International Student Program

Welcome to Maranatha! We are an influential school of collaborators, innovators, and explorers grounded in Christian faith, empowering co-creators of tomorrow. The International Student Program serves students from Grades 8-12, developing world leaders in a university-preparatory environment with exceptional student culture.

Established in 1978, Maranatha Christian Academy is a fully accredited school that fulfills its mission by developing self-directed students and life-long learners. Our award-winning teachers instill principles of diligence, honor, and integrity. At Maranatha, we have a different approach to education. It is one that not only equips students academically, physically, and socially, but also encourages students to become impactful innovators, empathic problem solvers, and courageous changemakers to impact the world around them upon graduation.

Maranatha faculty and staff challenge every student to reach their highest potential and support them through their journey. The following services are included for all international students. These benefits, often extremely limited or non-existent in other international programs, are fundamental at MCA.

Dedicated International Student Program Coordinator

Dedicated International Student Program Coordinator who serves as an advisor, teacher, and confidant to all international students on a daily basis, and regularly monitors their academic achievement. The International Student Program Coordinator plays a pivotal role in facilitating communication between students, teachers, host parents and natural parents, ensuring the success of our students. 

Professional development of faculty in how to best serve the needs of international students and to deepen their understanding of working with students from varying cultures.

Beginner to Advanced English Language Learner (ELL) Courses

Beginner to Advanced English Language Learner (ELL) Courses with a 5:1 student to teacher ratio for all international students. All first-year international students are enrolled in ELL to help with the cultural transition to an American high school environment, develop strong academic English and vocabulary, and cultivate their skills in all four domains - speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Academic Transition and Language Support

Academic Transition and Language Support is provided throughout the student’s time at Maranatha and in preparation for postsecondary education. The International Student Program Coordinator is available for ongoing academic support, especially in the areas of History, English, and Bible, essay writing and high-level reading comprehension, as well as to assist students in their understanding of American educational standards.

College Application Support

College Application Support, particularly with primary college application essays and supplemental writing essays. Maranatha has a strong emphasis on college preparatory writing, and higher Lexile level reading, students work one-on-one or in small groups with the International Student Program Coordinator throughout the entire duration of their MCA experience.

Social and Emotional Support

Social and Emotional Support: all international students have the Program Coordinator and licensed professional counselors available to help them navigate homesickness, friendships, social situations, stress, and culture shock. When needed, the International Student Program Coordinator works closely with the School Counselors and/or Dean of Students to be sure the student is happy and healthy during their time at MCA. Support includes connecting international students to domestic students, faculty and administration, and co-curricular activities.

New International Student Orientation

New International Student Orientation: one-on-one meetings with the Dean of Students to create class schedule, acclimation to classroom and school culture, laptop orientation, plagiarism discussion, school supply shopping, sight-seeing in the Twin Cities, student networking opportunities, and more.

Host Family Selection, Acclimation, and Support

Host family Selection, Acclimation, and Support: International host families are carefully recruited, selected, and vetted to ensure the highest quality experience for our students. The International Student Program Coordinator works closely with students and their host families to ensure that the home is a safe, welcoming, happy environment for all. Quarterly home visits, one-on-one check-ins with students and host families, communication with natural parents, and student/family events are all ways that the Program Coordinator works with host families and students to build routine, communication, and a supportive experience.

Maranatha has experienced host families, most of which have students of their own who attend our school. The program coordinator personally visits each home and conducts an orientation to explain expectations and the family’s role in helping students adjust to American culture.  Students enjoy traveling with their host families, experiencing American holiday traditions, and sharing their cultures with their host families.

Other Services
  • Summer orientation and quarterly events throughout the year to help support new and returning students.
  • Special social events to assistance student in their transition into our school community so they form and maintain strong friendships.
  • Service outreach opportunities that allow students to engage with their peers and connect with their local communities, and the Twin Cities area.
  • Daily hot lunch, with healthy and dietary sensitive options.

A Real Family Experience

I love my host family! Joe and I are really good friends and we enjoy playing football together.

Lixin X., Chinese Student

My family experience was so amazing. My host parents welcomed me to their family like one of their own kids.

Alba I, Spanish Student

Sending a child halfway around the world can be daunting. As a host parent, we want to provide a safe, kind, and caring home so the international family can rest assured their child is cared for. We have found the experience to be rewarding and enjoyable as we welcome new students into our home.

Cassie & Jack's Host Family

Serving as American parents allows us to guide and support International Students as they experience our culture and faith. Through the love and care we give them, we reflect God’s love for them, and we help their parents feel peace about their children’s safety and happiness.

The Larson Host Family, Host to Many Students

They are always so helpful. They are very good and nice people. They treat me as a part of their family.

Carla G., Spanish Student

Get to Know the Twin Cities!

With Maranatha Christian Academy (MCA) located only minutes away from downtown Minneapolis, you will be able to experience all that a thriving and safe city has to offer. The Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is only 30 minutes from MCA and receives flights from all over the world. A thriving bus system and a newer light rail system make transportation easy for all commuters.

The Twin Cities area, comprised of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, offers numerous activities and cultural experiences. Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, many of which are located within the Twin Cities, adding to the beauty of a thriving metropolis. The state of Minnesota also offers many attractions including hiking, snow skiing, fishing, hunting, camping, and more. We invite you to come experience Minnesota for yourself!

The Twin Cities is home to many theaters, concert venues, museums, restaurants, gardens and sports arenas with professional basketball, football, baseball, and hockey teams. MCA is only 30 minutes from the Mall of America, one of the world’s largest indoor shopping malls. The theme park is inside the mall and includes two roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and many other rides and attractions.

Highly regarded academic institutions are sprinkled throughout the Twin Cities. The University of Minnesota, located in the heart of the cities, has internationally ranked faculty in both business and economics. Their intellectual contributions have earned a place among the top 15 academic faculties in the world by the Academic Rankings of World Universities.

Macalester College and the University of St Thomas are located in St. Paul and offer a rigorous post-secondary education. Two well-known law programs, Hamline University and William Mitchell Law School are also based in the Twin Cities. Just a few hours to the south, in Rochester, Minnesota, is the world-famous Mayo Clinic and Hospital.

The high quality of education in Minnesota provides a solid foundation for many innovative Fortune 500 companies including, Target, Best Buy, 3M, Medtronic, General Mills, and more.