Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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International Students

International Student Information and Application Packet (pdf, 172KB)
International Commuter Student Application (for students living within 75 miles of the border).

Admission Requirements

  1. Proof of English Proficiency. To be accepted as an international student at Southwestern  College, you must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English at a level that will allow you to successfully complete the college academic work. To verify your level, we require that you pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 460 paper based and 140 for the computer based. This requirement is waived if you come from a country that has English as the primary language in its educational system. Students must request that the TOEFL Office send the scores directly to Southwestern Community College, Code number 004726 - prior to the stated application deadlines.

    Test information may be obtained by writing:
    TOEFL/TSE Services
    Test of English as a Foreign Language
    P.O. Box 6151
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, USA
    (609) 771-7100
  1. You must be a high school graduate from a foreign secondary school that is equivalent to an American high school and have achieved a "B" or 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale). You must also meet the placement recommendation for admission as referenced in the Country Index.
  • If you graduated from a US High School you must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. If you have obtained a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), you must have passed with a minimum score of 45).
  • Transfer Students – If you are transferring from a college or university in the United States you must have completed 15 semester units with a grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale). In addition, you will be required to submit a Transfer Clearance Form included in your application materials. This form is to be completed by the Designated School Official (DSO) at your current institution certifying that your are in good standing.
  1. Transcripts - You must request that official transcripts be sent directly to Southwestern Community College for the last three years of secondary school (high school). Transcripts must be certified English translations.
  • Transcripts of any college work completed must also be submitted and be a certified English translation.
    All transcripts must be official high school and/or college transcripts and certified. PLEASE DO NOT SEND PHOTOCOPIES.
  1. Immigration Documents - To verify your present status, you must send a copy of your valid passport, valid visa, 1-94 form (front and back), and I-20 (pages 3 and 4).
  2. Financial Resources - you must provide evidence of sufficient financial support to pay for your tuition, books, supplies, and living expenses for one year. The estimated cost to attend Southwestern Community College is $18,032 per academic year (excluding summer).
  3. You will be required to submit a 300-500 word handwritten essay commenting on your background and educational objectives.
  4. You will also need to complete an international student admissions application (available on request). Applications are accepted for the Fall semester no later than April 30th. Applications for the Spring must be received by October 1st. New International Students are not admitted during the summer session.

Notification of Acceptance
You will receive notification approximately 30 days after the application deadline. Once accepted, the college requires a $100 dollar non-refundable deposit. Once your deposit is received we will issue an I-20 form. We must receive this deposit no later than 30 days from the date of the letter of acceptance. Upon arrival and enrollment at the college, your deposit will be applied towards non-resident tuition.

Enrollment Requirements
International Students with an F-1 Visa are required to:

  1. Attend a pre-registration orientation. International students are required to attend a mandatory orientation and enrollment session. Orientation is scheduled approximately two to three weeks prior to the start of the semester. Students are required to bring Form I-20, passport/visa, Form I-94.
  2. Take the College Assessment Placement Tests
  3. Receive educational advisement prior to registration
  4. Enroll in, maintain and complete a minimum of 12 units each semester
  5. Must maintain a 2.5 Grade Point Average on a 4.0 scale.

Other Requirements

  1. All International Students must become familiar with the regulations of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and assume responsibility for complying with those regulations.
  2. Each International Student is required to obtain an Accident and Sickness Insurance Policy (information available at the College).

General Information


  1. Tuition varies per semester. Refer to a current class schedule (Link to class schedule fee page) for current fees.
  2. Students must purchase textbooks and other related instructional supplies.
  3. Financial aid is not available for International Students.

The amounts listed below are only estimates, based on the minimum costs for a single student, per year (Fall & Spring)

  • Tuition & Fees $4,796.00
  • Room & Board $8,748.00
  • Books & Supplies $1,260.00
  • Personal $2,214.00
  • *Transportation $990.00
  • Health Fees $24.00
    Total $18,032.00

* This is the price for a bus/trolley pass for two semesters. If you purchase your own car, plan to spend at least $1,000 for car insurance and at least $2,000 for gas and maintenance per academic year, in addition to the purchase price of the vehicle.

** The estimated costs do not include health insurance coverage. We encourage international students to purchase health insurance designed specifically for international students. Minimum cost for one year's coverage by a U.S. health insurance company is $515.

Southwestern College does not have on-campus housing or dormitories. Therefore, students are responsible for arranging their own housing off campus. The International Programs office (619/482-6504) maintains a list of available housing in the area. Please be aware that there is a housing shortage in Southern California, and prices tend to be higher than in other parts of the United States.

Some websites that can assist you with planning your arrival to San Diego County.

  • - This web site offers information on apartment rentals, transportation, attractions, entertainment, weather, etc. You can also get information on temporary housing (hotels/motels) options.
  • - This web site will help you in locating apartments that are available in the San Diego area.
  • - San Diego READER magazine web site will provide you with information on roommates, rentals, cars, etc.
  • - This web site will help you in locating apartments that are available in the San Diego area.

For an application or more information contact:

Aida Mora, International Student Technician
Admissions Office
Telephone (619) 482-6584
Fax (619) 482-6489

Teresa Alvarez, Supervisor
Admissions Office
Telephone (619) 421-6700 ext. 5413
Fax (619) 482-6489