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International Students


You Belong Here... You Belong in Blue!

O’Gorman High School is a three-time National Blue Ribbon School. At OGHS, you will have an outstanding American high school experience while achieving academic excellence, becoming part of a faith-filled community, and getting involved in athletics and the arts. Read below to find out why you belong in blue.

O’Gorman High School works to develop the whole student—mind, body and spirit—through involvement in athletics, fine arts, clubs, organizations and a strong faith community.


Apply Now! 


“My favorite parts of O'Gorman are the variety of classes available and the positive
academic atmosphere.”

- O’Gorman student from South Korea


  • O'Gorman currently has 16 international students from five different countries.
  • Homestays are available through the school and they apply directly through Dr. Hamstra. 
  • O'Gorman has campus ministry and service opportunities, in which students grow their understanding of what it means to show compassion and concern for the most vulnerable in society. 
  • O'Gorman has ACT and SAT preparatory classes.
  • O'Gorman has a strong STEM focus with AP and Dual Credit courses. 

Coming to a high school in a foreign country can be challenging for anybody. To ease the transition, OGHS provides programs designed especially for international students.


“Studying abroad is really worth it even though
it might not be exactly what you pictured. 
It's not scary, and you will get to experience
a lot of new things that will definitely
be useful in the future.”

- O’Gorman student from Thailand


O'Gorman High School will begin a boarding program the 2020-2021 school year. For more information, contact Dr. Hamstra.


When possible, we work with local families to host OGHS international students. All families go through background checks and receive contracts and handbooks. The cost for the homestay program varies for each student. If you are a Sioux Falls family interested in hosting an OGHS international student, please click the button below.

What International Students Say About O'Gorman High School

Favorite Part About O'Gorman

"My classmates and teachers because they are so nice. They help me a lot if I have questions" -Cindy from China

"The teachers and students are are really helpful." -Marie from Denmark

"My favorite part about O'Gorman are the people because all the students and teachers are super nice and help you out when you are dealing with a problem or have a question." -Elizabeth from South Korea

"My favorite part about O'Gorman is the faith. Especially during the first time I attended mass at O'Gorman, I was really touched." -Agnes from China 

Favorite Classes

"Oral Interpretation because I get to talk to a lot of different people."- Marie from Denmark

"English and Spanish because I like learning other languages and other cultures."- Elizabeth from South Korea

"Math because I like math and it's not too hard for me."- Cindy from China

Why Study Abroad

"Go for it! Go study abroad. Go have an experience because you never know what could come out of it." -Elizabeth from South Korea

"My favorite part of studying abroad is experience what you cannot experience in your home country, especially the cultural things." -Agnes from China 

"The best part about studying abroad is becoming independent and taking responsibility for your own actions." -Elizabeth from South Korea

What International Parents Say About O'Gorman High School

Why study in the US: "There are huge differences in education between the US and China. My son wanted to experience those differences and learning something more advanced in the US." -Parent of an O'Gorman student from China

Admissions: "Dr. Hamstra made the process so easy. We can independently, and we were worried about how hard it would be, but it was so easy" -Parent of an O'Gorman student from South Korea

About Sioux Falls and O'Gorman High School: "I like the city. I like O'Gorman's campus. I also like the curriculum... hoping that my son can learn different ideas and knowledge in school." -Parent of an O'Gorman student from China

English and Academic Improvement: "I have seen great progress in my child's oral English and his ability to organize the English language. During summer vacation, we went to a Toastmaster's English club [in our hometown]. He stepped onto the stage voluntarily and gave an impromptu speech with confidence. He shows confidence and better English expression than before." -Parent of an O'Gorman student from China

Applying to O'Gorman

Information for Prospective Students

How to Apply

Students need to have good academic standing and an English proficiency test to be accepted. 

To apply, you will need: 

  • School transcripts
  • A teacher's letter of recommendation
  • An administrator's letter of recommendation
  • Financial documents
  • English language test: TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, ELTIS and more.
    • TOEFL: 64+
    • IELTS: 5.5+
    • Duolingo: 90+
  • $200 application fee

Apply Here! 

What to Expect After You Apply

After applying, the international student coordinator will contact you. It is at this time that you may do an interview on a web chat. We can use Skype, WeChat, What’sApp or FaceTime. When a decision has been made about your application, the international student coordinator will contact you by email.

Applications and immigration paperwork is processed within one to two business days.

O'Gorman and Augustana Pathway

O’Gorman High School and Augustana University are excited to offer a high school to university pathway program. After completing 2 to 4 years at O’Gorman, students will receive guaranteed admission to Augustana with a $17,000 tuition scholarship*. This tuition scholarship is renewable for the student’s 4-year bachelor program at Augustana University. To be eligible, a student must achieve a 3.0 GPA or better while at O’Gorman.

