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Since 1826 when the first international student
was enrolled, the University of Virginia has accepted among
its responsibilities a commitment to providing opportunities
to citizens from other areas of the world to study, teach,
and share the atmosphere of Jeffersonian freedom. The University
considers the admission of qualified students from other countries
a part of its educational program. International students enhance
the life of the University and contribute to the education
and personal growth of American students and faculty.
Language Requirement In addition to
meeting the admission requirements outlined in previous sections,
international students must have an outstanding command of
the English language in order to enroll at the University.
In general, it does not conduct classes and exams in languages
other than English; and it does not accept papers submitted
in a non-English language. For this reason, applicants whose
native language is not English must demonstrate their English
proficiency on the application for admission by submitting
an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language
(TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System
(IELTS) exam. A score may not be more than two years old. Most
admitted students attain a total score of at least 600 on the
PBT TOEFL, 250 on the CBT TOEFL, or 7.0 on the IELTS. The University
expects individuals who take the new iBT TOEFL to earn a score
of at least 22 in writing, 22 in speaking, 23 in reading, and
23 in listening (total score: 90). Some schools and departments
may require higher scores for admission. A TOEFL or IELTS exam
score is required of all applicants if the language
first learned and spoken in the home is not English. This is
true regardless of the number of years of instruction in English
or if English is the “official” language of the
applicant’s home country.
In addition to the TOEFL or IELTS exam, successful
applicants whose first or native language
is not English must take the University of Virginia
English Proficiency Exam soon after arriving at the University.
test is administered to new students just
before classes begin, and results are used to determine whether
classes in one or more language skills (reading,
writing, speaking, listening) is advisable. This test is
required of all non-native speakers of English, regardless
TOEFL or IELTS score or previous experience
using English. The University offers an intensive
English for Academic Purposes program in the summer for
incoming international students, scholars, and research associates.
For information contact the Center for American
and Culture, (434) 924 6552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All prospective graduate teaching assistants
whose first language is one other than English are required to take the SPEAK Test. A score
of at least 55 is generally required for permission to begin teaching
oral language training. The SPEAK Test is administered in August, December, and May. Candidates for the test are identified by
department. Information about the SPEAK Test is available at www.virginia.edu/provost/caelc.
Visa Information The U.S. Bureau of
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has authorized
the University of Virginia to issue visa documents appropriate
for the F-1 (student) and J-1 (exchange visitor) non-immigrant
status. Following academic admission to a University degree
program, the International Studies Office reviews the language,
financial, and visa qualifications of the applicant. If all
documentation is in order, and if the applicant is offered
admission, a "Certificate of Eligibility" (I-20 or DS-2019)
is issued to the prospective student. In order to request a
visa to apply for entry into the United States as a student,
this document must be submitted to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate,
along with a passport and other indications of purpose while
in the United States. The University does not issue a Certificate
of Eligibility for part-time study, or continuing and professional
studies courses. Admitted students may email the Office of
International Studies Office at email@example.com.
Most students enter the United States using
an F-1 visa. The J-1 visa is appropriate for students receiving
a significant portion of their financial support from a government
agency or international foundation. Students in the United
States on F-1 and J-1 status must maintain full-time student
status during the fall and spring semesters. They must
attend, for at least one semester, the institution that issued
the Certificate of Eligibility used to apply for entry into
the United States. A prospective international student must
have an appropriate, current, valid, and legal non-immigrant
status before he or she will be offered final admission to
the University of Virginia.
International students should not enter the
United States on the tourist visa, B-2 visa, or visa waiver
program. Transfer from one visa type to another while in the
United States is not always possible. Students should always
consult with a U.S. consular officer in their home country
for the most current information on visa regulations. Only
those international students who are maintaining valid and
lawful status in the U.S. which permits full-time study at
a college or university will be permitted to enroll at the
University of Virginia.
All non-immigrant visas carry restrictions
about employment and length of stay in the United States.
Students are advised to carefully understand their particular
status. Students must be willing and able to abide by the
regulations for the visa status they accept. USCIS visa regulations
are subject to frequent change and re-interpretation by Service
personnel. It is the foreign nationals duty to keep
him or herself informed of all current visa regulations and
to maintain valid status according to USCIS regulations.
Tuition/Fees Non-immigrant students
pay the out-of-state full tuition rate (estimated at $21,500
for the 2005-2006 academic year).
