International Students

 

Language Proficiency

English Proficiency Exam: Prior to an international student’s acceptance at the college, the applicant must demonstrate English proficiency by taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and scoring a minimum of 48 internet-based (460 paper-based). An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 5.5 is also acceptable.

  • Erie Community College school code for TOEFL is 2228 and the link is www.ets.org/toefl. The IELTS link is www.ielts.org
  • Attending South Campus: For acceptance into an academic program at SUNY Erie’s South Campus in Orchard Park, New York, TOEFL score must be 80 IBT (or equivalent) or higher; IELTS 6.5 or higher as there are no English as an Additional Language (EAL) courses available at South Campus.
  • Canadians: Canadian citizens attending an English language high school do not require TOEFL or IELTS but will be required to take SUNY Erie’s English placement test. 

Required English Classes: All students with a TOEFL score less than 80 internet-based (550 paper-based) or IELTS score less than 6.5 are required to take EN132 Reading/Writing III and EN142 Oral/Aural III during the first semester at SUNY Erie.

International Requirements

  • Matriculation: All F-1 international students must be admitted into an academic degree or certificate program.
  • Full-time Enrollment: All F-1 international students must maintain enrollment of at least 12 credit hours continuously throughout each entire semester. At least 9 credit hours must be in regular seated courses (not internet, hybrid, or distance learning courses). It is the student’s responsibility to abide by these regulations which must be treated seriously. Students not matriculated and maintaining full-time enrollment will be reported to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) as out of status.

Costs and Responsibility

 

The international student can expect to pay approximately $5,600 - $5,900 per semester for tuition and fees, plus books and insurance. International students must come prepared to pay the total fees by the date on their registration bill, prior to the start of classes. International students are eligible for the Tuition Installment Plan (TIP).


All F-1 international students will be billed for health/repatriation insurance offered through the college. The approximate cost is billed per semester for the Fall semester (5 months of coverage) and for the Spring semester (7 months of coverage) as follows:

  Fall Semester Cost
(5 Months of Coverage August-December)
Spring Semester Cost
(7 Months of Coverage January-July)
Students $375 $525
Dependents Rates upon request  

*Insurance rates are subject to change


International students must demonstrate that they can adequately finance their stay in the United States without working. Financial sponsor documentation in the amount of $20,300 or more is required with the SUNY Erie application and for the U.S. Embassy when applying for an F-1 student visa. Additional funding is required for students with dependents. Financial aid is not available for international students.


International students should budget their stay in the United States without employment, as employment opportunities are limited for F-1 international students and are not guaranteed. The following types of employment are permitted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for qualified students:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training is employment that is directly related to and an integral part of the established curriculum. The employment must be required for degree completion. The internship employment must be part of an official internship course in the curriculum that the student is currently enrolled in and for which there will be a grade issued. Not all internships are paid internships. To be eligible for CPT, the following conditions must be met:

  • Full-time completion of one academic year (not including summer session) in the current SUNY Erie academic program
  • Lawful F-1 status
  • Written approval of curriculum department head and approval of International Advisor
  • The student must not have used 12 months or more of full-time CPT or Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • The student must apply to International Student Services at SUNY Erie according to CPT regulations

CPT is strictly regulated and enforced by the USCIS.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training is employment directly related to the student’s curriculum that provides the student with practical training in the enrolled degree program field of study. To be eligible for OPT, the following conditions must be met:

  • Full-time completion of one academic year (not including summer session)
  • Lawful F-1 status
  • Written approval of curriculum department head and approval of International Advisor
  • The student must not have used 12 months or more of full-time CPT or OPT
  • The student must apply to International Student Services at SUNY Erie according to OPT regulations at least 6 weeks prior to the completion of the academic program

OPT is strictly regulated and enforced by the USCIS.

On-campus Employment

On-campus employment is not available the first semester, is extremely limited, and requires the successful completion of EN132 and EN142 (or placement into EN100). Employment is limited to departments on campus.


Erie Community College does not have on-campus student housing. International Student Services can assist you with locating housing options or you may obtain options through an internet search.


Students receive a free bus pass to assist with transportation. For more information, visit the Parking & Transportation page.


