WELCOME INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS



Throughout the years Forest Lake Academy has been privileged to have students attending from the countries of China, South Korea, Thailand, Germany, Ukraine, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Bermuda, and the Bahamas to name a few.

Forest Lake Academy is a private co-educational Christian high school for 9th to 12th grade students. Founded in 1918, the school has a long history of providing a rigorous, quality education in a safe, nurturing Christian environment for students in Central Florida. The school is located in Apopka, Florida, a suburb of the larger urban city of Orlando, Florida and is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Currently the school serves approximately 420 students.

Forest Lake Academy (FLA) welcomes qualified international students from around the world to attend our school and become part of our school family. At FLA, international students attend classes with their American peers in a immersive English environment. Our unique program establishes a community where international and American students grow together both intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

Forest Lake Academy looks for students who are:

  1. Respectful of the Christian values of FLA
  2. Emotionally and socially mature
  3. Academically motivated and successful
  4. Willing to get involved in campus life and participate in extracurricular activities

We understand not all international students applying to FLA come from Christian backgrounds, and our policy is to treat all students’ beliefs with equal respect and dignity. International students will be required to take religion/Bible classes that are part of the curriculum and participate in chapels and worship groups.

Application and Admission Process: How to Apply

There is a $250 application fee for all international students. International students will be considered for admission after the following has been completed:
  1. Fill out the International Student application form.
  2. Provide school transcripts. If transferring to FLA from a school outside of the USA, transcripts must be evaluated by Joseph Silny & Associates, International Consultants, 305-273-1616, www.jsilney.com
  3. Provide Immunization records and a physical exam from a doctor's office (which also need to be translated if coming from a foreign country.)
  4. Complete a Skype, Zoom, or WeChat interview with the ELL coordinator or with an FLA administrator (this can be coordinating by emailing our school registrar at gabriela.lopez@forestlake.org)
  5. Provide verification of your confirmed homestay living arrangements. This is required prior to final acceptance and release of the I-20 form necessary to receive the student visa.
  6. The admission committee will then evaluate the student’s application, documents, and interview results to then make a decision with regards to acceptance.
  7. Once the student is notified of acceptance, the student must then wire payment for the entire school year to the school business office.
  8. Upon receipt of payment, Forest Lake Academy will then issue and send the I-20 form necessary for the student to obtain a student visa.
NOTE: You will need to prepare bank statements from parents or supporting persons (whoever will be paying the tuition and providing for the care of the student) as proof of adequate finances. This will be required by the embassy when applying for the student visa.

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International Tuition

All financial questions can be answered by contacting the school and speaking with Mrs. Linda Acosta who handles all student accounts. She can be reached at 407-862-8411 or by email

Tuition and fee rates for international students include:

  • Tuition: $20,000.00
  • Registration Fee: $600.00
  • I-20 fee: $200.00
  • I-901 fee: $350.00 (paid by the student directly before entering the USA at FMJFEE.com)
  • Technology Fee: $900.00
  • ELL Support Fee: $3,000.00 (if needed)
  • Medical insurance: (cost varies depending upon the plan chosen)


Payment Information

For wiring money information, contact Marlie Estrada at 407-862-8411.



Our Refund Policy

  1. You will receive a refund minus $1,000.00 (which covers administrative costs) if your child doesn’t get their visa or is not allowed in the country.
  2. There will be NO REFUND of any money if any student gets dismissed, expelled (sent home for disciplinary reasons) no matter when it happens, there will not be a refund of any money.
  3. You can expect a refund in two weeks of the written request to the Business Manager.

It is strongly advised that each international student travel with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard recommended) to be used for incidentals throughout the year.

Who is the person to contact with financial questions?
Marile Estrada, Business Manager marile.estrada@forestlake.org

When is payment due?
Financial payment, in U.S. dollars, is due prior to the I-20 form being issued for the student ot obtain their visa.

