South Central College (SCC) proudly serves international students from numerous countries around the world. We offer a diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning environment for students pursing a higher education qualification from a number of available programs (please refer to our Majors and Programs webpage for more information).
SCC has been authorized by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to accept international students who meet admission requirements set by the school and in accordance with the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR 214.2). As such, SCC is regarded as an SEVP-Certified School. SEVP, which is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is the program utilized by Department of Homeland Security to manage the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is a web-based system used to maintain and share information about nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States.
International Student Information
Prospective international students must submit the following electonic forms.
- South Central College Online Application
- International Student Application
- The International Student Financial Form* must be completed by ALL students applying to South Central College (SCC).
- The International Student SPONSOR Financial Form* MUST be completed by your financial sponsor. If you are sponsoring yourself, you do NOT need to have this form completed.
* When completing one or both of the above financial forms, you will be prompted to upload a notarized bank statement (dated within the last two months). This bank statement MUST be translated into English, with an account-holder name exactly matching the name of the person(s) listed on the financial form(s), evidencing financial support of at least $23,168.00 (this represents South Central College’s Estimated Annual Expenses for your first year of study, including living expenses).
- The International Student Agreement Form must be signed by you, the student.
- The International Student Advisor Form applies ONLY to students transferring in to SCC from another college or university within the U.S. It must be completed by the student’s current international student advisor from the “transfer-out” school.
- Transcript(s) from all secondary (high school) and postsecondary (college or university) institutions. If you have attended any postsecondary institutions in the U.S., we require official transcripts, unless you have attended a college or university within the Minnesota State System.
- The Immunization Record for Students Form (fillable PDF). This is needed regardless of whether or not you have completed an immunization form for another Minnesota State College (Part 3 also applies to international students).
- Proof of English proficiency, evidenced by one of the following:
- English proficiency test:
- Duolingo English Test
Score of 95 or higher
- ELS Educational Services, Inc. (ELS)
Score of 109 or higher
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Score of 5.5 or higher
- Michigan English Test (MET)
Score of 80 or higher
- Test of English Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Paper TOEFL: Score of 500 or higher Web TOEFL IBT: Score of 61 or higher
- Duolingo English Test
- Students transferring from another U.S. college or university may satisfy the requirement after completion of one semester of freshman composition with a C grade or better.
- Native speaker from a country with English as an official language (as listed on the International Student Application)
- English proficiency test:
New International Students Currently Outside the U.S.
Fall Semester Start (semester starts in August): Deadline is May 1
Spring Semester Start (semester starts in January): Deadline is September 1
Transfer Students Currently Inside the U.S.
Fall Semester Start (semester starts in August): Deadline is July 1
Spring Semester Start (semester starts in January): Deadline is November 1
- Students must declare a major and pursue a program on a full-time basis (full-time basis = a minimum of 12 credits in both Fall and Spring Semesters; no credit requirement in Summer Semesters). There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as a student who has fewer than 12 credits left to complete a program of study.
- ALL international students are required to purchase health insurance through UnitedHealthcare Student Resources, which is the provider of health insurance for all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The only exception to this rule is if a student is being sponsored by his/her/their home country (e.g., a Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) student). Students will be billed for health insurance annually (in early July each year) via their student account, and payment is due by July 31st each year. Students will have all their registered courses dropped for nonpayment if payment is not received by August 7th each year. Students graduating partway through the insurance coverage period (August 10th through August 9th) can request a refund for any unused, unrequired health insurance after they graduate.
- Students must demonstrate an ability to read and write the English Language (as per the English Proficiency requirement in the Application Checklist section above).
Next Steps After Admission
Once international students have been admitted to South Central College (SCC), they can expect to receive the following documentation from the International Student Advisor, also referred to as the Designated School Official (DSO):
- A formal admission email, which includes a Welcome Letter. This email also contains information about paying SEVIS Fee and completing the DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application with Travel.State.Gov.
- A signed Initial Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” enabling the student to apply for a student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (through the U.S. Department of State) in his/her/their home country. Please Note: If the student is transferring to SCC from another school within the U.S., a Transfer Form I-20 will be issued to the student instead, after the Transfer Release Date of the student’s current Form I-20 record in SEVIS. The Transfer Release Date should be set for the end of the current semester of study but it can be negotiated between the student, the student’s current DSO at the transfer-out school, and the new DSO at SCC, if necessary.
Please also refer to our Next Steps after Admission webpage.
Transferring Postsecondary Credits Obtained Outside the U.S.
