Abingdon welcomes pupils from overseas and we have boys at the school from almost every continent. Those who join us from overseas enjoy our excellent full-boarding facilities, which are available from our Third Year. We do have a Prep School for boys between the ages of 4 and 13 but this does not offer any boarding facilities.

Overseas entry is usually into our Third and Fourth Years and to the Sixth Form. The age of overseas pupils on entry to the School in September is given below:

  • 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.

In order to advise parents or agents about the appropriate assessment procedure we encourage contact with the Admissions office, admissions@abingdon.org.uk, at the earliest opportunity. This contact should ideally take place prior to registration.

Registration and Fees

All boys who want to be considered for entry to Abingdon must fill out an online registration form and make the £150 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.

If you are unable to the pay the registration fee online, please contact admissions@abingdon.org.uk and we will send you our bank details so that you can pay by bank transfer.

If your son is offered, and takes up, a place at Abingdon, then one term’s fees are required as an acceptance fee to secure the place. This acceptance fee will be returned when the boy completes his education at Abingdon.

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

The Process

Third Year (Year 9) entry

Overseas candidates are encouraged to follow the main process outlined on the main Third Year Admissions page (‘Selection Procedure’). Those who cannot take our Year 7 assessment at the same time as the main cohort in the UK (for example boys who approach us later in Year 7 or currently in Year 8) can still register with us and will go on to sit the entrance exams on an ad hoc basis (e.g. at an approved Agency, the British Council or at Abingdon School itself) at a different time. Ideally, registrations would be made by the end of the October of the year before the boy wishes to start at Abingdon. Later applications may be considered on ad hoc basis whilst lists remain open.

Fourth Year (Year 10) entry

Registrations should be made by the end of October of the year before the boy wishes to start at Abingdon. Later applications may be considered on an hoc basis whilst lists remain open. There are no set dates for overseas students to take the Fourth Year entrance examination as we organise the examination and interview for when a prospective candidate is able to visit the School. For those unable to visit the School entrance exams can be taken at an at an approved Agency, the British Council or a boy’s current school.

Sixth Form entry

Registration forms should be received by early November of the year before the boy wishes to start at Abingdon although late applications may be considered. We offer two examination days at Abingdon School for entry into the Sixth Form, one in November and one in February. We invite all candidates to attend one of these dates. However overseas candidates who cannot travel to the UK are welcome to sit the entrance exams on an ad hoc basis (e.g. at an approved Agency, the British Council or at Abingdon School itself) at a different time. View the sixth form prospectus online or download the PDF version.

Entrance Examination

The entrance examination consists of:

  • English essay
  • English grammar (not taken if English is the first language *)
  • Verbal reasoning

– For entry into the Third and Fourth Years a mathematics exam is also taken.

– For entry into the Sixth Form additional papers are taken in the candidate’s subject choices.

* Candidates whose first language is not English are required to take the School’s English tests as well as the age appropriate entrance examinations.

Candidates are currently unable to visit Abingdon to take the entrance examination but it can be taken at the candidate’s nearest British Council Offices or at a location authorised by Abingdon School. Parents or guardians of the candidate are responsible for making all of the arrangements with the British Council or authorised location to sit the papers. Parents or guardians must provide the Admissions Office at Abingdon with the contact details of the person who will be assisting with this process. Abingdon will arrange for the exam papers to be sent to the British Council Offices or location authorised by Abingdon School.


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.


Every overseas pupil 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 at half terms.

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.


Children who are citizens of countries outside the UK and Ireland and who are studying, or wish to study, at schools in the UK for a period of more than 6 months (away from parents) require a visa to study in the UK. This includes EEA students who arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021.

  • From 5 October 2020, the Student route will replace the Tier 4 route.
  • The Student route, which falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, improves on the previous Tier 4 route making for a more streamlined experience for both sponsoring institutions and students.
  • From March 2021, the School will be using a law firm to make the Student visa application process as straightforward as possible. This will incur an additional charge for those applying through the Student visa route.
  • Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid and those eligible will still be able to apply for the Graduate Route when it opens in summer 2021.
  • The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Student (or Tier 4) visa at the time of application.
  • More information about the UK’s new points-based immigration system can be found here. Further guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss students, who from 1 January will need to comply with the new system can be found here.
  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK before 31 December should apply to the EU settlement scheme.

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


Scholarships at Abingdon are available to overseas pupils. For further information please follow this link.

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.