Everything Is Better Together
West Catholic is proud to host students from around the world at our school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This mutually beneficial experience makes our community grow stronger through the exchange of ideas and traditions. We are always looking for more generous host families to welcome a new person and culture into their homes.
The International Program offers many different types of support and out-of-school activities to enhance the experience at West Catholic High School.
West Catholic has an English Language Learners (ELL) program for students who are new to the United States of America. This program offers special help in navigating the American education system, basics about writing, speaking, listening and reading in English, as well as TOEFL and SAT prep.
West Catholic has a strong team of teachers and administrators who work together to ensure students are placed in the correct classes, are academically successful and have a smooth transition into American culture.
Ms. Brittany DeWitt, our school counselor, will guide students in choosing the correct classes as well as help students prepare for and apply to colleges.
Mr. Ryan Corcoran is the International Program Coordinator. He organizes events, answers questions for our international students and provides support for our teachers working with students from abroad.
Mr. Todd Peters is our Admissions Director and he will make sure students are taken care of when they first arrive.
The International program organizes three trips during the school year—one in the fall, one in the summer and one in the spring. The trips include activities in which international students can interact with American students while learning about the local culture and having fun.
Interested international students should fill out the Educatius Student Application Form.
West Catholic offers students from around the world unique opportunities to study abroad in the United States, but we wouldn’t be able to offer these opportunities without generous families like you, who “open wide the doors to Christ.”
Here are a few options that prospective host families have to choose from:
Two-semester program – This is the traditional program that many of our host families have fallen in love with. The student becomes a part of your family and follows the typical high school student schedule of classes, clubs, sports, dances, etc. This experience creates opportunities for deep cultural exchange and mutual growth in learning.
One-semester program – This program is for students who start in the spring semester but can also be for students who start in the fall. This is a great opportunity for families who may have a space available in their homes for a limited time or would like to test the hosting experience.
Eight-week program – This cultural exchange program is set up through a partnership with Guatemalan students. This will take place again in November 2019.
Three-week program – This program takes place in September as students from Spain visit for a short cultural exchange which involves several days in school as well as many events and excursions.
Welcome Families – West Catholic is also in need of “welcome host families” for the fall of 2019. These families host a new student for the first six weeks of the semester.
Stand-By List – If you would like to help when a host family is out of town or in case of an emergency, we would love to have you listed as a stand-by family. This is a creative way to have an international experience for a short time.
Parents interested in hosting an international student should fill out the Hosting Interest Form (link is external) or contact International Program Coordinator Ryan Corcoran.
International Program Coordinator
“The overlapping presence of different cultures is a great resource and source of mutual enrichment.”