We welcome boys from all over the world. New international and expatriate students join the School each year in all year groups. Currently, the School’s international and expatriate population is drawn from over twenty different countries across the world. We are pleased to welcome international students at any of our entry points to the School and assure them of a warm welcome to Merchiston.

In any academic year, between 19% and 21% of our pupils will be international students. They bring with them a diverse range of cultures, which greatly enhances the overall culture of the School.

Explore our map to discover boys’ stories from around the world.

Entrance Exams

All international students have to fulfil the School’s requirements in English: Sixth Form candidates are required to show that they possess a level of English appropriate to the subjects they wish to pursue, and will be tested in areas drawn from those subjects.

All students also sit a Mathematics paper, and Sixth Form entrants will sit papers relevant to the subjects they wish to take at A level. These may be sat at any time during the year. Papers may be taken at Merchiston, or sent to a boy’s current school (or to a recruitment agency or British Council office) for administration. The papers are returned to Merchiston for marking. Each candidate is considered on his individual results. We also take up a report from a pupil’s current school.

International students are screened for English language tuition on entry and receive an individual programme, including small group, or one-to-one support.


All international students require an educational guardian, who must be over 25 years of age and UK resident. The guardian acts on behalf of parents, looks after your son during half term or leave-outs, and can be contacted in an emergency. The School can give details of Guardian Agencies.

International Agents

  • Please contact Admissions for detailed enquiries.


Citizens of certain countries will require a visa for study in the UK. All visa and immigration functions are now handled by the UK Home Office. To check whether your son needs a Tier 4 visa, visit the Home Office website. The Admissions Department will be happy to assist with further information.

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