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Intensive English Program
SF Bay Area
Intensive English Program

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need an F-1 student visa to study in the Intensive English Program?

Yes, you do. Students accepted into an English language program for 18 hours per week or more need an F-1 visa.

2. Is there an application deadline?

There is no application deadline. However, we encourage you to apply at least 60 days prior to the starting date of a program because you must allow sufficient time for processing paperwork and getting an interview appointment with the embassy. If the process of receiving a student visa in your country takes longer than four weeks, you should apply even earlier.

3. Do I need to have a TOEFL score before enrolling in your program?

There is no TOEFL requirement for acceptance to the Intensive English Program. All students take a placement test on the first day of the program. Then you will be placed in the correct level according to your score.

4. What is the minimum age to study in the Intensive English Program?

You have to be at least 18 years old to apply. There is no maximum age. If there is interest in a short-term program (for example, 2-4 weeks) for groups, a lower minimum age is possible provided there is a chaperone accompanying the group.

5. Do you offer scholarships or financial aid?

No, we do not offer scholarships or financial aid. You need to have proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses during your stay here before we can issue the I-20.

6. Can I work while I am studying?

Students on an F-1 visa attending the Intensive English Program are not eligible to work.

7. What are the class hours?

Classes are Monday to Friday, 1:00PM - 5:00PM during the academic year and the summer.

8. Do you offer TOEFL classes and exams?

Yes, the Intensive English Program offers TOEFL classes as an elective class and the Institutional TOEFL exam (paper-based test) is offered three times each semester. We also offer free practice TOEFL tests throughout the semester to students in the program.

9. Can I transfer to the Academic Program at City College of San Francisco?

Yes, if you have a TOEFL score of 473 paper-based (152 computer-based), iBT score of 52, or an IELTS score of 5.5. If you do not have the score, you will have a chance to take the Institutional TOEFL exam at the end of each semester. The Intensive English Program will assist in the application process so you can transfer to the Academic Program at City College of San Francisco. You should bring official English translations of transcripts showing all high school and university work completed.

10. Do I need medical insurance before I start school?

Yes, you do. Please note that as of June 1, 2012, all International Students studying at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) are required to purchase health insurance through CCSF's group plan. Details can be found HERE.

11. Is the mandatory health service fee the same as health insurance?

No, it is not. The health service fee is to allow you to use the health center on campus for minor health problems only.

12. Do you have any additional fees besides the program tuition?

Yes, there is an activities fee of $25 per student each semester. The fee is $15 per student enrolled in our 8 1/2-week program and $10 per student for each four-week summer session.

13. How can I pay the school fees?

All fees can be paid with a cashier's check or money order made payable to City College of San Francisco, or credit cards. We do not accept cash or personal checks.

14. What is your refund policy?

The IEP will not refund tuition fees after the first week of the start of the program OR after 10% of a short-term program, i.e.: 8 1/2-week program. The refund is in full minus the application fee of $50 and/or DHL delivery fee of $75. For visa-denied students: No refunds after six months of a visa denial.

15. What is the refund policy if the F-1 student visa is denied?

Refunds with the exception of the application fees and delivery fees are given. You have to submit a letter stating that the visa application was denied and include it with your original I-20 form. You should then send both to the office of International Education Programs. Indicate in your letter the following: name of person to whom the check should be made out and the complete mailing address. No refunds after six months of a visa denial.

16. How long does it take to get the I-20?

The office of the International Education Programs processes the I-20 within 10 working days from the date all required documents are received. After that, it can be sent by regular mail or picked up at the IEP office. Depending on the destination, however, it may take longer for you to receive the I-20 and acceptance documents by regular mail. You may consider requesting express mail service (DHL) for an extra $75 US dollars if the delivery address is outside of the U.S. You will be responsible for the extra fee.

17. Do you have housing? If not, what are the options?

Finding a place to live in San Francisco can be challenging. City College of San Francisco does not provide any on-campus housing. If you are in need of a place to stay, we recommend that you contact our office. We can inform you of the various options on housing and on how to find an appropriate place to live.

Students may live with carefully selected families who provide a furnished single room with two meals per day. There are also residence clubs in San Francisco which can provide private or shared rooms and two meals a day.

Information on housing options such as homestays, apartment rentals, and residence clubs is available upon request from our IEP office. A bulletin board with rental postings and other housing information is also maintained in the International Student Programs office in Cloud Hall 212. For specific information, please click here.

18. When should I arrive at City College of San Francisco for the Intensive English Program?

According to the U. S. immigration law, new F-1 students cannot enter the U.S.A. more than 30 days before the program start date.

19. How much will the books cost?

The cost of books range from $250. Prepare to pay up to $250 per semester.

20. Can I take a vacation while I am a student?

A student in F-1 status in an English language program who has studied full-time in the U.S. for at least 2 full consecutive semesters is eligible to take a vacation, provided the student will be continuing his/her studies following the vacation. There is also a vacation period (two to four weeks) between semesters. Students may travel anywhere in the U.S. when classes are not in session.

21. How long can I stay in the U.S. after I complete my studies?

Students who have completed their studies in the U.S. are eligible to remain in the U.S. for up to 60 days after the last day of studies. Before they return to their home countries, many students choose to travel in the U.S. during this 60-day period.

Intensive English Program