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International Students Frequently Asked Questions:

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! If we haven’t answered them here, let us know. Save yourself a phone call by emailing us at info@ecsnyc.org

  • When should I apply to Evangel Christian School?
  • You should apply as soon as possible. It is best to start early and have everything in order long before you are supposed to leave for the United States. Please follow the steps on How to Apply for F1 status.

  • How to apply?
    Contact us to get your acceptance and interview with the administrator. After you have completed that we have specific forms and required documentation that is required before an I-20 will be issued. Instructions and forms needed to apply for admissions are found under “Forms” on the International Students heading or you can contact info@ecsnyc.org or call 718-937-9600.

  • What test do I have to take?
    We have an English Proficiency Test (separate one for elementary, middle and high schools, please see “Forms” on the International Students heading. The school administrator might have another assessment they will want you to complete. You can complete the tests at www.transparent.com/tlquiz/proftest/english/tlengtest.htm for high school, upon completion please send us the result page.

  • What education documentation do I need?
    Transcripts written in a language other than English must be translated into English at the student’s expense.

  • What other documentation is involved in the admissions process?
    There are several documents you must submit for the admissions process to be completed. The documents that are required are found on the Faith Formation library page, under International Students, Forms. You must send all completed documents in the same envelope to the Diocese of Davenport, 2706 N Gaines St., Davenport, IA 52804.

    • Student Application for Admission
    • Declaration of Finances
    • Supporting financial documents which must include employer and bank statements
    • Immunization records
    • English Proficiency Test or Result page
    • 2 letters from English teachers or tutors
    • Letter from student on why they want to attend our school
    • Standards of Conduct
    • *Transcripts

  • Do I need a visa to be a full-time student?
    YES! Once you are accepted, you will need the I-20, a Declaration of Finances, and financial statements needed to obtain your visa. IMPORTANT: wait for this documentation to arrive before coming to the United States! You will need to take these documents to the local American Embassy where a decision on granting you a visa will be made. The Embassy will be looking for a number of things including your financial ability to attend, and willingness to return to your country upon completing your studies (since you are applying for a non-immigrant visa). Entering the country on a tourist visa will stop you from becoming a full-time student. Please follow all procedures requested by Evangel Christian School and the Visa Officer at the American Embassy in your country.

  • How do I obtain my visa?
    After you have submitted the appropriate documentation an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F1) Student Status will be sent to you and you should make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy in your home country. (Please do this as soon as possible since it sometimes takes weeks to secure an appointment at the Embassy). You will need to take the I-20 and supporting financial documents with you to this appointment. You will be interviewed and a determination to issue you a student visa will be granted after considering:

    • Do you have sufficient funds to support yourself in the U.S.?
    • Do you have sufficient reasons to return to your home country? You are applying for non-immigrant visa and most are denied if the Consulate Officer suspects you will attempt to immigrate to the U.S.
    • Do you have a legitimate offer of acceptance from a U.S. school?

    If you are granted an F-1 student visa you should receive a stamp or sticker for your passport saying so. You may make your travel arrangements to arrive by the date posted on the I-20. Please note that an F-1 student cannot work while in high school.
    If you have difficulties at this point please call Evangel Christian School and we will try to help you.

  • What do I need at the Port of Entry?
    At the port of entry you will need your passport, visa, I-20 and evidence of financial support. The immigration official will give you an I-94 white card that shows your date/place of entry and alien status as an F-1 student. You will be given an eleven digit admissions number. The official will take the school copy of your I-20 and return the endorsed student copy to you. Make sure they return both the white card and I-20 student copy to you. If you have difficulties at this point call Evangel Christian School immediately and we will try to help you.

  • What kind of travel arrangements should I make?
    The Immigration and Naturalization regulations allow for the student to arrive no sooner than 30 days prior to the date posted on the I-20 under section 5. The closest international airport to our school is John F. Kennedy and Newark. This is located about 45 minutes by car, taxi, or limo. There is a train that you can take from JFK to our local subway system.
    When you arrive please take your documents to the school office and register. They will need to make copies of your documents.

  • How soon can I come to the United States after being granted and F1 visa?
    No more than 30 days prior to the program start date.

  • What do I need to do if I can not attend school by the program start date?
    Notify the DSO immediately. If the program start date has passed, we will not be able to defer your attendance. You will need to get a new Form I-20. While it is possible that the POE (Port of Entry) will allow the student to enter after the program start date, if the record has been cancelled, the DSO will not be able to activate it. The student will have to leave and reenter with a new Form I-20 or apply for reinstatement. Students, who cannot arrive by the program start date, must contact us, defer their program start date, and get a reprinted Form I-20.

  • What do I do when I arrive on campus?
    You need to report to the school office immediately upon arrival. You are required to arrive on campus within 30 days of your admission at the POE. You will need to provide our original I-20 with 3 signatures (DSO, student, and parents), VISA, I-94, and Passport.

  • What is maintaining status?
    Once a non-immigrant student starts a program in the United States, the student must comply with the terms and conditions of their F-1 visa.
    • Maintaining Status: complying with these regulatory requirements is referred to as maintaining status.
    • Out-of-status: students who fail to meet any of the regulatory requirements are potentially out of status.

