Latest Guides


New International Boarding School in Pasadena Holds First Open House for Interested Local Parents, Students and Community

Published on Thursday, October 14, 2021 | 10:06 am

Following nearly three years of on-and-off construction on its 16-acre campus, EF Academy, Pasadena’s first international boarding school, welcomed dozens of eager prospective students and parents to an open house Wednesday evening.

The Howard Street campus — one of only three EF Academy schools in the world  —  occupies the former site of William Carey International University. It features four newly-built student residential buildings capable of housing more than 900 students as well as renovated classrooms throughout eight previously-existing campus buildings, all due for completion in August of 2022.

“We are thrilled to be on track to open the first EF Academy west coast campus for the start of next school year,” said Shawna Marino, EF Vice President, “Now that construction has restarted, it’s all happening really fast.”

After acquiring the school property in 2019, the school halted construction due to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2020 and has now resumed its current  construction schedule.

The completed campus will have an eventual capacity for 975 students,  but will only enroll 150 new students in its first year.

Dan Denoncourt, campus director, said the campus will feature four brand new residence halls, with 230 triple rooms; 48 classrooms, including science labs and art studios; a swimming pool, a full-size soccer field, indoor and outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, and a fitness center.

As Marino told the gathered parents and students, the globally-oriented school’s mission is “to open the world through education, and it is our hope that the world may turn out to a little bit of a better place through our cultural exchange programs, our English language learning, our international degrees and our study abroad and educational tours. Every single thing we do is aimed to bring the world closer together and break down the barriers of language, culture, and geography. And we have been doing this for over 55 years now.”

Marino was enthusiastic about opening the new campus in Pasadena.

“We searched all over Southern California for the perfect west coast location and fell in love with Pasadena. This city embodies many of our own values especially with its focus on education,” she said.

“There are incredibly talented scholars, athletes, artists, writers and global leaders who’ve come from Pasadena. It feels special to call Pasadena home. We hope our own students will follow in their footsteps.”

Added Marino, “It’s been a meaningful partnership between EF, the city of Pasadena and this neighborhood. We have worked hard to become part of the community and we believe the neighborhood is supportive of this campus coming here. The community is looking forward to welcoming our students to their local businesses and shops. We’re excited to bring the world to Pasadena and Pasadena to the world. This is going to be a really exciting next chapter in EF’s history.”

Deputy Head of School for EF Academy, Kim Stein, introducing the school and its globally-based curriculum, said, “We have a holistic approach to our education, and we feel that academics is only part of the education that students require in high school. Students are going through a time of change and the social-emotional piece is a very important part of maturity as they go toward university. We are also very much in the business of trying to get our students to the next chapter, which is university.”

Stein emphasized that EF students come from 12 different regions worldwide.

‘We want to be global change-makers,” said Stein. “Our student profile was developed to inspire students to take on specific attributes that will help them mature and grow over their four years with us. We model and try to have our students become learners, and embrace those attributes to become leaders, scholars, and global citizens.”

Asked about local residents and students, Andrea Houser, director of U.S. admissions, emphasized that the school will enroll 9th through 11th grade students in its first academic year, from 40 to 60 different nationalities around the world.

The school will also offer, however, capacity for approximately 50 day- students. Pasadena-area residents may also apply for a residency at the school, to live and attend classes Monday through Friday, and return home on weekends.

Houser also explained that school tuition for a full year is $42,000 for day students, $55,500 for 5-day boarding students and $62,250 for 7-day boarding students. EF is also offering a $7,000 “Founding Families” scholarship for Day and 5-Day students.

In addition, EF is offering academic scholarships and financial aid for qualifying students, said Houser.

More information on EF Academy is available at

Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.

Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.

Make a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *