ESL/International Students

For over a century, The Pennington School has fostered the academic success of students from around the world. International students are welcomed and are an integral and essential part of a tradition of encouraging young people to explore, to discover, to strive, and to excel.

As early as 1890, school records show international students coming to Pennington from Cuba, Mexico, China, Japan, England, and Bulgaria. At this time, students would have traveled to New Jersey by boat and train to find dormitories with the finest hair mattresses, folding beds, and gas lamps. These students came to Pennington for the college preparatory academic program and to gain a mastery of English in language classes.

International Students Today

Whether they come for a year or to prepare for an American college or university, international students will find that Pennington offers a rare combination of academic excellence and a nurturing and supportive environment. In recent years, our student body has included students from Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

There are many reasons for the success of international students at The Pennington School: We have a long tradition of respect for all cultures and religions. Each student's unique potential is realized, and a course of study is customized to his or her abilities and interests. Our four-level English as a Second Language (ESL) program provides the linguistic education foreign students might need. In addition, a comprehensive academic program is offered in the Upper School that includes Advanced Placement and honors courses in all academic departments, which affords a smooth transition from the course of study begun in the home countries.

Pennington's international students have continued their academic careers at some of America's finest colleges and universities, including University of Chicago, Cornell, Brown, Rhode Island School of Design, Boston University, Columbia, and Northwestern. After college, they have gone on to achieve success in science, the arts, engineering, architecture, business, and the humanities.

Pennington supports students who have a broad range of language abilities with courses designed to bring them from study in an American middle and upper school to success in an American college. New students are placed in the classes according to their skills and needs as determined by the Dean of Academic Affairs. 


Application Questions?

Contact Us!

Office of Admission
The Pennington School
112 W. Delaware Avenue
Pennington, NJ 08534

P: (609) 737-6128
F: (609) 730-1405

The School assists its international students in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Issuance of the I-20 upon enrollment for obtaining a student (F-1) visa
  • Orientation for new students and their parents before the opening of school in September
  • Personal email accounts and access to fax services
  • Data drops in each dormitory room for Internet access
  • On-campus banking services
  • ESL support and ESL evening study halls, as required
  • International Club trips and social activities for American and international students
  • Availability of foreign language newspapers and multilingual Internet access in the Media Center
  • Weekend activity program with
    on-campus and off-campus activities
  • Cultural adjustment support
  • Assistance with transportation to area airports

Admission For International Students

Pennington enrolls international students in grades 6 through 12 who have strong academic ability, who are interested in the challenge of studying abroad, and who will endeavor to become part of all aspects of the School community.

Admission is based on teacher recommendations, an official record of present and previous academic work, TOEFL score, and interview. Applicants to The Pennington School should have TOEFL scores of 75 or higher in order to be considered as competitive candidates in the admission process.