ACADEMICS / High School / Career & College Prep / International Students

If you are not a citizen of the country in which you would like to pursue higher education, you may be considered an international student. Many of the steps you’ll take to apply to college are the same ones that domestic students take. You should apply to several schools to increase your chances of getting accepted. Eight to nine is a good number, but some students apply to even more.

However, international college students do have to take some additional steps when applying for admission: 

Step 1:


Research and follow the admission process for international students at each institution where you plan to apply. There may be specific requirements that international applicants need to meet e.g. Transcript evaluations or equivalencies. 

Step 2:

English Proficiency

If you're a citizen of a country where the official language is something other than English, you may need to demonstrate your English language proficiency. The TOEFL (or its alternative, the IELTS) is one option. You may also be able to submit your PHS official transcripts.  Options will vary based on institution. 

Step 3:


If financial aid is important to you, then you’ll have to figure out whether you can obtain aid directly from colleges. Federal financial aid is only available to U.S. citizens. You might also apply for outside scholarships.

Step 4:

Student Visa*

Finally, you’ll need to sort out the legal requirements of living and studying as an international student by applying for a student visa. You apply for your student visa only after gaining admission to a college and accepting a place in the next class. Visa requirements will vary based on country.

*You will likely be required to obtain a specific student visa to enter, re-enter, or remain in the country for the duration of your studies.


 Here is a quick look at some of the main visa requirements for international students:

  • Admission Letter or Confirmation of Enrollment verifying you have been accepted by an institution within the country where you are applying for a visa.

  • Valid Passport

  • Proof of sufficient financial funds (amount varies)

  • Proof of English Proficiency (if English is the official language) 

  • Proof of Health Insurance Coverage

  • Health and Character requirements


NOTE: Requirements will vary based on country. Please visit the respective official immigration website for the most up-to-date information on requirements and visa application process.

Use the following resources to research options and requirements based on the specified country. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather, focuses on the most popular countries for international student enrollment.