International Students


“The teachers at Rio and the boarding environment have greatly enhanced my English skills. The classes have been challenging, but teachers have persistently motivated me both in the classroom and in life.”

Zhenghao Zhang, Shanghai, China

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester (August) enrollment 
    • (Limited space please email: to inquire about availability)
  • Spring semester (January) enrollment
    • (Please email:  to inquire about availability) 

Space in our international program is limited. Late applications will be evaluated only if space is still available.

Note: It is not our standard practice to accept incoming seniors into our program. 

Arrival Information

New international students are encouraged to arrive on campus for New Student Orientation, the Wednesday before registration to rest and get settled into the dormitories before classes begin. If any new international students need transportation to Rio Lindo Adventist Academy from the airport at the beginning of the school year, parents should e-mail the school with the airline, flight number, and arrival time. Rio provides airport transportation for all new international students in August. At all other times, students should take the Sonoma County Airport Express bus to the Sonoma County Airport, where a Rio staff member will pick them up and bring them to Rio.

Student Life

An important part of every international student’s education is learning to speak English. To be successful as a student at Rio Lindo Adventist Academy, students are encouraged to speak English in all classes and throughout the school day. Rio accepts students of all religious faiths and backgrounds. Because Rio is a Christian school and religious values are an important part of our school program, students are required to attend scheduled religious services during the day and on weekends. The cafeteria serves three well-balanced vegetarian meals per day, Monday through Saturday, and two meals (brunch and dinner) on Sunday. The menu includes dairy products and meat substitutes; however, no meat or fish is served.


As part of the registration process, all new international students are given an English proficiency exam to determine each student’s placement in the proper English class. This test evaluates a student’s speaking, listening, reading comprehension, and writing skills. After the test has been graded, each student will be placed in one of the following three levels:

  1. English as a Second Language
  2. Integrated English (advanced ESL class approved by the University of California as a regular English course)
  3. Mainstream English class corresponding to the student’s grade level

The registrar will determine a student’s grade level based on an evaluation of the students official transcripts as well as the results of the English proficiency exam. All transcripts must be submitted with the completed application for accurate grade placement.