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4 best private schools in San Diego, California for foreign students. Description, rankings, 2024 fees

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Education information

San Diego is the second largest city in California with a population of about 1.37 million people, 25% of whom are foreign, creating a welcoming and multicultural space for living. It is known as one of the best cities in America due to its warm climate and 100 km of stunning white sandy beaches. Mexico has a strong influence on the local culture: the international border runs here. This beautiful city is full of attractions, entertainment for foreign schoolchildren and students.

San Diego is distinguished not only by the beautiful weather — it is home to many famous colleges and universities. Higher education opportunities are as diverse as culture.

San Diego, known for its incredible climate with warm summers and mild winters, has a huge number of beaches to choose from if you like to relax in the sun. San Diego offers beautiful beaches, hills, lakes and canyons of the Eastern District, countless outdoor activities, is an ideal place for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing and camping in the wild. Local natural attractions offer many opportunities for interesting vacations:

  • The Coles Mountains are ideal for hiking
  • Mission Trails Regional Park offers excellent mountain biking trails
  • Lake Murray or El Capitan Reservoir are ideal for fishing.

For golf lovers, there are 92 golf courses to choose from, 70 miles of coastline offer endless water sports — whether you're fishing, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving or surfing, you'll have plenty of time to try your hand at them.

Best Private Schools in San Diego. Guide for International Students

San Diego's education system, managed by independent centre districts, boasts a wide range of private schools known for their high standards and diverse offerings. Among these, the San Diego Unified School District, the second-largest in California, includes numerous educational institutions:

  • 11 K-8 schools

  • 107 elementary schools

  • 24 middle schools

  • 13 alternative schools

  • 28 high schools

  • 45 boarding schools

In the 2021 academic year, there were 105 private schools in San Diego, enrolling 24,441 students. Average tuition fees were around $8,863 for elementary educational institutions and $24,175 for middle schools.

Simon Kizhner
Simon Kizhner
Regional Admissions representative, EMEA

What are the most important questions parents ask when choosing a school in the USA?

The main thing to consider is how the chosen school suits your child, his habits, ambitions, interests. In principle, the criteria that are taken into account in the rankings will become good determinants: class size, names of universities that graduates choose, composition of the student community, location, etc.


How to apply in Top Private Schools in San Diego

Students aged 12 to 14 are eligible for enrollment in these private schools. Accommodation options during their study period include centre of learning residences or host families. The best private schools in San Diego offer a comprehensive environment that includes state-of-the-art facilities, sports grounds, and comfortable living conditions. They also organize various educational and entertainment activities, especially for international students, most of whom opt for full-board accommodations.

The admission process is competitive, often with 10 applicants vying for each available spot. Key requirements include:

  • Completing a detailed application in English

  • Providing recent report cards

  • Getting recommendations from an English language teacher

  • Undergoing an oral interview to assess goals and motivation (either in-person or via Skype)

  • Taking academic discipline tests

  • Submitting an international language certificate, such as the American SSAT, SLEEP certificates, or TOEFL

Students with insufficient English proficiency might consider preparatory programs or top summer language camps in America.

Cost and fees at San Diego's Private Schools

Tuition for international students varies, averaging between $20,000 to $50,000 per semester, depending on the school's ranking and prestige. This fee generally includes meals, accommodation, and educational materials.

Advantages of San Diego's Elite Private Schools

Choosing to study at San Diego's elite private schools brings numerous benefits:

  • Individualized learning environments tailored to each student's interests, goals, talents, and aspirations.

  • A comprehensive curriculum that includes a wide range of mandatory subjects and electives chosen by the student.

  • A rich and engaging extracurricular program, fostering social skills and providing opportunities for excellence in sports and creative pursuits.

  • Specialized language courses designed for international students, easing cultural and linguistic adaptation.

  • Graduates often gain admission to top U.S. universities, where they may also obtain work permits.

  • Global recognition of U.S. educational certificates, facilitating entry into universities worldwide.

San Diego's warm, sunny climate, coastal location, and friendly atmosphere make it an ideal place for international students to live and study. Additionally, exploring other educational opportunities, like schools in Arizona, can offer a broader perspective on the diverse educational landscape in the U.S.

