Balboa City School

International Students Instructions

Why Study at Balboa City School?

With two engaging English language classes each day, Balboa City School (BCS) is an ideal place for foreign students to learn English and prepare for college.

Each day we have a writing class where we work on expository writing (essays) and creative writing (poetry, short stories, etc.) in a very small structured class. Students are supportive with each other. Our teachers, understanding that even extremely bright capable students have different skill levels in writing, do not grade students by comparing their work to one another. Effort, focus, concentration and progress made during the grading period are important variables in evaluating each student’s progress. Students accomplish writing tasks quickly by using a computer most of the time. During these classes small group discussion is allowed and encouraged. So, foreign students have opportunity in writing class to practice their English language skills.

BCS does not accept many foreign students because we want them to be practicing their English all day.

Too many foreign students, we have learned, leads to foreign students spending time with each other rather than learning about the new society that they are living in. So, to encourage assimilation and a higher English learning curve, we limit the number of foreign students in the same class and in the school.

Classes are small and individual help is available.

While many schools now boast of thousands of students and classes are filled with thirty or forty students. Drugs, bullying and sex are simply not problems at BCS. BCS remains committed to small classes where civil discussion and Socratic dialog is encouraged ALL DAY LONG. At an average class size of 5-8 a comfort level is easily established. One foreign student made a year of progress in his English skills in six weeks. This is typical.

BCS also has another English class, which teaches English literature, grammar, reading comprehension and syntax.

In addition to our writing class our English class quickly familiarizes our students with English grammar, and English novels. Students study classic works such as Beowulf, Huckleberry Finn, and George Orwell’s 1984. These classes are taught entirely in English. Our foreign students quickly learn that our teachers are not only supportive, but also highly gifted in explaining complex topics in language, which even beginners in English can understand. Individual support, before, during and after class is available.

For many years BCS has placed and emphasis on the early acquisition of college level vocabulary.

Because most of our students are going to college, we have developed a highly sophisticated language arts program, which works for the all the students in all their classes. Each day, in each class, our students learn one or two new vocabulary words in the context of their daily lecture. On Friday, they are quizzed on the new words of the week. Even our students who previously have been diagnosed with dyslexia, earn A’s on these tests. At BCS students love learning new words. The program builds confidence, comprehension and self-esteem.

We work closely with the nationally known Old Globe Theatre and this gives students many cultural opportunities.

BCS students can learn about the greatest English writer, Shakespeare, at the world class Old Globe Theatre. And, each year, we choose a new play by Shakespeare and attend performances in an exact replica of the Elizabethan theatre, which Shakespeare wrote for. This is a highlight of our program and not to be missed by our foreign students and/or their families.

Students meet world-class researchers and can volunteer in many different professional facilities.

Through our extensive network of community relations, especially in the academic community our students have opportunities to meet professors at UCSD and learn what they are doing in the emerging field of nano technology, or biotechnology and even alternative power sourcing. This generates excitement and new ideas even among those students who are not interested in pursuing a degree in those fields. Field trips to state of the art manufacturing facilities occur through the year.

One to one elocution lessons are available and taught by professional speech and language therapists.

For students with pronunciation concerns, we offer one to one speech assistance. BCS is fortunate to have on our staff a licensed speech therapist. And she is available to assist students in learning more effective ways to develop their American accent!

Shorter summer programs are available.

Students can choose to study three or six weeks in our summer camp/ learning program. Here they can study high tech game programming, special effects, English and sports and many other fun activities. In these programs too, we shall be teaching your child English is a warm supportive environment. Unique cultural opportunities, such as field trips to popular sold conventions, lie the San Diego Comic Convention round out our summer program and insure that our foreign students have something to talk about when they come home for many years to come.

Counselors are available for students with culture shock.

Research shows that foreign students, after the initial wave of excitement dies down, that students in foreign countries are often lonely and depressed. They miss their old familiar friends, family and community. This often happens after the student has been in country for about three to four months. Our counseling can help students through this rough period by helping them gain insight into this and other common issues. Our college counselors are able to help students attain new focus and renew their excitement about being in one of the most dynamics cities in the world.

Balboa City School is beautiful and quiet.

Statues, fountains and gardens, including student grown vegetable gardens and six fruit trees recently planted by our biology class make BCS a welcoming environment. With two outdoor areas that are surrounded by gardens BCS feels more like a home than a school. BCS does not have an institutional feel and this helps students relax and learn more effectively. Visitors come on campus and always ask them question, “Why is it so quiet here and where are all the kids?” We do not take good behavior and study habits for granted and so we constantly are teaching civility and etiquette to our young learners. And it pays off for them. From the first day at school they are all learning how to concentrate and focus more effectively.

Technology classes – multimedia, sound recording, video editing and production, special effects and programming are all taught in our state of the art multimedia labs.

Classes are small and project based learning is highly effective in stimulating students’ creativity. Please see samples of our students work.

There are many cultural experiences that are part of the BCS school experience.

Balboa City School is across the street from world famous Balboa Park and it is one half mile from downtown San Diego. Our central location makes travel to and from the campus very easy. Within walking distance there are seven museums, world-class theatres, and a beautiful pastoral setting. These and the highly attentive teaching staff make Balboa City School a unique and sought after program. Most students remember their experiences at BCS as transformative and highly enriching. One student, a highly sophisticated young man from Asia was recently asked if he liked BCS and he replied, "I do not like BCS, I love it!" This is common.

Balboa City School (BCS) is a WASC accredited private elementary, middle and high school in San Diego, California.

BCS is certified by the California state department of education. And The Department of Homeland Security has cleared us to accept qualified foreign students and issue I-20’s through SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information Systems). We are open to accepting students from all countries and backgrounds and have successfully received students from India, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Taiwan and Pakistan, China, England and Italy.

Students and families enjoy the safe nurturing atmosphere of Balboa City School and many graduates go on to attend top colleges in the United States.

Enrollment is simple.

After contacting the school, our experienced staff will guide you through all the steps necessary and provide the necessary information; Balboa City School will submit your information to SEVIS. The I20 is then issued along with a letter of acceptance and start date. Transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and an assessment of English skills are among the items necessary for application. For more information, contact the registrar at Balboa City School 001-619-298-2990.

International Students Instructions