International Student Program

Why Choose Desert Christian Schools?

Desert Christian Schools has been welcoming international students to its campuses for over a decade. Our growing ISP has included students from Argentina, China, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam. Hosting international students on our campuses and in our homes causes real growth in understanding other cultures. Through diversity, all parties have the opportunity to recognize cultural differences and become more globally-minded. Although people have different national practices and habits, we share a great deal in common. We learn so much about ourselves as we interact with others from around the world.

Because of the small class sizes, the International Student Program at DCS provides personalized attention as we endeavor to meet the unique learning needs of every student. Students are taught the importance of a well-rounded outlook not only through academic rigor but also by fostering relationships among staff and students by joining clubs and participating in athletics.

To accomplish our mission, an ISP Team has been assembled. Each person on the ISP Team brings specialized training and abilities through education and experience in their field. We hope that the individual expertise of each member will explicitly enhance the overall experience of all those involved in the ISP while providing a concerted effort to assist each international student in their academic, social and spiritual growth. It is the goal of DCS to pursue excellence in all that we do! Members of the ISP Team consist of:

  • ISP Coordinator- Mindi M. Harless
  • Campus Principals- K-8: Aaron Jansen, High School: Kevin Kehl
  • Registrars- K-8: Jesse Hauser, High School: Julie Fowler
  • Guidance Counselor- Kelly Weber
  • Bookkeeper- Leslie Hatch
  • HS ELL Teacher- Jill Sommitz

Thank you for your interest in Desert Christian Schools (DCS) International Student Program (ISP).

International students seeking an F-1 Visa for grades 6-12 may apply for admission to Desert Christian Schools. All students and their families must be fully aware of the role the home unit (American host family) plays in partnering with the school and a local evangelical church in accomplishing our mission. Host families provide the opportunity for students to experience life as a member of an American family. Family connections allow for many experiences with athletics, fine arts, and other activities in the community while providing transitional and educational support throughout the homestay. Completed applications from prospective international students and host families must be submitted to participate in the ISP.

For more information regarding 6-12 grade international admissions, please contact our ISP Admissions Department at (International tuition fees will apply.)


Mindi M. Harless | ISP Coordinator

International Student Program Application Process

  1. Complete and return the fillable electronic application or print and complete the paper application. Send all of the required documents via email to or mail to:

Desert Christian Schools

Attn: Mindi Harless

7525 E. Speedway Blvd.

Tucson, AZ 85710


May 1st - For fall admission

October 1st - For spring admission

Please submit all the documents by the above dates. Failure to do so will delay processing.

  1. An email will be sent stating that the application has been received. A non-refundable fee of $150 must be remitted before the application is processed. Once reviewed, a SKYPE interview with the student will then be scheduled with the International Student Program Coordinator, Principal, and Admissions Director.
  2. Upon completion of the SKYPE interview, you will be notified within 48 hours regarding acceptance. Upon receipt of your acceptance letter and tuition contract, you must pay the $1,500 New Student I-20 Fee. After this fee is received, then the I-20 will be sent via FedEx.
  3. Upon receipt of your I-20, please go online to The Department of Homeland Security to complete Form I-901 and pay the associated fees. Remember to print the receipt. (This is required to schedule an appointment for the embassy interview.) Then schedule an appointment with the US Embassy in your home country to apply for the F-1 Visa. Once the F-1 visa is approved, then the tuition payment should be sent (please refer to the tuition contract).
  4. Once the above stipulations are met, DCS will recommend a suitable and welcoming host family who will support the transition to life in America.
  5. Students should arrive at least one week to ten days prior to the beginning of a session.
  6. Remember, if there are any questions along the way, assistance is always available. Please contact Mindi M. Harless, International Student Program Coordinator, at

Required Application Documents (All documents must be translated into English)

  • Application Fee of $150 (non-refundable) must be received before the application is reviewed and an interview is scheduled.
  • Proof of economic sufficiency
  • Transcripts from the previous school
  • Completed International Student Application
  • Medical Information Form
  • Birth Certificate
  • Copy of current passport
  • Immunization (vaccination) Verification Form
  • International Student Program Rules and Conditions (signed by the student and parent/guardian)
  • English Proficiency Test Results (TOEFL and/or iTEP Slate tests are highly recommended but not required.)

Applicants who are selected for admission will be provided with the I-20 immigration document. When the student arrives, copies of the identification page of the student's passport, the student's copy of the I-20, and the I-94 arrival/departure card will be made for the student's file.

English Language Learners (ELL)

The DCS ELL support program includes ELL English I/II and III/IV. The curriculum focuses on reading, writing, listening, and speaking academic English. Each student is required to take the iTEP Slate test twice per academic school year to monitor English language acquisition. Extra tutoring may be provided to those students who need it.

Host Families

Desert Christian Schools has a unique opportunity to bring students from around the world into our caring, Christ-centered community. We are always looking for families who might like to open their hearts and their homes to a young person (6th - 12th grade) from another country. If you have any curiosity about participating in the homestay program, please complete our Host Family Inquiry Form and we will be sure to contact you!

To access the Host Family Inquiry Form, please click here!


Desert Christian Schools is located on the east side of Tucson, a city of over half-million people, that sits in the Sonoran Desert surrounded by numerous mountain ranges. Full of rich history and diverse cultures, Tucson offers a wide variety of activities year-round. From shopping to hiking, concerts to athletic events, and movie sets to museums, there is something for everyone in Tucson!

DCS’s location affords its students a variety of educational opportunities. Students can take trips to the world-famous Grand Canyon, the state capital of Phoenix and it only takes a few hours to get to the California coast! Tucson is also home to its very own international airport as well as the University of Arizona.