Abingdon welcomes pupils from overseas and we have students at the school from almost every continent. Those who join us from overseas as boarders enjoy our excellent boarding facilities, which are available from our Third Year when students are aged 13+. 

Overseas pupils with appropriate visa status are very welcome to join us as dayboys in our Lower School from age 11 and at our Prep School from age 4.

The age of overseas pupils on entry to the School in September is given below:

  • First Year – between 11 and 12 years (day students only)
  • Third Year – between 13 and 14 years
  • Fourth Year – between 14 and 15 years
  • Sixth Form – between 16 and 17 years

In order to cope with the high academic and social demands of the School, pupils must be competent English users and candidates whose first language is not English are required to take the School’s English tests as well as the age appropriate entrance examinations. Tuition in English as an Additional Language (EAL) is offered at the School at parents’ own expense.

Our boarding places are always very popular, and we would advise parents to register their interest by our recommended deadlines. In order to help parents or agents with the appropriate assessment procedure we encourage them to contact the Admissions office, admissions@abingdon.org.uk, at the earliest opportunity. This contact should ideally take place prior to registration.

Registration and Fees

All parents who want their son to be considered for entry to Abingdon must complete an online registration form and make the £250 overseas registration fee payment. Once the registration has been received our admissions department will acknowledge the application and provide you with details of the entrance examination.

Our recommended registration deadlines are:

year group recommended registration deadline
First Year End of October of the year before entry
(ie UK National Curriculum Year 6)
Third Year End of May two years before entry
(ie. UK National Curriculum Year 6)
Fourth Year End of October of the year before entry
(ie. UK National Curriculum Year 9)
Sixth Form End of September of the year before entry
(ie. UK National Curriculum Year 11)

We often find overseas candidates apply later than UK ones. We are happy to accept late registrations while places are still available, however in some years we may have very few places left after the main assessment process and therefore competition can be tough. You are very welcome to discuss your application with the admissions team prior to registration.

If your son is offered, and takes up, a place at Abingdon, then an acceptance fee is required to secure the place. This acceptance fee varies depending on the type of place offered, and will be returned when the student completes his education at Abingdon. There will be additional charges if you require Abingdon School to sponsor your son for a Child Student Visa.

The current fees per term can be found on the fees page.

Process

The process for overseas applicants is similar to our standard admissions process. Our assessment includes entrance examinations, an interview and a reference from a candidate’s current school. If English is not the candidate’s first language, then they will be required to complete an additional English paper as part of the assessment.

If a candidate is unable to travel to the UK for the main assessment day, then families or agents can make arrangements for exams to be invigilated in the home country at the British Council Offices or at one of our authorised assessment centres. We can also arrange for interviews to be conducted via video conference.

Once we have received a registration for a place, we will be in touch to explain the process in more detail.

First Year (Year 7) Entry

The process is outlined on our First Year Admissions pages.

Overseas candidates are encouraged to take the assessment at the same time as UK candidates, in the January of UK National Curriculum Year 6.

Please note that we cannot accept students into the First Year on a Child Student Visa. We can only accept applications from non-UK nationals who are entitled to study in the UK under their parent’s visa, under the EU Settlement Scheme or on a British National (Overseas) visa.

Third Year (Year 9) Entry

The process is outlined on our Third Year Admissions pages.

Overseas candidates are encouraged to take the assessment at the same time as our UK candidates, in the October of UK National Curriculum Year 7. If this is not possible, we will accept late applications whilst places are still available, although some years there may be fewer places left after our main assessment.

Fourth Year (Year 10) Entry

Each year we take a small number of new students into our Fourth Year. There are no set dates for overseas students to take the Fourth Year entrance examination as we organise the examination and interview at a mutually convenient time.

Sixth Form Entry

The main process is outlined on our Sixth Form Admissions pages.

Overseas candidates are encouraged to take the assessment at the same time as our UK candidates, either in November or in February of UK National Curriculum Year 11.

You can view the sixth form prospectus online or download the PDF version.

Entrance Examinations

All candidates for First Year, Third Year and Fourth Year entry will take exams in Mathematics, English and Verbal Reasoning. Additionally, if English is not the candidate’s first language, an additional English grammar paper will be required.

For entry into the Sixth Form, four subject papers are taken in the preferred A-Level subjects, as well as a Verbal Reasoning paper. An additional English paper will be required if English is not the candidate’s first language.