More Information



After You're Accepted

Accepted Students

Your I-20 and Student Visa

Step 1: After you have been accepted to O’Gorman, we will send you an I-20 in the mail to your home address. Sign and date your new I-20 under “Student Attestation” as soon as you get it. Your parent or guardian must also sign and date in this section.

Step 2: Now you need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee here:

Step 3: After you pay the fee, you can apply for your visa at a US embassy or consulate.

For more information about your I-20 and getting a visa, visit:

Study in the States

Student Homestay Application

If you need a homestay family, please contact the international student coordinator for the student homestay application.

Boarding Application

Coming Soon! 

Travel to Sioux Falls

Notify Dr. Hamstra about when you will be arriving in the United States. You must arrive before Thursday 15 August 2019 so that you can attend new international student orientation. You should fly into the Sioux Falls Regional Airport. This airport connects daily to Boston, New York, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas and Minneapolis.

New International Student Orientation

Thursday 15 August 2019 at 12:00 PM (CST)

All new students are required to attend the new international student orientation. This orientation includes:

  • Introduction to life in the US
  • Meeting new and current international students
  • Learning strategies for adjusting to home life and classes in English
  • Getting a peer mentor
  • Introduction to the school and its policies
  • View class schedule and make changes
  • Meet teachers and other students
  • Ask questions to faculty and staff

Transition to O'Gorman

During the fall semester all international students are enrolled in “US Language and Culture,” to help students adjust to life at O'Gorman High School. We also provide opportunities for international students to make a smoother transition to our high school through our International Club. This organization offers social opportunities outside of the classroom.

A Day in the Life of an O'Gorman International Student

A Day in the Life of an O'Gorman International Student

Ian, South Korea

Name: Ian
Grade: 12th (Senior)
Country: South Korea

6:00 am: Wake up
8:00 am: My host mom takes me to school
8:05 am: English class. We are reading a book that we chose in class. I'm reading Frankenstein.
9:00 am: Choir class... Just singing
9:55am: Music theory class... Learning music stuff
10:50am: Jazz band... Practicing some jazz songs
11:15am: Eating lunch with friends
4:30pm: My host mom or dad picks me up. I usually practice the piano in band room after school
6:00 pm: Supper with host family.
7:00 pm: After finishing washing dishes, I do homework, practice the piano, or play a game
11:00 pm: Go to bed

Bobby, China

Name: Bobby
Grade: 11th (Junior)
Country: China

6:40 AM: Wake up, (not a breakfast guy), get dressed, get to school.
8:00 AM: Class about to start, AP Calculus is first on my list.
9:55 AM: Easy and quiet study hall. Sometimes I go to an English classroom, computer lab, or the library.
11:38 AM: Lunch time. Sometimes I bring my own lunch.
1:35 PM: Gym class! It's fun and it will earn me some credit for the year, it is an A for me.
3:35 PM: Track and field practice for throwers. It can be tough, but it is really fun throughout the season.
5:40 PM: End of practice and my host mom picks me up.
6:40 PM: Pretty usual time for dinner, we might eat out or at home. Both choices are quite awesome, and there is a lot of places to dine in Sioux Falls.
8:30 PM: Play some games or hangout with some friends before getting ready to sleep.
10:00 PM: Typical bedtime 

Lingxi, China

Name: Lingxi
Grade: 11th (Junior)
Country: China

6:40: Wake up and go to school with my host brother.
7:30: Arrive at school and prepare for the day.
        1st- Go to my Journalism class, we are watching a documentary about Facebook
        2nd- I have English, and we are doing the American dream unit. We write a short journal entry every
day about the reading. This is one of the easier chapters.
        3rd- I have AP World History. We learned about imperialism.
        4th- I have Spanish 1, and we had a sub teacher today. We had a good time learning about the
Spanish translation of English movies.
        Lunch: I talked with my friends and had pizza. This is the best time of the day. It only lasts for 23 minutes and then I went to the lunch study hall.
        6th: I have a full study hall. I did my calculus homework, which is due the next period.
        7th: Calculus is a hard class for me. We learned about something called slope field. 
        8th: Speech communication. We did panel discussion, and it was fairly successful.
3:20: School's out, and I went to the debate room and took a yearbook picture with my debate team.
4:00: I got home and started my homework.
       Then I went for a run with my other host brother.
6:00: Dinner with my host family.
8:00: Still studying for the AP World test. History is fun, but a lot of work.
10:00: Watched some YouTube videos, then I showered and went to bed.

