International Students

​The resources provided here are meant for international students on or wishing to obtain the F-1 Student Visa to study in the United States of America.​​​​

 

 EducationUSA

 
 
You can obtain free, professional advice about studying in the US, from EducationUSA. EducationUSA is a global network of international student advising centers, supported by the US. government. The U.S. Department of State administers EducationUSA.
 
EducationUSA_logo_color_small.pngEducationUSA Advising centers are located throughout the world. These centers and the professional EducationUSA Advisers working at them are dedicated to providing you accurate, comprehensive and current information about how to apply to accredited US colleges and universities.
 
EducationUSA Advisers are not study abroad agents. They do not work for individual schools but, instead, promote the wide range of accredited colleges and universities in the US. Learn more about accreditation and why it is so important.
 
To learn more, visit an EducationUSA center and explore the EducationUSA website.
 
The EducationUSA website presents information in four categories:
 
1. Undergraduate: visit this link to learn about earning an associate’s (two-year) or bachelor’s (four-year) degree after you complete secondary school in your home country.
 
2. Graduate: learn about earning a master’s or doctorate degree (examples: Ph.D., M.D.).
 
3. English Language: check here if you’re primarily interested in studying English in the US.
 
4. Short-Term Programs: for students interested in options other than traditional degree or English study, such as exchange programs, internships and distance education.
 
Regardless of your intended level of study, follow the five steps EducationUSA outlines, one by one:
 
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The useful resources at this link include an “Ask an Adviser” form to submit a question to an EducationUSA adviser and a calendar of education fairs, where you can meet representatives of different US colleges and                                                                     universities in person. 
 
Also, Your 5 Steps to US Study is a helpful, informative EducationUSA publication available in a variety of languages.
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Here you’ll find a helpful planning calendar, so you know what to do, and when to do it. 

 
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Individual EducationUSA centers have current information on scholarship and other financial aid opportunities for students wishing to study in the US. Find more information about financial aid
 
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Here you’ll find detailed information on how to obtain a student visa to study in the US. Included is a “Step-by-Step Visa Application Process” page.

 
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Here you’ll find access to videos about preparing to leave your home country and making a smooth transition in the US. Topics include travel documents, US culture and campus life.
 
 
 

 Student Visas

 

To pursue academic studies at a college or university in the US most students must first obtain an F-1 student visa. The most common exceptions to this general rule are if you are a citizen or permanent resident of the US, or if you are participating in a short-term, J-1 program.

The F-1 student visa allows you to lawfully enter the US. The student visa is not a tourist visa. In fact, it is different from all other visa types. You apply for an F-1 student visa after first being admitted to a US college or university authorized to issue and send you an Immigration Form I-20.
 
Most international students apply for their student visas at the US embassy or consulate closest to their residence, in their home country. The visa application process usually involves a brief in-person interview. Detailed visa application instructions vary by location.

More information and sound advice is available from the US Department of State-supported EducationUSA network.
 

 Financial Aid

 

The costs of studying at a US college or university can vary widely, depending on the tuition and fees charged by the school you attend, the length of time you study, your choice of housing accommodations, and vacation travel back to your home country. The cost of meals, textbooks and local transportation should also be included in your budget planning.

EducationUSA is a source of professional advice about financing your US studies. Additionally, you may find these sites helpful:

Funding for US Study Online 
Financial Aid for Undergraduate International Students, NAFSA: Association of International Educators 
EduPass.org 
CollegeView.com 

It can sometimes be helpful to directly inquire about financial assistance possibilities from the individual colleges or universities you are interested in attending. Many schools offer need-based and/or merit-based scholarships and other forms of financial aid to international students. Start your inquiry with their international admission or international student services offices.

Cautions:

Avoid the services of individuals or organizations promising to assist you with scholarship applications to a US college or university in exchange for a promised percentage payment of any award you receive. 

In certain circumstances F-1 Visa-holding international students may work part-time while in the US, during the academic year. However, important US and school regulations govern all types of international student employment. Further, the time you need to succeed in your studies may be greater than you initially expect. For these and other reasons, when planning your budget to study in the US, it is best to exclude the possibility of earning income via part-time work.
 

 Admission and English Testing

 
In the US, admission testing requirements and policies vary by college and university. Also, although many schools require certain minimum scores on English proficiency tests as a condition for admission, test scores alone do not usually determine whether you will be admitted by any one school. Instead, test scores are commonly viewed by US admission officials as just one criterion among many other important dimensions of your background. You have the chance to share those important facts in your application and other interactions with the college or university.

Still, it is important to become familiar with the various admission test requirements of the colleges or universities which interest you, and how to fulfill those. Following are some of the tests you may be required to take before applying to different US colleges or universities.

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
American College Testing Assessment (ACT)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
 
 

 NACAC Resources

 
​International students preparing to attend college in the US should take care to access reliable sources of expertise. NACAC members are dedicated to helping all students make the transition to higher education. Here you will find additional resources that may be helpful in the college application and admission processes.

International students currently attending high school in the US should consider attending one of the many NACAC National College Fairs held in spring and fall. The fairs are great opportunities to meet with representatives from a wide variety of colleges and universities, and to learn more about schools which may be a good fit for you.

The Report of the Commission on International Student Recuitment.pdfReport of the Commission on International Student Recruitment​ examines the topic of incentive-based international student recruitment and emphasizes the importance of institutional transparency, integrity and accountability for colleges and universities that elect to work with third party agencies.

In addition to the free advising services provided by EducationUSA, you may wish to consider fee-based assistance from an independent counselor.