INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

OVERVIEW OF SERRA CATHOLIC



Nestled within a peaceful residential neighborhood less than ten miles (16 km) south of Pittsburgh, Serra Catholic High School is like a second home to many of our students. Upon entering the campus, visitors are greeted by a large statue of our namesake, Blessed Junipero Serra. Wildlife is plentiful on our campus, where you may often find deer, turkeys, rabbits, and a wide variety of different birds. As you walk toward the entrance of the building, you may hear the magnificent, lighted water feature that flows near our building. The entire campus is decorated in a variety of trees, flowers, and shrubs, bringing color and warmth to our tight knit community.

The Serra Catholic campus consists of two buildings where classes take place. Our main building, which houses our mathematics, science, religion, English, and foreign language departments, provides a two-floor, square layout for simplicity. With most classrooms centrally located on the second floor, it does not take long to learn the building layout and the most efficient way to walk to your classes. Our newly-renovated fine arts center can be found in our second building, called the “Friary,” which is conveniently located just several yards (meters) away from the main school building.

Our campus also features an American football field and jogging track, located on top of a hill just behind our buildings. Recently, an outdoor fitness trail with exercise equipment was added to our campus, and over the last several months we constructed an outdoor greenhouse, which our students use as a learning tool to grow vegetables and herbs. Or, if you simply enjoy spending time outside, there is an abundance of green space where you can sit and study or just appreciate the calm, serene surroundings.

We have recently renovated our Biology and Physics Labs as well as our Fitness Center. Our Student Locker Rooms were completely renovated in the summer of 2012. We focus not only on our students' intellectual and spiritual development, but also on their physical development. We strive to give the tools to succeed in life, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

We began to accept international students over 20 years ago. We estimate that over this period of time, we have hosted over 20 students. Students have joined us from China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Romania, Scotland, and Spain.



LOCAL INTERESTS

Pittsburgh is a major city in Pennsylvania, located in the north eastern part of the United States. The City of Pittsburgh has a population just over 300,000 people, while the metropolitan area around Pittsburgh encompasses a population of around 2,600,000 individuals. Due to the number of museums, medical centers, parks, and libraries, Pittsburgh has been ranked in the top ten “Most Livable Cities” over the past several years.

Pittsburgh features a variety of local attractions, such as Kennywood and Sandcastle, two amusement parks located just fifteen minutes away from Serra Catholic. Two major shopping complexes are located just thirty minutes from Serra Catholic, while many other stores and restaurants are just minutes away. If you are interested in nature, located in Pittsburgh are the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the National Aviary. We also have many museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

For more information about Pittsburgh, please visit the website of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau, found at: http://www.visitpittsburgh.com/

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you have boarding facilities at your school?

No. Students applying through The Cambridge Institute will be provided housing through the Green Planet Home Stay program.

What types of sports do you have at your school?

We offer twelve sports to all students. The sports include American Football, Soccer (Football), Volleyball, Golf, Cheerleading, Swimming, Hockey, Bowling, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, and Track & Field. For additional information about our athletic program, please click here.

What extracurricular activities do you offer?

Serra Catholic offers seventeen activities in which students participate. The activities include the Basketball Club, Circle of Friends, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Interact Club, Junior Achievement (JA), Movie Club, Music Ministry (Instruments of Peace), Philosophy Club, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS), Pro-Life Club, Robotics Club, Sociology of Pop Culture, Strategy Games/Chess Club, Student Health Council, TEAMS (JETS - Mathematics Competition Team), Western Pennsylvania Science Bowl, and the Yoga/Meditation Club.

Does Serra Catholic offer any Honor Societies?

Yes, Serra Catholic recognizes student excellence and achievement through various honor societies. Students can be nominated for societies after their freshmen (grade 9) year. The honor societies include the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Thespian Society, Quill and Scroll, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Am I able to take Advanced Placement courses?

Serra is pleased to offer its students a college program that features a total of 62 credits, thanks to our partnerships with Seton Hill University, Saint Vincent College, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carlow University. Many Serra students will be able to earn 24 college credits or more (the equivalent of one year of college) prior to graduation. Most students will be able to earn at least 12 credits (the equivalent of one semester of college). International students are eligible to take these College in High School courses, as well.

Are meals provided to students?

Breakfast and lunch are available for purchase to all students each day.

Is there a school dress code?

Yes, the Serra Catholic dress code can be found by clicking here.  

Pants:  All students must wear either Khaki, Navy or Docker style/dress uniform pants purchased at a store of your choice (e.g., JC Penney, Kohl's, Target, etc).

Uniform shirts can be ordered through Serra Catholic - please click here to access the uniform shirt order form.  All orders must be prepaid.  If you have any questions, please contact the school main office.

What is the weather like?

Pittsburgh features four distinct seasons, with hot and humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The warmest month of the year is July, when the average daily temperature is 82F (28C) and the coldest month is January, when the average daily temperature is 35F (2C). Pittsburgh receives an average of 41.5 inches (105 cm) of snowfall each year. Students should plan to dress for all seasons.

APPLYING TO SERRA CATHOLIC'S INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM

Applicants from China

Click here to view Serra Catholic's Chinese Language International Program Flyer.

International students coming from China must work through the Cambridge Institute of International Education or Ivy International Group. We have partnered with Cambridge and Ivy to help Chinese students through the admissions process and placement. To submit an application or if you have any questions, please contact our consultants at:

The Cambridge Institute at admissions@thecambridgeinstitute.org
Ivy International at info@usivy.net


Applicants from All Other Countries

International Students from all other countries who are interested in attending Serra Catholic should contact Serra Catholic’s Admissions Director, Mrs. Lorraine Lyons, at 1-412-751-2020 extension 134 or via email at lyonsl@serrahs.org