Top 3 best private schools in San Diego 2024

1 Mater Dei Catholic High School San Diego Amerigo Education
2 Fairmont Private Schools
3 Fairmont Academy Private School

Advantages and disadvantages of English schools

Advantages Disadvantages
The opportunity to enter the best universities in England, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Europe, the world Expensive
High quality of education and academic standards Strong workload
Perfect English after graduation The need to change the social environment; it takes time to adapt
Useful contacts The difficulty of choosing the most suitable school for the child, requires a qualified specialist

Top 35 best schools in the USA - 2024 Smapse rankings

1 North Broward Preparatory School
2 Phillips Academy Andover
3 The Storm King School New York
4 Red Bank Catholic High School
5 Windermere Preparatory School
6 Shattuck St Mary's School
7 Cheshire Academy
8 Cate School
9 Ross School
10 Deerfield Academy
11 The Village School
12 Amerigo Los Angeles – Bishop Montgomery High School
13 Webb Schools
14 Kent School USA
15 The Winchendon School
16 Darlington School
17 Marian Catholic High School Amerigo Education
18 Grier School
19 The MacDuffie School
20 CATS Academy Boston
21 The Cambridge School of Weston
22 Milton Academy
23 Amerigo Education Napa Valley
24 American Hebrew Academy
25 Northfield Mount Hermon School
26 Mater Dei Catholic High School San Diego Amerigo Education
27 American University Preparatory School Los Angeles
28 Webb Schools
29 Kent School USA
30 Groton School
31 Maine Central Institute
32 The Lawrenceville School
33 Grand River Academy Оhio
34 Saint John Paul II Academy
35 Chicago North Shore

Top 14 best schools in Switzerland 2024

1 College Du Leman
2 St. Georges School Montreux
3 Institut Monte Rosa
4 Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz
5 Saint-Charles Collège et Lycée
6 Leysin American School
7 Hochalpines Institut Ftan AG High Alpine
8 Aiglon College Switzerland
9 Institut Le Rosey School
10 Institut Montana Zugerberg
11 Champittet College
12 Brillantmont International School
13 Surval Montreux
14 Ecole Pre Fleuri

Top 12 best schools in Canada 2024

1 Brookes Shawnigan Lake
2 Rosseau Lake College
3 Albert College
4 Columbia International College
5 Ridley College
6 St Andrew's College
7 Brentwood College School
8 Pickering College
9 Bodwell High School
10 Trafalgar Castle School
11 Fulford Academy
12 Shawnigan Lake School

Best boarding schools in England - 2024 Smapse rankings

1 Cardiff Sixth Form College
2 Sevenoaks School
3 Queen Ethelburga's College
4 Brighton College
5 The National Mathematics and Science College NMSC
6 Concord College
7 Westbourne School
8 Wellington College
9 Rossall School
10 d'Overbroeck's College
11 Dulwich College
12 Fettes College
13 Stonar School
14 Wycliffe College
15 Lucton School
16 King's School Canterbury
17 ACS School Cobham
18 Hurtwood House
19 Uppingham School
20 Scarborough College
21 King's College St Michael’s
22 Mill Hill School
23 Windermere School
24 Clifton College
25 Badminton School
26 Oakham School
27 Oundle School
28 Stowe School
29 Cheltenham College
30 Bromsgrove School
31 Sidcot School
32 Prior Park College
33 Millfield School
34 Oswestry School
35 Caterham School
36 City of London Freemen’s School
37 Buckswood School
38 Brooke House College
39 Taunton School
40 St Clare's Oxford
41 Repton School
42 Royal Russell School
43 King's Ely
44 Leys Cambridge
45 Leighton Park
46 Bedford School
47 Fyling Hall
48 Royal Hospital School
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Valentina Nikitina
Senior Marketing and Recruitment Manager at Kaplan Pathways with a focus on students from Russia and the CIS.

Valentina has been working as a Recruitment Manager and then Head of Recruitment for CIS & Europe at Kaplan International Pathways for more than 7 years. She is a Lomonosov Moscow State University graduate and has more than 10 years of experience in higher education. She considers attending a high school important to prepare for the educational format in the country. However, Valentina notes that only a well-rounded, unique profile demonstrating potential to excel and contribute to the university's reputation makes an application stand out.

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