Taerin, South Korea

Name: Taerin
Grade: 11th (Junior)
Country: South Korea

8:00 am: Go to school- my host mom gives us a ride
8:05 am: Gym class, exercise
9:00 am: Study hall in the library with my sociology classmates (my favorite class)
11:30 am: I eat lunch in the cafeteria. I sit with my best friends
1:55pm: In English class we are working on the topic “The American Dream”
3:25pm: I used to do track. Nowadays, I study for the TOEFL instead of working out.
6:30pm: My host mom made us dinner tonight.
11:30pm: Bed (I call my mom on weekend.)

What International Students and Parents Say About O'Gorman

About Sioux Falls

City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA

Fast Facts

Sioux Falls, South Dakota is located in the “Heart of America.” Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state of South Dakota and is 2 ½ hours from Omaha, Nebraska and 4 hours from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Population: 177,00
Metro Population: 251,000
Area: 73.66 square miles
Altitude: 1,422 feet above sea level
Latitude: 43° 32’ 50” • Longitude: 96° 43’ 48”

Summer: High: 84°F/Low: 62°F
Fall: High: 60°F/Low: 36°F
Winter: High: 29°F/Low: 10°F
Spring: High: 59°F/Low: 34°F

Things To Do

  • The Washington Pavilion: Experience Science, Theater, and Art
  • Downtown Sioux Falls: Restaurants, shops, museums, and art galleries
  • The Sculpture Walk: Exhibit of sculptures from around the world
  • Movie theaters, bowling alleys and shopping malls!
  • Over 20 miles of biking and walking trails
  • Ultimate Frisbee or Frisbee golf.
  • Public swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing and Kayaking
  • Go-Kart park, a trampoline park, skateboard parks, and video gaming venues.
  • Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snow shoeing, and ice skating
  • Rock climbing
  • Soccer or softball
  • Pheasant hunting in the fall

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are you SEVIS (Student & Exchange Visitor Information System) approved and can you issue I-20 to international students?  - Yes.
2. Which English proficiency exams do you accept?  - We accept the IELTS, TOEFL, Duolingo, ITEP SLATE Plus, and ELTIS.
3. What is the minimum score?  - We will look at all aspects of the application, but expect students to have above average English proficiency. The minimum requirement for the TOEFL is 64, for the IELTS is 5.5, and for Duolingo is 90. Students below these scores may be asked for an online interview.
4. Do you offer English as a Second Language, (ESL) courses?  - We do not have ESL classes. Students are expected to be proficient in English so they are able to read, write, speak and learn in English.
5. How many international students do you have, and where are they usually from?  - We have anywhere from 15 to 30 international students during any given year. Students come from all over the world, including England, Germany, China, South Korea, Thailand, and more.
6. When is the application deadline for fall enrollment? - Applications are reviewed as they come in, and there is no set deadline.
7. What is the tuition for international students?  - The International Student tuition rate is $10,000. Tuition rates do not include activity fees and living expenses.
8. When is tuition due?  - Tuition can be paid in one or two payments. The first or full payment is due August 1 and the second is due December 1.
9. Do you arrange host families for international students?  - We currently help students who come to OGHS independently to find a host family. Students must apply for a host family, and once we have all the information from the student, and the student is accepted, we will assist with finding a host family. If OGHS finds a host family, we will help the student pay the host family a monthly stipend. If a host family is not found, students will not able to attend. However, we do our best to find host families for all students wishing for a home stay experience. 
10. Do students pay host families?  - The school will help facilitate payments between students and host families. For information on cost, please contact Dr. Caitlin Hamstra.
11. Which International student programs does O’Gorman work with most frequently?  - CCI Greenheart, Nacel, Forte, Children Around the World, and American Educational Pathways.
12. What colleges do your students usually go to?  - O’Gorman graduates attend colleges and universities all over the nation, including University of California, Augustana University, Purdue University, University of Nebraska, Creighton University, and many others. The majority of our students take the American College Testing (ACT) exam and not the SAT. Testing results can be found here.
“My favorite class currently is AP US History because I get to learn more about the US,
and it also helped me adjust to the new culture because I understood how things worked.”

- O’Gorman student from Thailand

Contact Us

The International Student Coordinator, Dr. Caitlin Hamstra is looking forward to helping you find your place at O’Gorman. 

Dr. Caitlin Hamstra
+001.605. 575. 3316
WhatsApp: 605.215.5724
WeChat: OGormanInternational

Find us on Social Media:
Twitter: @OGHSKnights
Instagram: OGHSInternational
Facebook: O'Gorman High School - Sioux Falls 

O’Gorman High School is SEVIS (Student & Exchange Visitor Information System) approved.