  • Can I travel outside of the United States on my I-20?
    Regulations allow F and M students in good status to travel outside of the United States, and to reenter the country without jeopardizing their non-immigrant status. The only restrictions on such travel are as follows:
    • The student needs a Form I-20 with current information that is signed by the DSO on pages one and three allowing travel outside of the United States
    • The student’s visa and passport must still be valid at the time the student reenters the United States (this means that the expiration date on the student’s visa has not passed at the time of reentry).

  • What do I do if I want to transfer to another school?
    • Contact the DSO immediately
    • Intent to Transfer form needs to be filled out complete (found under Forms)
    • The school you want to attend needs to contact our office.
    • All fees due to the current school need to be paid
    • The school you will want to attend needs to be a SEVIS approved school
    • Need to apply for enrollment at the school you want attend
    • Student needs to be in good status
    • Have a proof of acceptance to the other school
    • Pay a transfer fee of $75 to Evangel Christian School

  • Application Process and Guidelines do I need to know?
    Once you are accepted, out schools will send me an acceptance letter. Once I receive the required documentation (forms), I will then issue and I-20 and send to you with the supporting documents you need to take to your consulate appointment. Many consulates require fee payments to local banks that will give you a receipt for fee payment (I-901). Interviews are required, so check to find out if you need to make an appointment.

  • What documents are required for the visa?
    • SEVIS I-20, issued by the Diocese of Davenport
    • An application Form DS-156, available from the consulate or at www.travel.state.gov
    • Form DS-158, available from the consulate or at www.travel.state.gov
    • Males between the ages of 16 and 45 must complete Form DS-157, available from the consulate or at www.travel.state.gov
    • A passport valid for least six months after entry into the United States
    • One photograph www.travel.state.gov has current photo requirements
    • A receipt for visa processing fee, information available from the consulate or at the specific consulate website
    • Financial documentation supporting study in the United States, as indicated on the I-20 or DS-2019.

  • When should I apply?
    Because of a personal interview may be required of most visa applicants, you should contact Evangel to  make an appointment in advance. The appointment date should be a time when the documents listed above will be in hand. Security measure are in place, so the earlier you go the better. Also, you want to make sure you’ll have the visa before the semester of admission.

  • What should I do if my visa application is denied?
    Some visa applicants may be able to overcome a visa application denial. The U.S. Department of State has useful information on its Web site regarding visa denials, see www.travel.state.gov/visadenials.html for more information.

    Tuition & Common Expenses

  • How much will it cost?
    The cost of attending school in the United States varies widely by school, from approximately $2450-$5310 for high school and $1200-$4300 for elementary school per year for tuition (does not include other fees). You must also consider the cost of books, living expenses, health insurance (recommended). Before enrolling at a one of our schools, you will be required to show proof of financial support. This means having enough money to pay for one full year of tuition. Health insurance can also be a major expense.

  • How can international students balance athletics with schoolwork and academic life?
    Many international students’ athletes face language and cultural challenges upon arriving at our schools. Programs, as well as academic and athletic support is available at our schools and will assist student athletes with adjusting to their new environment. Many athletic departments offer tutoring and mentoring services to assist athletes with the transition. Check with a counselor for more information.

  • Planning Your Stay
    Are you getting your answers?
    You’ve decided to study in the United States. Now what steps do you take to ensure the transition goes smoothly? Follow the instructions in the link How to apply and it should be able to provide you with the information you need.

    Travel Tips

  • Do you have everything you need for traveling?
    Plan ahead, and make your travel plans as soon as possible. Be sure to arrange for transportation to our school. Clearly label all your baggage, and carry important documents, such as your passport, with you at all times. Most of our schools will ask you to arrive approximately one week before classes start to attend orientation and to become familiar with the campus.

  • Tests and Grading
    The U.S. system of education differs from what you’re accustomed to in your native country. The types of exams administered, the academic calendar, and the grading system will seem unusual to you at first. Make an effort to understand the education system and your transition to academic life will be more comfortable and less overwhelming.

  • Academic Calendars?
    A majority of American schools operate under the semester system – which includes 2 quarters per semester. The first semester begins in September and ends in late January. The second semester begins in late January and ends in late June.

  • Exams
    The tests you’ll take in the U.S. will vary by school and class. Large classes will usually include multiple-choice tests capable of being quickly graded. Smaller classes will feature tests that have a mixed format of multiple choice and short answer questions, along with one or two more in-depth essay questions.

  • Grading System?
    Please see “Student Handbook.”

  • What are the customs?
    Names – In many countries, when people give their name, they refer to themselves using their last name. In the United States, however, people generally refer to themselves using their first name. On the first day of class, teachers will introduce themselves and will tell you how they’d like to be addressed, as well.
    Culture shock – It is common for people living far away from home to experience culture shock, but it doesn’t have to spoil the experience. If you find yourself feeling homesick, call a friend at home or go to your school’s counselor. Culture shock is a normal part of living in a new environment, so do not be alarmed.










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