Now that you’ve received your acceptance letter and I-20, you are on only a few steps away from beginning your studies at Cascadia.
- Review your I-20. Please make sure everything printed on it is accurate.
- Sign your I-20! On the first page at #11, you will need to print your name, sign, and put the date. If you are under 18 years old, your parent or guardian will also need to sign the I-20.
- Make a visa interview appointment with a U.S. embassy or consulate. Please visit http://usembassy.state.gov/ to access the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate’s website. Refer to the enclosed handout of visa tips to help prepare for the interview.
- You will also need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee at www.FMJfee.com. Print your receipt to take to your visa interview and for your record. This fee must be paid at least 3 days before your visa interview. You will also be able to check the status of your payment from this website. We recommend that you pay online using a credit card as this is the fastest and easiest method.
Please keep in touch between now and when you arrive at Cascadia and let us know if you have difficulties getting a visa interview appointment and/or getting a visa, if you get a student visa, or if you are unable to attend Cascadia Community College for the term you are accepted.
After you have received your student visa and have confirmed housing, the next step is to make arrangements to arrive in Bothell, WA. The nearest international airport to Cascadia is Seattle-Tacoma (SEATAC) International Airport.
American immigration regulations allow all F-1 visa holders to enter the United States as early as 30 days before the program beginning date indicated in #5 on your I-20 form. We recommend you arrive at least one or two weeks before the program beginning date. This should allow you time to find housing, become familiar with your new home, and come to orientation.
All new students should attend our international student orientation. During orientation, you will learn about the services available to you at Cascadia, immigration regulations, campus policies, the American education system, and much more! For orientation dates and a detailed schedule, click here.
When you come to orientation, please make sure you bring:
- Current valid passport
- F-1 visa stamp (in your passport)
- I-20 form
- I-94 card. You will receive this document on the airplane or at any border.
- Your address and telephone number in the U.S.
- A valid email address that you check regularly
- Your student ID number
Every incoming Cascadia student, both American and international, must take an English placement test before registering for classes. We have arranged for you to take the English assessment test on the same day as orientation, so please come prepared. The test takes about three hours to complete, and has sections on writing, reading, grammar and listening. You will need to know your Cascadia student ID number to take the test, so please bring this acceptance letter with you. The purpose of the test is to place you in the correct classes. You may begin your studies with English Language classes, but if you score well enough on our placement exam, you will be placed into our college-level academic program. If you are placed into our college-level academic program, you will also be able to take the math assessment at any time.
In the U.S., individuals are responsible for the cost of their healthcare, and those costs can be very high. Because of that, and problems some students have had in the past buying private health insurance, we require every Cascadia student to buy health insurance with the school. You will sign up for insurance at orientation and the cost will be automatically added to your bill each quarter. The cost of this insurance is $222 per quarter.
If your placement test shows that you should start by taking English Language Program classes, an advisor from the International Programs Office will register you for the appropriate classes and times. If you start in our college-level academic program, we will help you arrange a meeting with an academic advisor so that he or she can help you choose courses that match your goals at Cascadia.
Your tuition and fees are due once you register for classes. If you require more time to transfer funds, please talk with the International Programs Office when you arrive. You can pay for your tuition and fees using a personal check drawn on a US bank, a money order, credit card, traveler's checks, or cash.
Once you register for your classes and pay for your tuition and fees, staff in the International Programs Office will show you where your classes will meet, go over your schedule, and show you where you can buy your text books. Classes begin the following week!
The staff in the International Programs Office wants you to be successful and to have a great time while studying at Cascadia, so we are here to help you every step of the way. Please contact us if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance to you.