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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Why the Explosive Growth of Seton Students Outside the U.S.?


Reasons for Seton enrollments by families living outside the U.S. include wanting an education in English and Covid-19 making homeschooling more acceptable.

We live outside the U.S.A. Can we enroll in Seton?

The short answer is yes, absolutely!

But I’d like to also give you some background and recognize our remarkable international community of Seton families.

When Seton Home Study School was started in the mid-1980s, the focus was on serving students in the United States and Canada. Seton had a small number of families in Australia and the Philippines, but even by 2013, the number was small.

In August 2013, only 109 families were enrolled outside the United States and Canada, including 32 families in the Philippines and 30 families in Australia. No other country had more than eight families enrolled.

Explosive Growth

However, in the last few years, enrollments by families living outside the United States have exploded. As of the end of 2021, Seton has approximately 1,400 families enrolled outside the United States. The largest group is in the Philippines, with more than 400 families.

Next in the list of non-US enrollments comes Canada, with approximately 270 families. (Because most Seton-enrolled families in the Middle East are from the Philippines, the total number of enrolled Filipino families is about 700.) After Canada comes  Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, with more than 100 families each.

We have also added many families in Central and South America. Together, the countries of Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador, and Guatemala add more than 200 families to Seton’s total enrollment.

Besides these families in many countries, Seton also serves numerous US military families stationed worldwide.

It’s hard to say precisely why Seton’s non-US enrollment has grown so much, but factors may include:

  • the availability of reliable internet around the world makes it easier for families to learn about us
  • similarly, reliable internet access means that assignments and tests do not need to be mailed back and forth
  • more families around the world want their children to learn in English
  • the effects of Covid-19 made homeschooling more accepted in many countries

Making it Easier

Seton has responded to the influx of non-US families by making it easier for students to enroll and by giving the best service we can to those families.

For example, when the Covid-19 troubles began, the postal service of the United States and other countries became unreliable, at the same time as homeschooling was becoming more needed.

We switched our shipping from the US Postal Service to DHL International as a response. DHL is very reliable and can ship materials from Virginia to almost anywhere in the world in about one week.

Seton supports Filipino families by having a representative in the Philippines to help answer local questions. Our Philippines representative also serves families worldwide by being available on chat during the nighttime hours in the United States.

This means that we have live chat available almost 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. (Our chat service includes an automatic translation function that allows us to chat with families in several languages. We do many chats in Spanish but have also chatted in Portuguese, Arabic, Italian, and other languages.)

For our Spanish-speaking families, Manuel Vicente, high school academic counselor, is available to help you in Spanish by phone or email. We also can provide grade reports and transcripts in Spanish.

Connect with Families

Would you like to contact other enrolled families in your country? We maintain a list of enrolled families who want to connect with other Seton families.

Although it’s easier in the United States to find families living close to each other, whatever country you are in, it’s possible that we can put you in touch with other Seton families in your country.

The Catholic Church is for everyone, and Seton strives to serve Catholic families everywhere. Whether you live in Lima, Ohio, or Lima, Peru, we’re here to help you pass on the Faith to your children.

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