To transfer postsecondary (college or university) credits obtained outside the U.S., there are a number of organizations that can evaluate your completed courses on a “course by course” basis. This is a paid service, but it is a valuable one that can oftentimes determine U.S. course equivalencies. The following are two of the most frequently used companies:
Educational Credential Evaluators
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone: 414-289-3400/Fax: 414-289-3411
World Educational Services
P.O. Box 745, Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113
Phone: 1-800-937-3895/Fax: 212-739-6100
Applying for a Student Visa
- The first step in applying for a nonimmigrant student visa, after receiving the Form I-20 from the DSO, is to pay the SEVIS (I-901) Fee. Proof (receipt for payment) of this fee is required as part of the interview process at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the student’s home country.
- The second step is for students to complete the DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application with Travel.State.Gov. Once this application has been completed, students will be able to schedule a visa appointment in their home country (please refer to the Travel.State.Gov website). Students must navigate these steps themselves or with the help of family and friends, since visa application procedures vary by country and SCC does not have the resources needed to assist with this part of the process.
- The third step is to attend the scheduled visa interview with the following:
- Current, valid passport
- Form I-20, issued by the school
- Documented proof of financial support for at least one year
- Proof of SEVIS Fee payment (receipt)
- Visa application forms (available at embassy/consulate)
- Any other documents requested by the embassy/consulate
- An important part of the visa interview process is to practice:
- Provide reasons for studying in the U.S. and your chosen program of study.
- Provide strong reasons why you will return home after studying (if you own property, if you have family, and/or if you have a job you can go to when you return).
- Inform SCC of the visa decision:
- Please note: If your visa is denied, ask the embassy/consular official to provide you with a written explanation of the denial.
Things You Should Know
- On- and Off-Campus Employment laws and regulations governing international students are complex. Since nonimmigrant students are ineligible for federal financial aid, traditional work-study positions on campus, for example, are not permissible. However, if a position funded by departmental or institutional dollars becomes available at SCC, you may be able to accept it, provided you fully understand Employment laws and regulations for nonimmigrant students. Please visit Working in the United States. To learn more, contact the Designated School Official (DSO) or the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) at SCC.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a training opportunity that “occurs before a student’s program end date on the Form I-20, ‘Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,’” and it must be an essential component of an existing school curriculum, such as a required internship or practicum. For more information, contact the DSO or the PDSO. Please also Read These Curricular Practical Training Reminders.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) is “temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study,” and it can take place as Pre-Completion (before the student’s Program End Date) or Post-Completion (after the student graduates). Students may work part-time (20 hours or fewer per week) while school is in session and full-time (more than 20 hours per week) when school is not in session. Post-Completion OPT must be engaged in full-time. To learn more, ask the DSO or the PDSO. Please also visit Optional Practical Training | ICE.
- Maintaining Your F-1 Student Status is crucial while studying at SCC and at any other institution in the U.S., and the DSO can support you in achieving just that. To learn more about Maintaining Your Status, from your arrival in the U.S. to your departure – and everything in between – be sure to utilize the knowledge of the DSO or the PDSO.
- Transferring from One U.S. School to Another U.S. School as an international student is a process that must also adhere to laws and regulations. Please refer to the Transfers | ICE webpage and/or contact the DSO to learn about the transfer process.
- Travelling Outside the U.S. and re-entering at a U.S. Port of Entry requires a clear understanding of the documentation you should prepare BEFORE you depart the United States. DO NOT travel outside the U.S. without first meeting with the DSO or the PDSO. You can expect to take the following, at a minimum, with you on your trip:
- A current, valid passport with at least six months’ validity remaining beyond the date on which you plan to return to the U.S.
- A valid visa that will not expire while you are outside the U.S. However, if you are traveling for fewer than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, or one of the adjacent islands listed on the Travel | ICE webpage, you may be able to re-enter the U.S. on an expired visa, provided you have your signed Form I-20 and an unexpired I-94
- Proof of financial resources to support your education and living expenses in the upcoming semester(s)
- An unofficial transcript detailing your upcoming courses, to evidence your intent to resume your studies
- Your health insurance ID card in case you need urgent assistance while outside the U.S.
- The contact information of the DSO/PSDO
Current Student Resources
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Application Form
- International Student Agreement Form
- International Student Application Form
- International Student Financial Form
- International Student Resources Course on D2L Brightspace (StarID & Password required to log in)
- International Student SPONSOR Financial Form
- Optional Practical Training Checklist
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) Advisor Recommendation Form
- Program Extension Request Form
- Reduced Course Load Form - Academic Advisor Version
- Reduced Course Load Form - International Student Advisor Version
Schedule Your Appointment with an SCC Advisor
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