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International Student Program

Holland Christian’s International Student Program started in 2006 and currently has international students from seven different countries. The International Student Program at Holland Christian is for 9th-12th grade students who are looking for an unforgettable high school experience in the United States.

Holland Christian High School Profile

Students in the program will learn alongside American students, participate in co-curricular activities and earn a U.S. high school diploma. Holland Christian is unique to other schools because it offers a safe community on the shore of beautiful Lake Michigan in addition to academic excellence and a wide variety of co-curricular activities.

Holland Christian offers additional support for International Students including an International Student Program Coordinator, School Counselor, teacher support for English, tutoring, as well as planned group events.

For more information regarding our International Student Program, please fill out our inquiry form and contact our Holland Christian International Program Coordinator, Laura Vander Ploeg, at

Mission & Values

Holland Christian High School is a Christian private school with a mission statement to “equip minds and nurture hearts to transform the world for Jesus Christ.” This mission is fully-integrated into all aspects of school life and a vital component of our approach to learning. This means that students with equipped minds and nurtured hearts are academically preparedBiblically discerning, and spiritually growing. At Holland Christian, these qualities are developed within the context of a comprehensive learning community and a spiritually enriching environment.

Our Mission Statement

Academic Opportunities & Achievements

Holland Christian is a national leader in elementary outdoor education and in Spanish Immersion education and Holland Christian High School students post very competitive academic test scores because of the caliber of students enrolled, as well as the rigor of the academic program at the school.

Holland Christian High School offers a large variety of courses including English, Literature, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Bible, Latin, Spanish, as well as numerous electives in different areas. Additionally, eleven Advanced Placement (AP) or dual enrollment classes are offered in Art, Calculus, US History, World History, Psychology, Chemistry, Statistics, Literature, Drawing, Principles of Business, and Business Management.

Academic Achievements
HC Curriculum Guide

Holland Christian Schools is accredited by Christian Schools International and Cognia, and has Candidate Status from CESA.

Holland, Michigan, USA

Holland Christian School High School is located in Holland, Michigan, a town of approximately 35,000 people located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. One of the great Lake Michigan vacation spots, Holland is conveniently located midway between Chicago and Detroit, and has all the big city amenities of the nearby larger cosmopolitan area of Grand Rapids, Michigan, but with its own small town charm.

Read More about Holland, MI

Criteria for Admission

Holland Christian Schools accepts new international students in 9th, 10th and 11th grades. Students who attend for at least two consecutive years including 12th grade and meet graduation requirements will receive a U.S. High School diploma from Holland Christian Schools.

Listed below are the criteria for admission:

  • The parents and the student complete all required documentation for admissions.
  • The parents agree for the student to live in a homestay environment arranged by or agreed upon by the school.
  • The parents agree for the student to attend one Bible class per year, all school chapels and weekly church services with their host family.
  • The student gives evidence of the potential for emotional stability, a satisfactory behavior record, and adequate social adjustment.
  • The student gives evidence of a commitment to the learning process based on past records and an admission’s interview.
  • The student gives evidence of proficiency in English, as determined by the school.
  • Either the parental guardians or at least one parent from the host family must be a Bible-believing Christian.
  • The parents and the student have an understanding of and agree to their student being educated according to the Mission and Belief Statements of Holland Christian Schools, providing children with a God-centered education in which Jesus Christ is acknowledged in every area of life.

The Application Process


Inquiry Form

Thank you for your interest in Holland Christian Schools! In order to initiate the application process, we request you fill out the Inquiry Form. After receiving the form, one of our staff members will contact you to start the application process.

Submit Application

A completed application must be submitted by May 1 and the following documents completed in English must be emailed to


Interview & Acceptance

After submitting all required application documents, a student interview will be scheduled with the International Student Program Coordinator. After the completed interview, the student will either be accepted or denied enrollment by Holland Christian personnel.

Tuition Payment

If the student is accepted, Holland Christian Schools will send out an invoice to the family or agent. Fees include:

  • School Tuition
  • Host family Stipend
  • Health Insurance
  • Laptop
  • Athletic Pass
  • Pay to Play
  • International Student Events
  • I-20 Management
  • Academic Support Services
  • Tutoring, if needed

Tuition payment is due in full to finalize enrollment. After the payment is received, the school will issue the I-20. Failure to pay the full tuition fee will result in a forfeit of enrollment.


I-20 Issued

An I-20 will be issued for the student once the tuition payment has been received in full.

