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
University of Oregon

International students have unique needs, and Gunston is committed to providing our international students and the international program with the appropriate support infrastructure to support their social, emotional, and cultural needs. Currently, the school has a Director of Global Programs, who serves as the primary international student coordinator, and an Assistant International Student Coordinator, who is fluent in Mandarin. The primary resources for international student concerns/issues are:


The Director of Global Programs: should be the first point of contact for almost every issue relating to international students.


The Director of Global Programs David Miller

David Miller



The Associate International Student Coordinator: can assist with native language counseling and direct communication with Chinese families.

The Associate International Student Coordinator Weixing Shepardson

Weixing Shepardson



Assistant Head of School: assists the student with academic scheduling and academic progress reports.


Assistant Head of School at the Gunston School Christie Grabis

Christie Grabis

Headmaster: should be contacted if there are concerns/issues where no satisfactory resolution has been found.

Headmaster of the Gunston School John Lewis

John Lewis