Shining Mountain welcomes international students on both an exchange (non-paying) and a non-exchange (tuition paying) basis from Waldorf and non-Waldorf schools around the world during the student’s High School years. The length of the visit or exchange is from one semester to multiple years. Please apply 8-10 months prior to the semester or year in which you are interested.


Shining Mountain Waldorf High School has a long tradition of successful exchanges with schools around the world. Due to the continued prevalence of COVID-19 as well as shifts in our language program, we are currently restructuring our exchange offerings. Moving forward, our school will be pursuing exchanges with Spanish-speaking communities in Central and South America only. Please check back for updates to this page in the 2022-23 school year, or email with your inquiry. 


Shining Mountain Waldorf High School has a limited number of spaces for paying international students, who may come per semester or per year, beginning in the 9th grade.  If accepted, you would pay our current rate of tuition, plus additional fees for athletics, visa, travel, and ESOL classes, based on your TOEFL score.  You would also pay additional fees for housing with a local family and we encourage you to bring at least $200 per month in spending money. Shining Mountain Waldorf School is authorized to grant I-20 student visas and we will help you find housing with a local family.


Paying International Students may come for one or more semesters beginning in 9th grade through 12th grade. We do not offer this program in the lower or middle school. To achieve the maximum benefit, we prefer you attend for at least one school year.

  1. You will need to take the TOEFL exam and score a minimum of 45 to be accepted into our program.
  2. While you are here, you will be required to take private ESOL 323, English for Speakers of Other Languages. These classes will need to be arranged for by the family independently of the school.  A score of 94 or higher will exempt you from this course.
  3. You will need to apply to our High School and pay the $90 application fee. This application includes student and parent questionnaires, your TOEFL exam score, two letters of reference, and your agreement to follow our school’s media policy, dress code, drug and alcohol policies as well as all local laws. Your parents will also need to sign a document giving authority to the host parents to act as the parental authority while you are staying in their home.
  4. You and your parents will conduct a SKYPE interview with our International Student Coordinator, Admissions Director, High School Faculty Chair, or one other faculty member.
  5. In addition to our standard tuition and fees of $23,050 for the 2019-2020 school year*,  our housing fees of $1,000 per month, you will be responsible for ESOL classes (if needed), your own spending money, athletic participation fees, visa fees, as well as travel expenses to and from Boulder, Colorado.
    *For students enrolling for one semester only, tuition and fees amount to $12,150 for the 2019-2020 school year, plus the additional costs listed above.
  6. Acceptance to the program will not be granted until housing has been secured.
  7. Priority will be given to international students staying more than one year, their siblings, and students who can secure their own housing.
  8. Our Host Families are not responsible for providing housing for parents who are visiting or any other guests of the international students during the course of their exchange.
  9. If you are not coming from a Waldorf School, we require that you do research on the Waldorf Curriculum as our teaching methods and mission are different than current American public or private independent schools and that you understand this difference prior to applying.

International Students and College Advising:

Shining Mountain Waldorf School is committed to developing an international network of students. Currently, 2% of our matriculated high school student body represents countries outside of the United States, such as China, France, Switzerland, Brazil and Germany. Our international students enrich our school environment with their different experiences, perspectives and cultures. Our College Advising program supports international students in their journey from high school to college and beyond.

We share our educational philosophy with over 1,000 sister Waldorf Schools around the world, over 850 of which are outside of the United States. In a similar manner, our curriculum aims to instill in our children a sense of global preparedness. A diverse student body is integral to this central aim.

95% Shining Mountain students go on to attend a four-year college or university after high school and 5% participate in a Gap Year, attend trade school, or engage in a community college environment.

International Students are expected to work closely with the college advisor throughout the college application process ( even if they are working independently with an outside college consultant. Upon admittance to SMWS, international students and their parent(s) will meet with the College Advisor to discuss, in more detail, the college program and create a roadmap for the college application process.

During the end of Junior year and the beginning of Senior year, International Students are expected to:

  • Attend the weekly College Counseling Seminars
  • Attend a meeting in July or August after junior year with the College Advisor and sign the Student Responsibilities Check-list
  • Meet regularly with the college advisor throughout senior year
  • Provide a college list and deadlines to the college advisor by the beginning of October of senior year
  • Keep the college advisor updated about TOEFL Scores (if appropriate)
  • Take the SAT or ACT (if appropriate)
  • Make sure that all necessary college application forms are completed

Please become more familiar with the information about our College Advising Program on the school website. and contact the College Counselor, Vic Davolt, if you have any questions

If you meet these requirements, please contact our Interim Admission Director, Soni Albright, at to begin the application process.

