School Life

International Students

Founded in 1814, Emma Willard is one of the oldest boarding schools for girls in the United States. From its very earliest days, the student body has included girls from all over the world. The school's founder, Emma Hart Willard, enrolled girls from France, England, Scotland, the West Indies, Greece, and Turkey. International students, who represent approximately 25 percent of the Emma Willard School student body, join young women from all over the United States who come here to pursue a college-preparatory education. International students are quickly integrated into the community.

Today approximately 38 countries are represented on the campus, including China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somaliland, Turkey, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Fast Facts

List of 9 items.

  • Key Contacts

    • Dean of Students and Wellbeing, Shelley Maher, is a good starting point for questions related to travel and vacation arrangements, dormitory living, and general student life concerns. She can be reached at
    • Head of Enrollment Management, Kristen Mariotti, handles all questions related to immigration. She can be reached at
    • International Admissions Manager, Preston Chang-Sundin, is also a helpful contact for families with questions about all aspects of the international student experience at Emma.  He can be reached at
  • English Learning Support

    The admissions and academic offices review international student applications to determine the appropriate English class for each student. Our English courses are designed to both challenge and support students of varied abilities and experiences, including English Language Learners. We provide our English Language Lab instruction for students who require additional support in English language learning. There may be an additional charge for this service, depending on the level of support needed.
  • Immigration Information

    • International students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States must have an F-1 (student) visa to study at a school in the U.S. You will receive an I-20 form from the Admissions Office, which must be presented at the U.S. embassy or consulate as part of the application for the F-1 visa. Students must pay the SEVIS fee before their visa interview at the embassy or consulate. If you have questions about your I-20 form or visa status, contact Head of Enrollment Management, Kristen Mariotti at
    • You will need to present your passport and I-20 form at the immigration checkpoint when you enter the United States. Keep your I-20 form with your passport at all times. After your arrival on campus, your passport and I-20 will be collected and stored in the Student Life Office for record-keeping and security purposes.
  • International Health Insurance

    Out of concern for the health and welfare of all our students, Emma Willard School requires that every student be covered by a comprehensive injury and sickness plan, one that meets the high cost of medical services and is accepted by local providers and practitioners. As such, we offer a health insurance plan for our families that will provide the coverage for your child required by the school. Enrollment in this plan is required for international students. Please contact Laura Bernard, Director of Business Services and Financial Aid, for more information at
  • Arrival at School

    All students should refer to the Opening of School Resource Tile on MyEmma for arrival information.
  • Travel

    Please see the Information for International Student booklet, a downloadable pdf file (far right), for the Vacation Travel Planning Calendar and additional information about shuttles from New York City and Albany International Airport.
  • Money

    It is helpful to have some United States currency (money) on hand before you arrive in the U.S. You may need cash for meals or snacks, taxi fares, and tips. If you have an automated teller machine (ATM) card or debit card, you can get cash from an ATM in the airport when you arrive; ATM’s often provide the best exchange rate and are easy to use. However, it is not safe to carry a large amount of cash. Be especially careful with your money in New York City.  Emma Willard School partners with SEFCU, a local financial institution, so students have an opportunity to open a bank account in the United States that is linked to a debit card.  SEFCU will be at Emma Willard School on Opening Day in August to help interested families open an account.

    You will receive information about the Emma Willard School SmartCard from the Business Services Office. The SmartCard will allow you to make purchases at the Emma Willard school store easily. For other spending needs, we recommend that you maintain an account at a local bank. You will have an opportunity to open a bank account when you arrive at school. In a local bank account, you can safely keep large sums of money for travel, shopping, etc. You can withdraw money from your account as you need it by using the ATM card that you will receive from the bank. There is an ATM on campus right outside the school store. You should never keep large amounts of cash in your room or send cash through the mail.
  • Jet Lag

    When you travel to the United States, you will probably experience jet lag, that feeling of exhaustion and disorientation that results from traveling across multiple time zones. Experts say that it can take as long as a day for every time zone crossed to recover from jet lag and feel “normal” again. Fortunately, young people often adjust more quickly than that!

    If you have somewhere to stay before the opening of school, it is helpful to arrive in the U.S. a few days before registration day so that you can begin the adjustment process. Even spending one extra night in a hotel (or in your room, if you are traveling alone) will make the first day or two easier for you.
  • Vacations

    Please review the Academic Calendar page which includes the Vacation Travel Planning Calendar for 2021-2022.

285 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 | P: 518.833.1300 F: 518.833.1815
Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years. 

PLEASE NOTE: All visitors to campus must check in with Campus Safety, which can be found at the red flag entrance to Sage Hall (Pawling Ave. entrance).