FAQ for international families
- Email is the easiest way to stay in touch. Each student at West Sound Academy receives his or her own email account upon arrival.
- Email phone Phone calls via Skype, Facetime or WeChat add video to audio.
- U.S. SIM cards can be purchased for cell phones – and there are numerous apps available to download that make communication with friends and family back home easy.
- For new international families, parents are not required to travel with their child to West Sound Academy at the beginning of the year. Should they choose to accompany their child to Poulsbo at the start of the school year, parents should plan any site-seeing or tourist activities prior to the date required for students to arrive.
- The greatest success for students transitioning to an international residential schooling environment is to allow the student independence to get settled and learn about their new living situation without parental influence. Please do not expect to see your student during the first week of orientation and classes.
- Upon the date required for students to arrive, parents will accompany their children to the host family’s house to meet their student’s host family and help the student get settled.
- Parents should not expect to stay at the host family’s house and the school can make lodging recommendations.
- West Sound Academy arranges transportation for students who fly into the Seattle/Tacoma airport on designated pickup days.
- All details about airport pickup are supplied well in advance of arrival dates.
International students can bring cell phones from their home as long as the phone is not ‘locked’ to a carrier. Students will need to purchase a U.S. SIM card. There are many plans available with data and text payable monthly. Students may also purchase a phone in the U.S. Depending on the intended length of their stay, students can either purchase monthly plans or a long term contract.
- Yes, doctors’ services and healthcare in general are very expensive in the United States.
- If you choose to retain your child’s present insurance or buy a policy in your home country, please note that the insurance company must have a claims office in the United States.
- Unless you provide proof of insurance, your child will need to register for insurance in the U.S. West Sound Academy can provide you with information for health insurance for your student. The monthly fee is generally not very expensive and is separate from your international tuition payment.
- We recommend that you provide your child with a credit card or debit card for this purpose.
- Your child may also set up an account at a local bank. They will then be able to make purchases from this account with personal checks or a debit card. While the bank will give them personal checks immediately, it takes approximately ten days to receive the debit card in the mail.
- Send a minimum of $50 with your child. The local bank requires a minimum of $25 to open a student account.
- During Orientation we will help students set up bank accounts at a local bank. You may wire funds into your child’s bank account.
- Each family needs to determine what is appropriate for individual student personal spending.
- Note that a credit card or debit card may be ideal for this purpose, as well as for purchases of school supplies noted above.
- Each year the Student/Parent handbook and School Calendar outline the specific dates and times of vacations and holidays. You should check the Student/Parent handbook for these dates. You should arrange your child’s flights around these dates and times.
- Airport access is easy and quick. Transportation to and from the airport is by private carrier. We recommend Kitsap-SeaTac Airporter. Typically, the cost for this service is $27 each way to and from Poulsbo.
- We do not recommend that your child get a driver’s license. In the state of Washington, if a young adult is under the age of 18 he or she must have a parent or legal guardian appear at the Department of Licensing in person and sign a form allowing them to get an instruction permit. In addition, while holding the instruction permit for at least 6 months, the applicant must pass a driver training course and get at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice (including 10 hours at night) with someone who has been licensed for 5 years or more. Other conditions apply as well.