International Program

Students from all over the world come to Purnell -- from Barbados, China, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, and many other countries.

By immersing into our community, you will quickly feel at home at Purnell and experience American culture in a truly authentic way. From one-to-one advising and academic support, to a full activity offering, Purnell is a safe, comfortable, "home away from home" for our international students.

Our International Program contributes to the learning experience of our domestic students, too, by providing them with exposure to diverse cultures, languages and ideas.

international program students at Purnell


  • International student orientation
  • College advising, including visits to colleges and assistance filling out applications
  • Faculty support of integration and participation activities
  • Travel and VISA assistance
  • TOEFL and SAT support
  • Tutoring as needed
  • Residential Life support and supervision
  • School sponsored trips during some vacations
  • Special dinners, trips and events

Frequently Asked Questions

How many international students are there at Purnell?
International students make up approximately 10% of the student body.

What is the deadline for the application?
Purnell is on a rolling admission basis; therefore, we do not have a deadline. We limit the amount of students from each country and recommend that if you are accepted you return your deposit and contract by the date indicated to ensure a space for the upcoming school year.

Does Purnell require any entrance exams such as the TOEFL or SSAT?
Purnell does not require the SSAT; rather, we look at the student in her entirety and do not base her admission on one exam. However, it is required that she take the TOEFL. Purnell does not have a minimum score; the TOEFL is used merely to gage the student's English proficiency and allows Purnell to better understand if the student can be fully supported. If the exams have already been taken, please submit the scores through ETS. Purnell's DI Code is 8964.

ELI student Dasha
Dasha, Grade 10

How does Purnell conduct interviews for international students?
We encourage international students to visit, but if they are unable to travel to campus, we are happy to schedule a Skype interview. Skype interviews are conducted Monday through Friday between 8am and 4pm EST. Contact to arrange an interview.

When does Purnell issue the I-20?
Purnell will issue an I-20 once we have received the contract, full tuition, and all supporting documents. For complete details on the I-20, please see below.

Does Purnell issue visas?
No, students are required to obtain their own visas. If a student does not pass the visa interview and can provide evidence to the School, she will be refunded her full tuition less the $3,000 deposit.

Is financial aid available for international students?
Limited financial aid is available for international students. Please contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at to discuss the process.

Are there any activities or groups for international students?
All of our students are encouraged to be involved in multiple groups and activities. We have an International Banquet every year where students share recipes from their countries and teach other students how to prepare the meals. This is a great opportunity for our community to learn more about each other and try some new foods! We also offer special dinners, events and trips for our international students.

International Student Dongyu
Dongyu, Grade 12

We go to New York to see plays.
There's always something to do.

What airports are near Purnell?
Purnell is located 40 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport and 1.5 hours from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Airport transportation to and from school should be set up by the student. We can recommend a car service that is familiar with our school; please email us for that information at

Application Process

There is a $100 application fee for international students. Once your application and interview are complete, the Admissions and Financial Aid Office will notify you about the committee’s decision.

There are three ways to submit an application to Purnell.

Apply online
Download the PDF version of our application.
Your application can be sent via mail, fax or email. Please use this address:

Purnell School
Attn: Admissions Office
51 Pottersville Road
P.O. Box 500
Pottersville, NJ 07979

  • Use the common application provided on the SSAT or TABS website. School code: 5944

Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) application

The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) common application

I-20 Information

Purnell School is a SEVP certified School and provides International Students with an I-20. The following items and documents are needed BEFORE Purnell School can issue a student an I-20 form. Please send all materials the Admissions Office. Documents can be faxed to (908) 439.4088 or mailed to:

Purnell School
P.O. Box 500
51 Pottersville Road
Pottersville, NJ 07979
Attention: Admissions Office

I-20 Requirements

  • Signed contract and deposit must be returned to Purnell School
  • Tuition must be paid in full
  • Copy of Student’s Passport
  • Copy, fax, or scan of Proof of Income*
  • Proof of Income is considered a tax return and pay stub. Other supporting documents may be a bank statement or letter from your bank, a letter from an employer that states your yearly income, or other proof of assets. Proof of Income must show that the family has financially supported the student for their entire course of study.
  • Proof of Address*
  • Proof of Address can be a copy of a phone or credit card bill that shows the applicant’s permanent address.
  • If being financially funded/sponsored by another source, Purnell School needs a signed affidavit of support from all sources*
  • If the student is living with a host family or guardian, Purnell School needs Proof of Income, Proof of Address, and an affidavit from the host and from the parents*
  • An Official Transcript from the student’s previous schools. If the student is transferring to Purnell School after already completing high school courses elsewhere, Purnell needs Official Transcripts from all previous high schools*
*All documents must be in English or officially translated. The family is responsible for getting all documents translated.

Meet Bianca

Rwanda/10th Grade

"At my past school, I used to have anxiety, because it was a big school, and it was too much for me. I love Purnell, because it is small and so welcoming. I've enjoyed getting to know students from around the world."

We would love to hear from you!

Find out more about Purnell's exceptional international program. Contact The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, at +1-908-439-4009 or email

Well-prepared and highly confident, 100 percent of Purnell girls are accepted to college.