International Student Program

Welcome to Hickory Grove Christian School’s International Student Department. Our program began in 2013, and we provide educational opportunities to international students on F1 visas. Our school is more diverse and a richer environment because of the many cultures that are represented in our international program.

If you have admissions questions, or are interested in hosting an international student, please email our student coordinator, Mrs. Missy Smith at  .

Please refer to the information below for the application process and necessary steps that must be complete before the I-20 is issued.

Host Families

We are looking for families to host a student at the beginning of each new school year. Students will be involved in school/church activities while they receive an American education and exposure to a Christian worldview. Being a “Host Family” means you have the capacity and commitment to allow God to use your home as an incubator for the gospel in an international student’s life.

Quick Facts for Host Families

  1. Provide transportation to and from school.

  2. Open your home just as you are - no need to change your family lifestyle.

  3. A monthly stipend will be provided for extra household expenses incurred such as family functions, dinner out, utilities, internet, etc.

  4. Provide a bedroom/desk for your host student.

  5. School fees, medical insurance, and extra-curricular activities are paid for by the host student.

  6. Provide nutritious meals each day (student lunch in the cafeteria already paid for in the tuition).

  7. The host student provides and pays for their own cell phone/data plan.

FAQ for Host Families

How long does a host family host a student?
Students are hosted for an academic year (10 months) and return to their home country during summer break.

Are host families responsible for paying a visiting student's tuition or living expenses?
No. Visiting students are responsible for paying all school-related expenses, including: tuition, lunch costs, bus transportation costs, book fees, testing fees, athletic fees, field trip costs, personal items, etc. Host families are expected to provide breakfast, dinner, and a comfortable space to sleep along with internet and a desk. Host families receive a stipend to cover their expected expenses.

Do host families have to transport the visiting student to and from school each day?
Yes. You are responsible to get your student to and from school each day.

Can visiting international students drive a car while they are visiting?
No. Visiting students do not have permission to operate motor vehicles during their stay with a host family.


Admission to HGCS is based on the following:

  • Skype/WeChat/WhatsApp interview with school official

  • Completed application

  • Prior academic and behavioral performance

  • Standardized test scores ( TOEFL Jr. 750+ and SLEP 50+) *willing to discuss other testing options

Step 1

Complete the following forms and return to the International Admissions Office for processing:

  • HGCS Admission Application

  • TOEFL Jr. or TOEFL Test score sheet

  • Middle and/or High School transcripts (translated into English)

Please refer to International Education Evaluations (IEE) for assistance or email for further information.

Step 2

If accepted:

  • You will be notified by email.

  • Pay the enrollment fee of $250 (non-refundable).

  • HGCS official will mail the I-20 if student is accepted.

  • Students must arrange an interview with the U.S. Embassy in their respective country to obtain an F1 visa.

  • HGCS Student Coordinator will contact student/agent with homestay information if homestay is required.

Full payment must be received prior to the first day of school before the student can be enrolled.

Submit the following forms:

  • Proof of health insurance

    American Benefit Services (Short Term Medical) - Call 843-214-2447 or email .

  • International student immunizations form

  • Current physical or health exam

Admission & Re-enrollment Policies:

  • If full payment is not made prior to the first day of school, the student’s application will be placed on financial hold.

  • A student cannot attend school until financial arrangements have been made.

  • Re-enrollment to HGCS is not automatic.