Host Family Match

The student will be paired with a host family once the student is approved for enrollment

Visa & Passport

After the I-20 is issued, the student must obtain a Passport and Visa in his or her home country. Tuition payment will be refunded if the Visa is not approved.

Class Scheduling & Arrival

  • Students must plan to arrive in Holland, Michigan one week prior to school starting.
  • Students must fly into Grand Rapids International Airport, where they will be met by their host parents upon arrival.
  • Students will attend New Student Orientation and meet with the registrar to schedule classes.

Further Details

Meet the International Program Team

Laura VanderPloeg smiling at the camera

Laura Vanderploeg
International Program Coordinator

I’m Laura Vander Ploeg, the International Program Coordinator. My job is to accompany students from admission to graduation, advocating for the student academically, socially, and emotionally. I also am the connection between host families, agents, biological families, and teachers. Getting to know people from other cultures is my passion! I am a proud HC alumna but since then I have lived in Spain, Germany, and Mexico. In addition, I traveled to 25 other countries. I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and Linguistics from Dordt University and a Master of Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. I love learning about people, languages, and cultures because it opens doors to form meaningful relationships and share the gospel. My hope for this program is for domestic students to connect with International students and live into Holland Christian’s vision of “Better Together”.

Miles Colago smiling at the camera

Miles Colago
High School Principal

After 18 years of -40° winters and “You Betcha!”, I moved from Anoka, Minnesota to Michigan to attend Calvin College, where I earned a B.A. in English and Education and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. After Calvin College, my wife, Sarah, and I married and moved to the D.R. to teach at Santiago Christian School together. From there, we moved back to Michigan to serve at The Potter’s House. Sarah and I have three children, Malachi, Aaliyah, and Marihaah. God has established such a rich history to build upon at HC and a beautiful mission of forming faithful disciples of Jesus who may effect positive change in the Kingdom of God. I am so thankful to be serving in this square inch of the Garden alongside this amazing HC staff.

Dave DeBlecourt smiling at the camera

Dave Deblecourt
High School Counselor

I am a 1995 Trinity Christian College grad and received my Master’s from Western Michigan University in 2005. Before coming to Holland Christian, I was as a school counselor at South Christian High School from 2015-2021. Prior to that, I taught Physical Education at Byron Center Christian and Calvary Academy (South Holland, IL). My wife Emily is a 1994 graduate of HCHS. She is a social worker. We have 3 children: Andrew, Lydia and Miya. I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, being outside, and playing sports. I consider it an honor to partner with students as they navigate their high school years. Each student is uniquely created and gifted. It is a privilege to walk with them as they better understand themselves and discern how they can best serve God and His Kingdom.

Host Families & Host Family Events

Host Families

International students who attend Holland Christian, will stay with a host family. All of our host families go through an application process which includes a personal reference, criminal background check, and home visit. At Holland Christian, we want you to know that your child’s safety and wellbeing is important to us.

Profile Article about being a Host Family

Host Family Events

A few times per year, International students and their host families will get together and have some fun. This is a great opportunity for International students to bond with their host families, other International students, and other host families.

Photo of students showing off their painted pottery at a international student host family event

Character Formation

It is an honor and privilege at Holland Christian Schools to partner with parents and churches to encourage the unique faith development of each student. We seek to honor the whole child in an integrated way. The teachers at Holland Christian are uniquely equipped to encourage student growth and maturity in every dimension of their being, including their faith.

Read More I Faith Development

Co-Curricular Opportunities


In addition, Holland Christian offers more than 50 award winning co-curricular programs including Science Olympiad, robotics, theatre, band, orchestra, choir, and more. 78% of our student body participates in one or more of these co-curricular programs. Holland Christian has received 22 state championships in our athletics programs and eight state championships in our theatre program.

All Co-Curricular Opportunities

International Club

The international club meets once a month to do fun activities like hiking, board games, or bowling. It is a great opportunity to experience new activities and get to know more people in the Holland Christian community. It almost always includes snacks!

1:1 Technology Program

Holland Christian High School has a one-to-one technology program so that each student has his or her own Apple laptop computer during the school year. As a result, Holland Christian has been recognized repeatedly as an Apple Distinguished Program for our innovative use of technology in education.

Read More I Technology

Have Questions?

We look forward to meeting you and your family and introducing you to the fresh, creative, personalized education at Holland Christian! We are here to help! Get in touch using the contact form linked below or call us at 616.820.2805.

Get in Touch!