Cayuga library
International Students

Frequently Asked Questions

International Students


What kind of housing is available to international students?

At SUNY campuses, international students have the access to all residence options. International students interact and live among their American peers.

Once I am on campus, is there any special support for international students?

Yes. Even before you arrive on campus, you'll find helpful and friendly staff to help international students every step of the way to allow for a smooth transition to campus life and to ensure your academic and personal success.

How about final transcripts? Do they need to be translated?

Yes. All final transcripts must be translated. For translation and evaluation of transcripts, contact an evaluation service provider such as World Education Services, the International Education Research Foundation, Inc. or Education Evaluators International, Inc. For additional credential evaluation specialists, consult the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.

As an international student, do I need to send other materials with my application?

All students applying to a SUNY school must complete the standard application. Check the website or ask an admissions officer at the school you are interested in if you need to submit additional forms. Please be aware that you will receive requests for additional information directly from the campuses to which you apply. Most campuses will request the International Student Application forms 2, 3, and 4 which are available in pdf format.

Can SUNY accommodate my dietary needs?

SUNY campuses offer a wide variety of meal options that meet most students' dietary requirements. For specifics, contact the Admissions Office.

Do I need to bring a computer?

Once you have committed to attending a college or university, the Admissions Office will contact you to notify you of any requirements. Most campuses do not require a computer and offer more than ample computer labs that are open to students.

As an international student, how do I apply for a student visa?

You must apply for a student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Because applying for a visa can take quite a bit of time (often a month or more, depending on the country), you should submit the application and required documents as soon as possible.

Who can I contact with more questions?

The International Student or Student Affairs Offices at SUNY campuses are available to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.

What kind of testing is required of international students for admission to SUNY?

International students must demonstrate basic English proficiency and can choose from a variety of ways to do so. Candidates must have a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score that varies by campus. You also have the option of presenting a score of 450 or above on the verbal section of the SAT. Each institution's requirement varies, so please ask campus Admissions Offices for details.

Which student groups focus on international students?

At each SUNY institution, you will find a wide variety of international student organizations which may be academic, social or community service based.

Are there community organizations available to my family members while I am a student at SUNY?

Yes. The local communities that host a SUNY school have always been very receptive and supportive of all SUNY students. Within that community, you can find a wide variety of support groups and community activities available to you and your family.

What conditions must I satisfy to have TOEFL/IELTS waived?

In general an SAT verbal score of 450 or better waives the requirements, but each institution's requirement varies.

Is there any exemption from taking the SAT I or SAT II?

All applicants who have attended a U.S. high school are required to take and report all appropriate SAT I and SAT II exam results. If you attended a foreign high school where English was not spoken, then you may substitute TOEFL results for SAT scores. We, however, encourage you to submit SAT I and appropriate SAT II scores if at all possible.

Do A-levels of IBs exempt me from submitting a final transcript?

No. All students who enroll are required to submit certified secondary school records in their native language with an English translation. This requirement ensures fairness because all domestic applicants, even those in IB programs, are required to submit all transcripts as well.

Where exactly are particular SUNY colleges and universities located?

SUNY institutions are located all across New York State. You can find them everywhere from the state's largest cities such as New York City, Albany and Buffalo to small towns including Plattsburgh, Oneonta and Geneseo. The diversity of locations makes SUNY stand out among national public university systems. There is an ideal SUNY location for every student. Check out the New York State map of all campuses to find particular campus locations.

Can I attend a community college as an international student?

Yes. All of SUNY's community colleges welcome international students.

Is housing available for community college students.

Yes. An increasing number of community colleges now offer residence halls and on-campus apartments. This allows students to not only learn in the classroom but also learn from each other in an informal atmosphere. Additionally, many community colleges are near privately owned, affordable apartments where students can live and have easy-access to their college.

If I attend a community college, is it possible to transfer to a four-year school?

Yes. SUNY's community colleges have articulation agreements with many four-year schools that make transfer extremely easy. Community college students often transfer to four-year SUNY schools but also transfer to a variety of other public and private colleges and universities.

What kind of financial aid is available to international students?

State and federal aid programs are not available to international students. Some campuses do offer scholarships to attract international students.  Please contact the financial aid offices of the individual SUNY schools that interest you.

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