Further information about our entrance examinations can be found on the main year group admissions pages.

Where exams are not being taken at Abingdon School, parents or guardians of the candidate are responsible for making all of the arrangements with the British Council or or at one of our approved assessment centres to sit the papers. Abingdon will arrange for the exam papers to be sent to the authorised location once this has been arranged.

Interviews

If selected for interview following exams taken overseas, interviews will be conducted by the most convenient means available, such as Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts.

Some boys taking exams overseas will have been interviewed prior to their taking exams (e.g. whilst Abingdon staff are on their annual overseas visit to Hong Kong, China and elsewhere). Most of these boys will not require a further interview following the taking of our exams if they are applying for entry for the next academic year. Boys applying for places further away than the next academic year will probably be re-interviewed in the year before they join the school in order to confirm satisfactory progress has been made.

Offering Places

Following the interview, the Head will write to the candidate to inform them of Abingdon’s decision regarding the offer of a place. This is usually within two weeks of the date of the interview. If you wish to accept the place, an acceptance fee of one term’s fees will be required to secure the place. The acceptance fee is returned when the boy completes his education at Abingdon.

Educational Agents

We welcome applications directly from the families of overseas students. It is not necessary for applications to be made through agents, although agents can be used if families wish to.

If families decide to use an agent, please be aware that we work with a carefully selected group of agents, who understand our admissions process in detail. If you would like further information about the agents we work with, please contact admissions@abingdon.org.uk.

Visas

Any student who is a citizen of a country outside the UK and Ireland, and who wishes to study in the UK for a period of more than six months, requires a visa to study in the UK. This includes EEA students who arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021.

Abingdon School has a licence to sponsor Child Student Visa students. Where a student is sponsored to obtain a Child Student Visa, the student must remain a full boarder for the duration of their time at Abingdon. For this reason, we are only able to sponsor students from the Third Year upwards as we do not have boarding facilities in the First Year or at our Prep School.

Abingdon makes every effort to make this process as easy as possible and so we work with an immigration lawyer who manages the visa process throughout, providing support to any parents who require a Child Student Visa. There is a non-refundable administrative charge to cover the additional work required to ensure the smooth running of the visa process which will be invoiced at the same time as the first term’s fees.

Where a student is not sponsored, Abingdon School will request evidence of the student’s right to study in the UK before making an offer of a place. This could be by virtue of a parent’s visa or under the EU settlement scheme.

Further information may be obtained from the UK Government Visa and Immigration department.

Guardians

Every overseas pupil who is on a Child Student Visa sponsored by Abingdon School must have a guardian appointed by his parents as a condition of entry into the School. A pupil may have more than one guardian. It is very important for the welfare of the pupil that the guardian is actively interested in the pupil’s education and welfare and lives close enough for the pupil to visit during holidays or if needed during extraordinary circumstances such as school closures.

You can find a list of accredited guardians on the AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) website.

The provision of guardianship is monitored by the boarding housemasters as well as by the parents who employ the guardian. In certain circumstances a housemaster may call into question the suitability of a particular guardian and would hope that the parents would take the necessary action in the best interests of his or her child. The School will under no circumstances recommend or arrange guardianship on behalf of the parents. Responsibility for the welfare of pupils while in the care of their guardians, and while travelling to and from them, rests solely with the parents and not with the School.

Download the guidance notes for parents and guardians

Relocating or Returning to the UK

We recognise that for some British nationals who are returning to the UK from a period overseas, there are often concerns that their son’s education may have been different from the UK system. We have experience of this and we offer our full support throughout the process.

Candidates can either attend our standard assessment days in the UK, or families can arrange for exams to be taken at the British Council Offices or at one of our approved assessment centres. We encourage families to register their interest in a place by our recommended deadlines, but understand that sometimes plans or events will not make this possible. In these cases, we are happy to accept late registrations while we have places available.

Please contact the Admissions office to discuss your situation and they will be happy to help you.

Scholarships

Certain scholarships are available to overseas students. The admissions team will be happy to advise you further.

Further information can be found here.

Visiting Abingdon School

We welcome visitors to Abingdon during our term time. For visit opportunities please follow this link.

We do not arrange accommodation for visits to Abingdon School but you may find the AboutBritain website useful.