F-1 Student FAQ
Q: How can I apply for an I-20 document?
A. You may apply for immigration form I-20 through the English Language Institute by filling out an ESL I-20 application.
Q: Do I need to have a sponsor?
A. If you have sufficient funds in your bank account, you do not need a sponsor.
Q: May I use my retirement account as proof of funds?
A. Retirement accounts may not be used as proof of funds.
Q: Who can be my sponsor?
A. A spouse, relative, or family friend can be your sponsor. They can reside in the USA or in your home country.
Q: What type of proof is required from my bank or my sponsor’s bank?
A. You must provide the most recent 6 months of bank statements or a bank letter stating current funds signed by a bank officer.
Q: Who can be my sponsor for Free Room and Board?
A. A relative or family friend within driving distance of our Valhalla campus can give you free room and board. Proof of residence is required with a deed or lease.
Q: I don’t have friends or family in the area. Do you have student dormitories?
A. Westchester Community College does not have student dormitories or other living accommodations. The college does not supervise, endorse, or assume any responsibility for living arrangements.
Q: How far from Westchester Community College can a student live?
A. Students should live within commuting distance of Valhalla, NY. They can drive or take the Beeline bus.
Q: May I bring my spouse and children?
A. Yes, you may bring your spouse and children as F-2 dependents, but additional proof of funds is required for each person.
Q: Can my spouse study while s(he) is here?
A. Yes, your spouse may study but only part time.
Q: How long is the course of study?
A. The course of study is typically 24 months for students starting at level 1, but students may request a shorter time. Placement testing is required to determine level.
Q: Can I study as an F-1 international student if I’m 17 years old?
A. If you are at least 17 years old, and you have graduated from high school in your country, you can study. You must provide a copy of your high school diploma as proof. Translation may be needed for diplomas in languages other than Spanish and Portuguese.
Q: Can I be sponsored by my government or an organization?
A. Yes, you must provide a scholarship letter from your government or organization.
Q: How soon can I start studying?
A. You may start studying in Spring, Summer, or Fall semester after entering the country with your F-1 visa and I-20 form. You are not permitted to enter the United States earlier than 30 days before the start date of your program.
Q: Can I also work while I’m studying in the United States?
A. There is a possibility for working on campus. Please ask your DSO for further information about work on campus.
Q: Which campus may I study at?
A. You may only study at the main Valhalla campus.
Q: How many hours must I study?
A. You must study for at least 18 hours per week. Our program provides 20 hours of study.
Q: What is the schedule?
A. Intensive English Program classes are offered five mornings a week from 9:00am – 12:00pm. There is an additional required Accent on Fluency class offered three afternoons a week from 12:30pm – 2:10pm.
Q: Can I take a semester off?
A. You may take a semester off for an authorized vacation with DSO approval after studying for at least 2 semesters.
Q: How and when can I pay for classes?
A. You or your sponsor may register for classes before each semester begins by credit or debit card using Mastercard, Visa, or Discover. We do not offer payment plans.