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 true growth in understanding other cultures. Through international 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 amongst staff and students by joining clubs and participating in athletics.

In order 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. It is our 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
  • Admissions Director- Andrew Riebe
  • Campus Principals- K-8: Aaron Jansen, High School: Kevin Kehl
  • Registrars- K-8: Jesse Hauser, High School: Julie Fowler
  • Academic Advisor- Ratna Konka
  • Guidance Counselor- Kelly Weber
  • Security Director- Daniel Forester
  • Bookkeeper- Leslie Hatch
  • HS ELL English Teacher- Jeanne Bruce
  • HS ELL Bible Teacher- Jill Sommitz


English Language Learners


Our ELL support program includes ELL English I/II and III/IV courses and ELL Bible. The classroom curriculums focus 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 the unique and wonderful opportunity of being able to bring students from around the world into our loving, 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 and who have a desire to grow and learn about a new culture. If you have even a mustard seed of interest or curiosity about the possibility of becoming Host Parents to an international student(s), please complete our Host Family Inquiry Form and we will be sure to contact you!

To access the Inquiry Form, please click here!

Location


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.

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

The mission of our school is to disciple young people in the knowledge of God and to prepare them in all areas of life to impact their world for Jesus Christ. We realize that God has ordained the students’ parents to be the primary educators of their children. Because we believe this, our aim is to walk with the family and assist them in the process, interacting with home, school, and church. Thus our desire is to challenge our students academically, to encourage the deepening of their spiritual relationship to God, to broaden their horizons socially, and to develop their God-given talents to bless others both locally and globally.

International students seeking an F-1 Visa are invited to apply for admission to Desert Christian Schools, being fully aware of the role the home unit (American host family or student guardian) 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 all parties must be submitted to participate in the ISP. (International tuition fees will apply.)

For more information regarding 6-12 grade International Admissions, please contact our ISP Admissions Department at DCSinternational@desertchristian.org.

Sincerely,

Mindi M. Harless | ISP Coordinator

The International Student Program Application Process

  1. Complete and return the fillable electronic application or print and complete the paper application. Scan all of the required documents and email to mharless@desertchristian.org or mail to:

Desert Christian Schools

Attn: Mindi Harless

7525 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85710

  1. APPLICATION DEADLINES:

May 1st - For Fall admissions

October 1st - For Spring admissions

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 fee. 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 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 mharless@desertchristian.org.

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.