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 (grades 9-12). 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 (if needed).


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 programs. 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 $32,275 for the 2022-2023 school year*, additional costs include: housing fees of $1,500 per month (if applicable), ESOL classes (if needed), your own spending money (recommended $200+ per month), 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 $17,215 for the 2022-2023 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, to 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 enrollment at SMWS.
  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. A good resource is the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).

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 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 students 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, Nita June, if you have any questions at

If you meet these requirements, please contact our Admissions Director, Alanna Marks, at to begin the application process.

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