Columbia College Chicago warmly welcomes interest from prospective international students. In 2009 alone, the College received inquiries from over 150 countries outside of the United States, from the United Kingdom to India to the Netherlands to Uruguay.
As an international student, you will need an F-1 student visa to enter the United States to study. You will need to apply for the visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, using the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form issued by Columbia College Chicago. Other items which may be required by the embassy or consulate include the following:
If approved, the consular officer will place a visa in your passport. If you receive a multiple-entry visa, you may use it to reenter the U.S. up to the date of its expiration as long as you have a valid I-20. You can enter the United States up to 30 days before the program start date on your I-20 or DS-2019 form.
You are considered to be a “transfer student”for immigration purposes if you fit one of the following criteria:
To issue you a Columbia College Chicago SEVIS I-20, you will need to fill out the Pre-Transfer Verification Form. We will not be able to transfer you unless we have the following documents:
You must report to the Office of International Student Affairs at Columbia College Chicago by the start date listed on your I-20 and request that we complete the transfer process. The I-20 issued to you by Columbia College Chicago will indicate transfer pending.
Failure to report to the International Student Advisor within 15 days of the start date is a violation of your F-1 student visa status.
If all your documents are in order, the International Student Advisor at Columbia College Chicago will process your transfer in SEVIS by issuing an I-20 for “Continued Attendance”. After receiving the SEVIS I-20 Certificate of Eligibility, you must attend Columbia College.
Every Columbia College Chicago student is issued an Oasis Identification Number. You will use your Oasis number, also sometimes referred to as an ID number, throughout the Placement, Orientation and Registration process. Occasionally you may also be asked to provide a Social Security Number (SSN or SS#). If you do not have a SSN, you are to use your Oasis ID Number instead. Your OASIS ID is on your acceptance letter. If you are asking for information via email, please always include your OASIS number as well as your first and last name.
Placement (also called the COMPASS) is required for all first time Freshmen and Transfer students who have no credit accepted by Columbia in college-level English Composition and/or college-level mathematics. Under certain circumstances, official test scores like TOEFL, SAT, ACT, etc., can replace the New Student Placement.
We will advise you in advance if you need to take the placement exam. If so, you will be able to take your placement after you arrive on campus. There is no need to schedule a specific appointment; we will make sure that you can complete this during the International Student Welcome Program (ISWP.)
All new international students are required to attend the International Student Welcome Program. You will have an opportunity to speak with faculty and other international students, to get acclimated to Columbia’s campus and the city of Chicago, as well as receive information on services and resources available to you as you begin your college career. In addition, immigration matters relevant to your status as an international student studying in the United States will be covered.
The program will be August 12– August 21, 2013. Students should plan to arrive on August 12th.
Please Note: You are required to stay in on-campus housing during the ISWP— August 12 - August 20—and housing and meals cost $600.
Columbia College requires that all international students must have accident/health insurance while attending the college. There is a Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan offered by The LewerMark Insurance Agency, Inc. that is available to international students. All F-1 and J-1 international students are eligible and are automatically enrolled. A charge will be applied to your student OASIS account for coverage.
If you have your own insurance coverage and do not need to be enrolled in the college-provided insurance program, you must apply for a “waiver”.
Information and cost of International Student Health Insurance.
The Residence Life Office provides a variety of housing options to suit your individual preferences. Apartment-style rooms and suites are fully furnished. All facilities are conveniently located, only steps away from the main campus buildings, and all are close to public transportation.
If you are planning to live on campus and you haven’t applied for housing, please do so soon! Applying for Admission to the college does not mean that you have applied for housing. If you have not filled out a separate housing application, you should do so as soon as possible. The housing application is available at colum.edu/apply.
Housing assignments are made on a first-come-first-served basis according to the date your housing application is completed and received. Find out more detailed information about on-campus housing. The web site also includes photos, virtual tours of the residence buildings and room configurations, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Coming to a new place and to a new culture is an exciting experience, but it can be overwhelming as well. The office of Internatinal Student Affairs is here to assist you. We will help you to adjust to a new culture, achieve your educational goals, learn about immigration laws and regulations, encourage you to meet American students and to be active in social events.
The International Buddy Program is an initiative from the Office of International Student Affairs and is designed to accommodate your needs as an incoming international student. During your first semester, you are paired with a current Columbia College student—your buddy. They will be there to provide guidance and support and to answer questions about life at Columbia and in the ciy of Chicago. This is a great program and we recommend it to all international students. Information on the program is included in this package.
If you are concerned about your arrival at the aiport and transportation to your housing, we recommend either a taxi or a shuttle.
The shuttle we recommend is called airport express and you can book online.
Additional information on transportation options and routes to campus.
If you will require temporary housing when you arrive in Chicago, below is a list of recommended options. The Hostelling International Chicago is located right on the edge of Columbia’s campus and is the most conveniently located option in the list.
Hostelling International Chicago
24 East Congress Paarkway
Chicago, Illinois 60605
Chicago Getaway Hostel
616 W. Arlington Place
Chicag, IL 60614
Urban Holiday Lofts
2014 West Wabansia
Chicago, IL 60647
Chicago Parthenon Guest House
310 S. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60661
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