Living Expenses The estimated cost
for housing, food, books and supplies, and health and personal
items is $1,000 per month for a single student. This does not
include travel expenses to and from the United States, tourist
excursions, furniture, or luxury items, such as automobiles
and computer equipment. Basic expenses for the support of dependents
(husband/wife/children) living in Charlottesville are additional.
Financial Certification Eligibility
for a student or exchange visitor visa requires that the applicant
demonstrate sufficient financial resources for a full course
of study. The minimum required by the University of Virginia
is $31,000 for 2005-2006. An additional $7,000 for spouse and
$4,000 for each child is necessary if students wish to bring
dependents to Charlottesville. The International Studies Office
requires an acceptable financial guarantee prior to issuing
the "Certificate of Eligibility." While the established minimum
is considered sufficient for a basic, comfortable existence,
it may not be adequate to maintain the lifestyle to which a
student is accustomed.
Financial Assistance Financial awards
are not furnished to undergraduates. If students must have
full financial support to study abroad, they should investigate
the possibility of awards offered through home governments,
international foundations, and other sources. U.S.I.S. libraries
and bi-national commissions in various countries can sometimes
offer suggestions. Graduate students are eligible for research
and teaching assistantships, as well as meritorious fellowships,
through their departments. These awards are competitive.
Transfer of Funds The transfer of funds
from the students home country to the United States may
be governed by restrictions. The applicant must be fully informed
of the local regulations and process for transfer. Since there
may be a considerable delay in the process of transfer, early
planning is vital. University expenses must be paid at the
beginning of each semester. To avoid unnecessary problems,
students are advised to bring sufficient funds with them to
pay for tuition, housing, and medical insurance on arrival.
This may amount to several thousand dollars and should be in
the form of travelers or cashiers checks in U.S.
currency. Students must also open an account with a local bank
in Charlottesville in order to accept transferred funds from
Employment The University of Virginia
cannot admit an international student who is unable to show
evidence of adequate financial support. The Bureau of Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the U.S. government restricts
the employment of non-immigrant students and scholars. Work
without prior USCIS authorization is prohibited and may carry
severe penalties. F-2 dependents are neither eligible to request
permission to work nor to accept employment of any kind.
Family Considerations Due to the high
cost of living in Charlottesville, students wishing to bring
their dependent families must give thorough consideration to
the added expense. Because dependents are not generally permitted
to accept employment, students may find that they cannot support
a family while studying at the University. In many cases, students
must be prepared to leave their families at home.
Health Care and Insurance Medical care
in the United States is very expensive and paid for privately.
To protect against a possible medical debt arising from the
need for emergency or sustained medical treatment, all students
are required to purchase a basic accident and sickness hospitalization
insurance plan. The yearly cost for a single student is
about $1,600 and does not cover regular eye and dental care
or routine physical examinations and office visits. Family
coverage is more expensive but is strongly recommended. Insurance
may be purchased either in Charlottesville or in the students
University students who are enrolled full
time may use the out-patient medical facilities of the Universitys
Student Health department free of charge. Family members are
not eligible to participate. The University Hospital is located
conveniently on the Grounds, and has extensive emergency facilities
as well as private physicians and clinics for specialists and
routine family care.
English as a Second Language
The Center for American English Language and
Culture (CAELC) provides an array of services to help
members of the University of Virginia community attain the
level of linguistic and cultural proficiency needed for success
at a research university in the United States. CAELC offers
a number of ESL courses free of charge to students who have
matriculated in a degree program at UVa. Visiting scholars
and research associates may enroll in CAELC classes as space
allows. Completion of the University of Virginia English Language
Proficiency Exam must precede placement in any CAELC class.
Individuals can take the exam at the beginning of each semester
and by appointment throughout the year. CAELC also administers
the SPEAK Test in August, December, and May. The SPEAK Test
is used to assess the oral proficiency of prospective graduate
teaching assistants whose native language is not English. CAELC
offers several courses designed to help prospective teaching
assistants develop the communication skills needed for teaching
in a U.S. college or university. CAELC offers an intensive
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program through the Universitys
Summer Language Institute, mid-July through mid-August. The
EAP program is for entering students and research associates.
CAELC endorses the NAFSA Principles of International Educational
Exchange and the TESOL Standards for Post Secondary Programs.
Information on testing, classes, and other services is available
firstname.lastname@example.org, or (434) 924-924-3371.