Home Admissions International Students FAQs for International Families
Frequently Asked Questions for International Families
   












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How will my child stay in touch with friends and family in their home country while at West Sound Academy?

  • Email is the easiest way to stay in touch.  Computers are available in the computer lab and library.  Each student at West Sound Academy receives his or her own email account upon arrival.
  • Email phone calls via Skype add video to audio. Visit Skype at www.skype.com for particulars.
  • Phones are available in host family homes and students can purchase phone cards at local stores in town.
  • Cell phones are also a convenient (but expensive) way to stay in touch.

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Should I send a laptop with my child?

  • If you wish to send a laptop, you may.  However, it is not necessary for study or communication purposes.  We have Internet capable computers in the library and computer labs.
  • Wireless Internet is available on campus.
  • If you choose to send a laptop, it will need to be compatible with US Systems (ask your salesperson). It will also need a wireless Internet card.  West Sound Academy uses Macintosh computers and Microsoft compatible programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, etc.

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How can a student get a cell phone?

  • U.S. cell phone companies require a signature of an adult who is 18 or older and has a U.S. Social Security Administration card in order to get a traditional cell phone. Some companies offer international students special contracts. Since these vary with time, please contact the providers for current information.
  • Students who wish to get a cell phone and do not have an adult with a U.S. Social Security Administration card to sign the contract, will have to get a PREPAID phone.  Prepaid cell phones are available at a variety of outlets convenient to campus.

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Do students need health insurance?

  • Yes, doctors’ services and healthcare in general are very expensive in the United States..
  • If you choose to retain your child’s present insurance or buy a policy in your home country, please note that the insurance company must have a claims office in the United States
  • Unless you provide proof of insurance your child will need to register for insurance in the U.S.  Billing for the plan would be included in your international comprehensive tuition payment. 

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How can my child have access to money to purchase books and other needed items?

  • We recommend that you provide your child with a credit card or debit card for this purpose.
  • Your child may also set up an account at a local bank.  They will then be able to make purchases from this account with personal checks or a debit card.  While the bank will give them personal checks immediately, it takes approximately 10 days to receive the debit card in the mail.

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How will my child have access to money for personal spending? How much should I send?

  • Send a minimum of $25 with your child.  The local bank requires a minimum of $25 to open a student account.
  • During Orientation we will help students set up bank accounts at a local bank.  You may wire funds into your child’s bank account.
  • Each family needs to determine what is appropriate for individual student personal spending.
  • Note that a credit card or debit card may be ideal for this purpose, as well as for textbook purchases noted above.

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How do students get to the airport during vacations and holidays?

  • Each year the Student/Parent handbook and School Calendar outline the specific dates and times of vacations and holidays.  You should check the Student/Parent handbook for these dates. You should arrange your child’s flights around these dates and times.
  • Airport access is easy and quick.Transportation to and from the airport is by private carrier. We recommend Bremerton/Kitsap Airporter. Typically, the cost for this service is $25 each way.

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Can my child get a driver’s license?

  • We do not recommend that your child get a driver’s license. In the state of Washington, if a young adult is under the age of 18 he or she must have a parent or legal guardian appear at the Department of Licensing in person and sign a form allowing you to get an instruction permit. In addition, while holding the instruction permit for at least 6 months, the applicant must pass a traffic safety education course and get at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice (including 10 hours at night) with someone who has been licensed for 5 years or more. Other conditions apply as well.

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Should I come to the campus with my child at the beginning of the year?

  • For new international families, parents are not required, but are certainly welcome, to travel with their child to West Sound Academy at the beginning of the year.
  • On the first day of student Orientation we will host a Parent/Student gathering.  Parents will have the opportunity to meet their child’s advisor, some teachers and key administrators.  We welcome your presence at that event.
  • Parents who accompany their children to campus are requested to depart after Orientation.  This gives the student the greatest opportunity to make new friends and adjust to their new environment. 

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How does the student get to campus from Seattle/Tacoma airport?

  • West Sound Academy arranges transportation for students who fly into the Seattle/Tacoma airport on designated pickup days.
  • All details about airport pickup are supplied well in advance of arrival dates.

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How do I stay in touch with my child’s teachers/advisor/dorm parent?

  • The best way to stay in touch with any school personnel is by email.
  • Your child’s Advocate should be your main contact at the school.  Advocate’s have weekly contact with students.
  • You may always contact the Head of School, Barrie Hillman, for any assistance you may need..

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Why is my child asked to take a math placement exam?

  • The math placement exam is given to help us determine exactly which math course to place a student in.
  • It is our goal to place each student in a course that is challenging yet attainable.

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When will they get their class schedule?

  • All new and returning students will get their class schedule at Orientation.

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Can students change their class schedule? If so, when and how?

  • Yes, students can change their class schedule during the first two weeks of class.

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