What about medical insurance?
Forest Lake Academy requires all enrolled students to have health insurance. Proof of coverage is required. There are a number of companies that offer health insurance plans for international students including:

  • Patriot Exchange Insurance at: http://imglobal.com/ 1-877-340-7910
  • World Trips Traveler’s Insurance plans at: http://americanvisitorinsurance.com/ 1-877-340-7910
  • Study USA HealthCare Insurance plans at: http://my.travelinsure.com/ 1-800-937-1387

Are there any additional fees / costs?

  • School Picture – purchasing a package for the family is optional and prices vary based package type
  • Music Uniforms/Materials (optional) – approximately $200 / $20 + additional tour fees
  • Musical Instruments (optional) – going rate
  • Art Class (optional) - $100 per class
  • Varsity Sports (optional) - $150 per sport + traveling fees to athletic tournaments
  • Banquets (optional): approximately $100 per banquet
  • Trips (optional): All school trips including Junior History Study Tour, Senior Class trip, Marine Biology trip have significant travel costs.
  • Fines: Cell phone violation fine, ID card replacement


What is the Weather like in Apopka, Florida?

Florida is a warm state in the USA. It is no wonder that a very high concentration of theme parks is found 35 miles (56 km) from our school. The average high temperatures range from 71oF (22oC) in January to 92oF (33oC) in June. The average low temperatures range from 49oF (9oC) in January to 74oF (23oC) in June. The average precipitation in January is 2 in. (5 cm.), and in June is 7.5 in. (19 cm.). June through September we experience about 10 minutes of rain in the evenings almost every day. The average humidity is between 60 and 75%. Most students dress in cool clothing in the summer (Polo’s, t-shirts, shorts, skirts) and light warm clothes for the winter (light to medium jackets, pants, and tennis shoes). A jacket, with school logo, is provided to all new students.



Uniforms

Forest Lake Academy uses Land’s End for the purchase of school uniforms. Continual violations of dress code may result in serious discipline and possible dismissal. No jewelry is part of our dress code. If you have a tattoo it must be covered at all times, it is also prohibited to get a tattoo or body piercing while attending FLA.



Organizations and Clubs

Through shared experiences and activities, International FLA students enjoy enhanced personal and social growth at an important time in their lives. A variety of clubs and student organizations are available to keep students engaged and connected to peers outside the classroom. These activities include:

  • Varsity Sports (Cheer, Boys & Girls Golf, Basketball, Soccer, and Volleyball)
  • Music (Choir, Cantabile, Bells, Strings, Concert Band, Jazz Band
  • Art Club
  • Asian Culture Club
  • Black Fellowship Association
  • Campus Ministries
  • Chess Club
  • Creative Writing/Classis Literature Club
  • FLA Student Ambassadors
  • Garden Club
  • Gospel Choir
  • Hispanic Culture Club
  • National Honor Society
  • National Technical Honor Society
  • Panther Press
  • Theology Club
  • Servant Leadership
  • Panther Productions
  • Robotics Club
  • Student Association
  • Women Can STEM Club
  • Class Officers

Academics

Our mission is to provide a challenging curriculum and Christian education in an innovative and safe environment that values diversity. We believe education is not only about imparting knowledge but also about nurturing the whole person. Therefore, we strive to create an environment that fosters intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual growth.

At FLA we are committed to providing a curriculum that challenges students to think critically and creatively, which helps them develop the skills necessary to become lifelong learners. Our Christian education is grounded in the belief that each person is a unique and valuable creation of God, and that we are called to love and serve one another. We are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to engage our students, whether through the use of technology, hands-on learning experiences, or other creative approaches. We believe that by embracing innovation, we can better prepare our students for an ever-changing world.

At the core of our mission is the commitment to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students. We believe that every student deserves to feel valued and supported, and we strive to create a community that fosters diversity, respect, kindness, and understanding. We recognize our differences make us stronger and enrich our community.

Our program is designed to ensure students’ success both at the high school and university level. In addition to college preparatory classes, we offer an ELL academic enrichment program for students who desire a stronger foundation in the English language. The school also offers honors-level classes as well as a variety of dual enrollment classes that enable students to earn college/university credit while still in high school. Current dual enrollment classes include English Composition I and II, General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Elementary Statistics, Calculus I w/Analytical Geometry, and Jesus in a Contemporary World.

