Portsmouth Christian Academy (PCA) is the largest non-denominational Christian school in New England and is located on a beautiful 50-acre riverfront campus in Dover, NH.  Based on a classical philosophy, PCA’s educational program is an academically rigorous college-preparatory Upper School program. PCA is SEVIS approved and is proud to welcome international students to our school community. Our students have represented the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Vietnam, India, Mexico, Europe, Congo, and Canada.

Meet our International Students

Jim, Grade 11

“The teacher’s kindness and patience and the school’s activities and classes give us enough space to explore ourselves.”

Read Jim’s Story

Carol, Grade 12

“There is a special and strong bond in the PCA family.”

Read Carol’s Story

Paul, Grade 12

“Students here care about their academic achievement and teachers are very willing to help us.”

Read Paul’s Story

Program Overview

Portsmouth Christian Academy is an academically rigorous, college-preparatory school which enrolls international students from countries around the world.  Within the limited number of seats available to our international students we strive for diversity and value the richness that each international student brings to our community.

Portsmouth Christian Academy is located in Dover, New Hampshire on a 50-acre campus situated along the Bellamy River.  The classic New England surroundings provide fresh air in a safe, natural setting, while still being within easy access to cities like Boston and New York and renowned universities, including Harvard, Dartmouth, MIT, Yale, and New York University.



College Planning

PCA’s College Planning Office staff provides excellent support to students gaining admission to the finest colleges and universities.  The Certified College Planner specializes in assisting students in choosing the right university for their personal goals.  In addition to academic support, SAT and ACT preparation is offered to juniors and seniors interested in improving their test scores that are part of the university application process.


Academic Support

English Language Learner Program

PCA’s English Language Learner program (ELL) is an integral part of the success of our international students.  All ELL students attend classes for full academic credit and also take ELL classes, as needed, where they work to build their English language skills.  An emphasis is placed on developing each student’s speaking, listening, reading, writing, and comprehension skills.

Some of the topics covered in ELL classes include:

  • Grammar
  • Literature, with a focus on Western Literature
  • Vocabulary
  • Writing
  • Pronunciation
  • Cultural awareness

With more course offerings than a student has time to take, our Collee Planning Office staff works closely with each student to ensure the selection of courses meets the future goals of the student.  The College Planning Office staff will prepare an initial schedule based on student transcripts, appraisals, and interests.

Progress Reports

Grades and student performance are assessed quarterly and a report card is sent to you via email.  Information in the report card includes:

  • The grade for each course
  • Attendance report
  • Teacher comments
  • Quarterly and semester grade averages
  • Total service hours earned

Student Life

Fine Arts

PCA’s fine arts curriculum is designed to enrich the lives of students with artistic skills as well as meet the needs of those interested in pursuing further study at the college level.  The program was designed to maximize artistic gifts and includes courses of study in vocal and instrumental music, theatre, and visual art.


PCA provides competitive athletic teams that represent our school with pride.  Our coaches make every effort to teach not only the rules and skills necessary for each sport, but also the rules and skills necessary for life.  We believe athletics is a great means through which to build character, to teach discipline, and to learn how to overcome adversity and challenges with a courageous spirit.


An important part of studying abroad is the opportunity to see the sites and learn about new cultures.  Each year, international students take a trip, during a school vacation week, to tour the northeastern part of the United States and visit universities and colleges.  This trip may include cities such as Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Hartford, CT; New York City, NY; and Washington, D.C.

Other travel  opportunities include cultural exploration trips to Europe (Spain and France) or Canada.  In addition, the PCA missions club offers an annual trip.  The missions club has traveled to places such as New York City, Belize, and Guatemala to help people in need.

Accommodations & Services


Prior to the first week of school, all new PCA international students must participate in a week-long orientation.  This is a valuable time where students learn

  • How to be successful at PCA
  • Keys to navigating American culture
  • Secrets to a happy host home

This time is also used to tour the campus, as well as take placement tests for math, science, and language classes.  Current international students act as advisors during the orientation days to help the new students make a successful transition to PCA.

Transportation Services

Your agent will arrange airport pickup from Boston, MA; Manchester, NH; or Portland, ME upon your arrival to the United States.  Your host family will arrange transportation to and from the PCA campus each day.


We provide host family accommodations for all international students.  This opportunity allows students to immerse themselves in the American culture and English language.  Host families provide a caring, safe, and supportive environment which allows students to assimilate quickly.  Many of our host families have students at PCA or are part of our local community.

PCA cares about the placement of each student and your agent will work diligently to ensure both the host family and the international student are satisfied with the placement.  The agent also supports students throughout their stay by providing problem-solving guidance and conflict-resolution input.


Through the home-stay program, your host family will provide you with breakfast and dinner on school days and breakfast, lunch, and dinner when school is not in session.  School day lunches include food that is catered by local restaurants offering four or five menu items for each day.

Health Insurance

For the safety and well-being of all our students, PCA requires that international students obtain health insurance through the school.

More information on Admissions Criteria

For more information about the admissions application requirements for international students please see International Student Application Checklist.

Admissions Deadlines

International students should complete the application process by January 31st.  The admissions committee will notify the application or agent of their decision by email on or before February 20th.

Late Applications

Applications received after the application deadline will be considered on a rolling basis as space permits.


For more information or to schedule a tour, please complete the Admissions Inquiry Form or contact Brianna Young, International Admissions Counselor at 603.742.3617, Ext. 155.