Marian Munkvold-Saunders
Interim High School Administrator

Marian was born and raised in Norway, before moving to Houston, Texas in 1998. After graduating high school there, she attended EM Strasbourg Business School in Strasbourg, France, and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas where she received a BBA and MBA in Finance. After college she moved to Carlsbad, California where she continued working in the business and investment field. Once she became a mom, she and her husband moved to Santa Barbara, California where she stayed home full time, raising two children. In 2010 their young family returned to Texas and settled in Austin. At this time she discovered Waldorf education. Both children have attended Austin Waldorf School since kindergarten, and Marian was actively involved in the parent volunteer community there. In 2017 she joined the administrative staff at the Austin Waldorf School where she worked as Administrative Support and then Office Manager. She and her family are thrilled to call Boulder their new home and to become part of the Shining Mountain Waldorf School community. Marian loves to read, cook, do handwork, travel, and spend time outside with her family skiing, biking, and hiking.

Monica Maldonado

Grade 6 Assistant

Monica Maldonado began their professional teaching career in 2014 after receiving a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from The Master’s University School of Music. Monica has experience in teaching music and art in one-on-one, small group, and public school settings, as well as one year of teaching music, art, and history in the elementary school setting as a student-teacher. Thanks to their teaching experiences, Monica strongly believes that every child can become a musician and artist and that all learners deserve a well-planned, differentiated arts education. They are very excited to be working at Shining Mountain and supporting their class in any way they can. Monica is also passionate about traveling, performing shows with their band and creating abstract mixed media artwork.

Ashley Marsico

Ashley grew up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and has traveled to many different places all over the world including: Mexico, Portugal, France, UK, Morocco, Spain, and the British Overseas territory of Gibraltar. In 2014, after studying and living abroad for two years in Granada, Spain, she moved back to the city of Chicago where she met her fiance Tom. She first learned about Waldorf education from Tom as he attended the Chicago Waldorf School from PreK-8th grade. In an effort to learn more about this education, she attended a CWS holiday fair where she was immediately inspired, and in 2015 started Waldorf Teacher Training in Chicago. Ashley is a Fiber Artist and has been perfecting her craft since she started to crochet at 7 years old, so when learning that the Waldorf curriculum included crochet, she was hooked! Ashley brings over 7 years of teaching experience including a year as an Early Childhood and Handwork Assistant at CWS, as well as 4 years of administrative experience at CWS working as their High School Office Manager and Registrar & Database Manager. She is very excited to join SMWS and is grateful to take on this new position remotely as Registrar.

Lee Griffith

Class Teacher Grade 6

As an accomplished cellist and music teacher, Lee has broadened his teaching capacities to become a Waldorf middle school class teacher. After completing his music degree at the prestigious University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, Lee discovered his love of teaching extended beyond cello lessons, and that he was inspired by the art of teaching encompassed in the rich array of subject matter brought through the grades 6-8 journey. Waldorf philosophy and pedagogy, specifically the picture of child development, aligns with his approach to being an educator. Lee has been a class teacher in the grades and a cello teacher at the Cincinnati Waldorf School. He looks forward to continuing his Waldorf teacher certification for the grades school cycle. Lee enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, meaningful conversations, thrifting, rock climbing, teaching private cello lessons and, of course, performing.

Mike Terborg

Athletic & Auxiliary Programming Director

Mike Terborg first served as the SMWS Athletic Program Director from 2006 to 2010 while also coaching the High School Boys Basketball Team. In 2010, Mike moved to Seattle with his wife where he began his career as a Strength Coach and Injury Rehabilitation Specialist, and since 2018, has also been writing educational content for health, fitness, and wellness companies. During his time at Shining Mountain, Mike led an athletic program that fostered a healthy balance of physical, social, emotional, and psychological development. During his first tenure, Mike also served as the 5280 League President for two years, was three-time 5280 League Coach of the Year, and received recognition from the Positive Coaching Alliance for his dedication to teaching life lessons through participation in school sports. While program director, SMWS was also awarded the 5280 League Sportsmanship Award for the 2009-2010 school year. Mike has a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Gunbarrel with his wife and three children. 

Soni Albright

Admissions Director

Soni Albright has spent the last 10 years working in Waldorf School Admissions, previously at East Bay Waldorf School in Northern California, and currently at City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, MN. She has all the while, also been in the classroom, as a Cyber Civics teacher for 6-8th graders. Before that, she spent a decade in a variety of school settings (Public, Montessori, Charter, etc.) as a classroom teacher, and has taught a wide variety of subjects such as visual arts, study skills, social studies, and language arts.