This is the final post in our series for international student who want to apply to American colleges and universities. If you missed the earlier posts, go back and learn about the kinds of degrees and majors available, choosing schools to apply to, standardized tests for university admission, handling your transcripts, writing admissions essays, and gathering letters of recommendation.
You’ve applied and been accepted to a college or university! There’s a little more work left to do, though. You need to get an I-20 from your new school (or transfer it from your current school). You also need to have proof of a few vaccinations and medical tests before you register for classes.
Your student status
The international admissions staff at your new school should provide information about securing your legal student status. If you are currently studying at IEI or another language school, you will need to be sure your admissions counselor knows that you are currently studying in the U.S. on an I-20. Ask what steps you need to take to get your new I-20. Allison Cavopol can help IEI students with this process.
Of course, if you will be studying in the U.S. for the first time, you will need to apply for an F-1 visa through the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country (more information here). And if you are a resident on the U.S., you get to skip this step.
Proof of vaccinations and TB test
On college campuses, many students are living and studying close together. To protect student health, all incoming students (both American and international) must submit proof that they have received vaccines for certain diseases that spread easily. These often include varicella (chicken pox), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), hepatitis B, and meningitis. Students also need a recent screening test to show that they are not carrying tuberculosis (TB).
You may have already been vaccinated for most or all of the items listed. You should try to locate your vaccination records or contact family members who can locate them for you. They must be in English or officially translated into English. Take them along with any vaccination forms from the university to a clinic to have a doctor or nurse fill out the university vaccination form for you.
If you cannot locate proof of all of the vaccinations, you will have to receive the vaccinations (again) or have your blood tested to prove that you have already received them. Keep in mind that having your blood tested is more expensive than receiving a new set of vaccinations.
We hope that this series has been useful to you. Applying to a college or university in your second language is not always easy, but we’ve helped hundreds of students to achieve their dreams of earning a degree in the U.S. Read a few of their stories here, and if you’re ready to take the first step in preparing to reach your goal, find out how we can help you!