International Students

Desert Academy welcomes its international students with open arms and takes pride in the diversity of the entire school community. We welcome each student’s culture, traditions, and unique perspectives.

Desert Academy has a strong international character and the environment automatically fosters a sense of open learning, mutual respect and friendly collaboration. Our international students meet weekly with an advisor to ensure their school experience is successful.


Adam and Moka

Adam (Ghana) and Moka (Egypt) on their first day at Desert Academy!


Adam Abusang

from Ghana, playing soccer for Desert Academy


Moka & Phil

Moka Ali, from Egypt, at ski area with Phil Lucero, Athletic Director

If you are an international student interested in applying to the Desert Academy, be sure to review the information listed on our Admissions page and do not hesitate to contact Shona Casey, Admissions Director.

Carmen Chamorro (Spain, 2018): Welcome magazine for International Students

Afghan teens get taste of life, learning in Santa Fe

Santa Fe New Mexican, Feb 5, 2019 - For the first time, said Hakima Ameri and Mah Begum Atimadi, they know what freedom feels like. Read More…


Hakima Amiri & Mah Begum Atimadi,

both from Afghanistan, in ski area lodge


Hakima Amiri

from Afghanistan

Lucia (Spain, 2018) presents to her classmates about her hometown in Spain.

Lucia (Spain, 2018) presents to her classmates about her hometown in Spain.


New Mexico Refugee Education Bridge Project

In 2014, a community of Hazara refugees having fled Afghanistan and living in Indonesia started their own school. Refugees in Indonesia are not permitted to work or study and often face a wait of up to 25 years for resettlement in a new country. The families did not want their children to miss out on education and positive childhood experiences, so they opened their own school - the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre (CRLC). CRLC provides education to almost 200 children and adults, and a very lucky ten children have been offered the chance to enroll at Desert Academy, a private International Baccalaureate high school in Santa Fe, New Mexico for grades 11 and 12 resulting in a high school diploma. In partnership with United World College-USA the students would continue on for an associates degree that integrates cultural and community programming and experiential learning. Students will be supported with local host families, mental and physical health care, peer mentoring and religious support if desired, if they choose to apply to this program.
Having escaped persecution in Afghanistan and Pakistan, these brave young adults have been working hard to keep up their studies despite all the difficulties and uncertainty they face. They study English, math, science, art, social studies and play sports – volleyball, soccer, karate and swimming. They understand this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive an incredible education and are excited and determined to succeed.

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