English for Speakers of Other Languages

At Putney, you will not only gain the language and academic skills to succeed in an American high school, you will become immersed in American culture and form deep, meaningful connections that will last a lifetime.

Our ESOL Program

Our ESOL Program gives students the ability to write and speak clearly, work independently, think critically, act cooperatively, and join discussions effectively. We offer two levels: intermediate and advanced, to prepare students broadly — including language training, content education, study skills, and cross-cultural orientation.

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English for Students of Other Languages Program

A Message from Libby Holmes, Director of the International Student Program

Putney’s program is a rich one. Of course, we have strong and interesting academic classes that will prepare you for college, but that’s not all! Putney students learn how to do many different types of art. You can study music, play sports, and enjoy nature and our working farm here in beautiful, rural, southern Vermont.

Students live in small family-style dormitories, usually with one roommate. Teachers and students eat together in the dining hall, and some of the milk, eggs, meat, and vegetables we eat at Putney comes from our farm.

Our school year begins in early September and ends with graduation day in early June. The campus is closed during school vacations. Many international students spend these vacations at the homes of American friends, or with one of our homestay families. We will help you find a nice place to stay during these vacations.

International students can come to Putney for one, two, three or four years of high school. We have a strong English as a Second Language (ESOL) program, so if you need to improve your English, you will take ESOL classes as part of your schedule. Students who are already proficient in English can join our regular (“mainstream”) courses. All students must take at least one full year of these mainstream classes to graduate with a Putney diploma. If you have already finished high school in your country, and want a one-year experience in an American school, we also offer a Post-Graduate (PG) year for students like you.

If you would like to apply to Putney, you should fill out this inquiry form, and we will send you an application package. In that application, you will have a chance to tell us about yourself and your interest in Putney. You will also need to send a transcript from your present school, recommendations from some of your teachers, and a form that your parents must answer. You do not need to take TOEFL or SLEP to apply to Putney, but we may ask you for a phone interview or a short recording of you speaking English. If you are accepted at Putney and decide to come, we will send you an “I-20” form that you will use to apply for a student visa.

If you want to begin your study in the summer before the academic year begins in the fall, The Putney School also has a wonderful Summer Program for students who want to study ESOL, explore the arts, develop their writing, or join the Farm Program.

If you have questions about our school or our program, you can write them on the contact us page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn about our school, in your native language.

A Video Introduction

Our Fundamental Beliefs



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