Application Process

 
  • Discover our wide variety of academic majors and programs.
  • After you have chosen your program, apply online. There is no fee.
  • Submit your documentation to International Student Services. To avoid processing delays due to incomplete, inaccurate or unofficial documents, we recommend sending documents as they are completed. We will match them with your file. All applications will be treated equally according to order of receipt.
  • Once we have reviewed and approved all documents, you will be notified by email of your acceptance. We will issue a letter of acceptance and an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student. There is a $350 US fee to activate the I-20.
  • You will need to apply for an F-1 visa at the US Embassy in your home country. You must obtain an F-1 visa prior to arriving in the United States through the US Department of State. Canadian students need not apply for an F-1 visa. The I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student is the document needed when crossing the Canada/United States border.
  • Once accepted, the international student has an obligation to comply with all immigration laws including maintaining lawful status, matriculation, full-time enrollment, and reporting change of address and change of program. For information on immigration law, visit US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The student must contact International Student Services to have the I-20 endorsed each year prior to the signature date on the I-20. It is the student’s responsibility to comply with immigration laws and requirements. Violation of federal regulations will be reported to the government and will jeopardize the student’s U.S. visa.

You will need to submit the following documents to International Student Services:

    • Original high school diploma or graduation certificate - certified true copies also accepted with each page stamped and signed by the official. Regular copies or scans are not acceptable.
    • Original high school transcript showing classes taken and grades received - certified true copies also accepted with each page stamped and signed by the official. Regular copies or scans are not acceptable.
    • Proof of financial responsibility - Original signed letter on bank letterhead showing $20,300 (or equivalent) on account in name of sponsor or student with account number (sample bank letter). Bank statements are not acceptable; copies are not acceptable.
    • Financial Support Form
    • Proof of English language proficiency - TOEFL (48 or higher), IELTS (5.5 or higher)
    • A copy of your passport
    • Any other documents you feel would support your application.

Transfer Students:
You must also include:

  • Copy of your F-1 visa
  • Copy of your current I-20
  • Official transcript from U.S. college or university
  • Transfer Eligibility Form

Canadian Students:
If you live within 75 mi (120 km) of the border, you may commute and attend part time. The amount on the Proof of Financial Responsibility bank letter should be at least $11,250 USD. Official SAT scores may waive you from the English or math portion of the Placement Test. Be sure to include this when sending your documents.


All documents must be in English or accompanied by a notarized translation. Please send official transcript and graduation certificate and any translations by postal mail, courier service, or in person. Copies are not acceptable and will delay application processing.

SUNY Erie, North Campus
International Student Office
6205 Main Street, Room G-155 
Williamsville, New York 14221-7095
USA

Other documents may be emailed to international@ecc.edu


Application Deadline: To allow sufficient time for verification, processing, and issuing the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility, the following are the preferred deadlines:
Fall (September) Semester: June 30*
Spring (January) Semester: November 30*

These deadlines allow applicants who are out of the United States additional time for the delivery of the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility and time to make an appointment at the US Embassy if they do not have a valid F-1 visa. Applications received after the preferred deadline will be processed as time allows. Applications received after the preferred deadline may not have sufficient processing time for the preferred semester. Applicants who are in the United States and have a valid F-1 visa may not need as much processing time.

*Some academic programs such as Health Sciences (Dental Hygiene, Nursing, etc.) require advance submission of completed application. These programs are competitive, have limited enrollments, and may require pre-requisites. Acceptance is based on criteria such as grades and courses already taken. International Student Services does not guarantee acceptance into these programs. It is important to understand the conditions, dates, deadlines, and additional requirements for competitive, limited enrollment programs. For more information, visit Degrees and Certificates.


Frequently Asked Questions

 
  1. Upon acceptance to SUNY Erie we will issue a letter of acceptance and an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student.
  2. There is a $350 US fee to activate the I-20. Regulation requires all prospective F-1 students to pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee before the Department of State issues you a visa. To pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, visit FMJfee.com. Watch the I-901 SEVIS Fee payment tutorial to learn about each step of the payment process.
  3. You will need to apply for an F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy in your home country. Contact your local Embassy for information on applying.


For more information, please visit Homeland Security - Study in the States.


You will attend Orientation at the beginning of your first semester to learn about all the many resources available to enrich your learning experience at SUNY Erie and your living experience here in Western New York. Meet new friends and show future employers your interests and leadership potential by joining a campus club or association. The advisors at International Student Services are also available to assist you in your adjustment.


The professionals at International Services are here to assist you with any concern or question you may have during your time at SUNY Erie. Also, please visit the many on-campus student services, including a full-service library, bookstore, health services, and tutoring support, including math learning centers and the English Skills Center. We welcome your questions and are here to help.