University admission is the goal for most of our international students, and we work with each student individually to guide him or her through the application process. Graduates of FLA’s international program have gone on to attend universities all over the United States.



What is life inside the classroom like?

The classroom environment at Forest Lake Academy is both student-centered and rigorous. Students are nurtured by their teachers in a manner that promotes learning. Often, students are seen working collaboratively on specific content-related tasks. Classroom behavioral expectations are held at a high standard, as this is integral to an environment that fosters focus and ultimately, learning. Students are cooperative with both their teachers and their peers.



Desired English Proficiency

Forest Lake Academy recognizes that to be successful and take advantage of the opportunities available at our school, it is important for our students to be feel confident in both written and spoken English. Our expectation is that once accepted, students will dedicate themselves in all aspects of school life, i.e. participating in classes, extracurricular activities, and attempting to utilize English in all conversations. To be academically successful as a student, it is recommended that international students demonstrate the following minimum iBT (Internet Based TOEFL) proficiency.

  • 09th grade:     50
  • 10th grade:     60
  • 11th grade:     70
  • 12th grade:     80

NOTE: Many top universities require a TOEFL proficiency of 110 to 120 for admission, so actively working to improve English proficiency must be a priority for students wanting to go on to college or university.

Students who are unable to reach the recommended minimum score may still apply to be a student at Forest Lake Academy, however, it is important to understand that reduced English proficiency may make it difficult to be academically successful in all classes.

The TOEFL test is the most recognized tool for measuring English proficiency. There are several variations of the TOEFL, each with its own scoring. In order to avoid confusion, international students will be required to submit scores from the Internet Based TOEFL, often called the iBT. This test is widely available in testing centers. Being able to book a testing time may be limited and it may take several weeks to receive scores. Students interested in studying in the USA should schedule a test as soon as possible.



Academic Support

Our program is designed to ensure international students feel supported, enriched, and at home during their time studying at our school. Students’ needing English support will be placed in required ELL classes until such time as it is no longer necessary (determined evaluative testing and the ELL teacher recommendation). Peer tutors are also available to provide additional academic support in classes where a student is having difficulty. In addition, teachers provide after-school support as well as “Power Sessions” during lunchtime which gives students an opportunity to receive additional assistance.



Academic Advising

The primary goal for our guidance and registrar departments, which includes academic advising, is to provide our students with the appropriate guidance and resources that are necessary for achieving academic success in high school, and strategic planning for college entrance. The guidance counselor and school registrar support students at the different grade levels by providing academic counseling including the following:

  1. An overview of the diploma types offered and their relevant graduation requirements
  2. A grade-level, "What Every Student Should Know" checklist
  3. Testing and assessment information
  4. Effective study skills
  5. Simple and effective test-taking strategies
  6. College planning
  7. College financial aid
  8. Career planning
  9. Standardized Testing results (MAP Testing, SAT, ACT, PSAT)
  10. Upcoming year Course Request process
  11. Individual student planning



Personal Laptop Computers and Supplies

All FLA students are supplied a personal Apple Macbook laptop for use at school. The laptop can be used for all classes and textbooks can be accessed electronically. Every international student will be given instructions and guidelines on the use of their laptops, email, RenWeb, Canvas, printing, etc.



Smoking, Drinking or Drugs

Smoking, drinking, or drugs are illegal and are strictly prohibited on or off campus while you are a student at Forest Lake Academy. A violation of this policy will result in being asked to withdraw from school. Please be advised that all FLA students may be drug tested every year as all students are subject to random drug testing. If a student test positive they will be subject to school discipline, including substance abuse evaluation and counseling. They will also be subject to additional testing every 90 days at the school’s discretion and at the cost of the parents. Should a student test positive again they will be asked to withdraw from FLA.



Trouble with the Law/Justice System

Please be advised that if you break the law and are arrested, it could result in your deportation or being jailed. Forest Lake Academy will not bail students out of jail.

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CONTACT INFO


Address: Forest Lake Academy
500 Education Loop, Apopka, FL 32703

Phone: 407-862-8411
Fax: 407-862-7050


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