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International Students

Ease your transition to college and the United States with personal academic guidance and excellent programs in a caring and friendly community.

International students include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors or those in other non-immigrant classifications. As an international student at Alma, you’ll benefit from a nationally-recognized education, dedicated support and a streamlined application process.

The Princeton Review, Colleges of Distinction and the Fiske Guide to Colleges all have recognized Alma College for academic excellence and quality of campus life. Start your application now, or scroll down to dive into the details.

Expand Your Horizons

Alma is more than just a college — it’s a community. Our international student services and programs are designed to help you succeed.

Orientation and Advising

When you arrive on campus, you'll participate in an international student orientation to help you find your feet and connect with peers. You'll then attend tailored student advising sessions, where we'll help you plan your time at Alma to ensure the most efficient path to graduation.

Student Organizations

At Alma, we encourage all our students to participate in one or more of our 100+ clubs and organizations. These include the Multicultural Student Union and the International Club, where you'll meet students from all over the globe as you learn about their cultures and share yours.

Applying to Alma

Applying to Alma

As an international student, you can complete the free Alma College application or apply through the Common Application.

After applying, you’ll need to take a couple of additional steps:

  • If you will be a first-year student, official secondary school transcripts in English should be sent to admissions@alma.edu directly from your school.
  • If you’re a transfer student, official transcripts, in English, of all college coursework must also be sent directly to admissions@alma.edu from the institutions attended.
  • Complete the International Student Declaration of Finance Form. All international students on F-1 or J-1 visas must provide evidence of sufficient finances to support their U.S. education. Sources of funding may be from parents, guardians or a sponsor.
  • Meet English language proficiency requirements (see below).
  • Provide a valid passport copy (photo & F-1 visa pages only).

Once accepted to Alma, students must download and complete the I-20 Transfer Form if already studying in the U.S.

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Overseas Course Credentials

For applicants seeking possible transfer credit for coursework taken at other universities, class syllabi for each course must be obtained and sent to Alma College. These will be evaluated to determine if transfer credit may be offered.

Alma College can evaluate most overseas course credentials. However, an independent course credential evaluation may be needed in some unique cases. The College will notify applicants if a professional evaluation is required.



Key Dates and Deadlines

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline – We review applications on a rolling basis, but you are encouraged to apply by July 1 (fall semester) and November 1 (winter semester). Visa wait times vary by country; international students are now able to apply for a student visa as soon as the I-20 is issued.

Commitment Deadline – Submit your $300 commitment deposit by May 1 to receive priority housing selections.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

All undergraduate international students who apply to Alma College and who are not native English speakers must provide proof of English language proficiency. 

Citizens of the English Test Exempt Countries do not have to fulfill the English language requirement. 

Ways To Satisfy Your English Requirements 

You can satisfy the English language requirement in one of the following ways. Submit your scores through the testing service. If you have not yet sent your official scores via the testing service, email finchva@alma.edu. We do not accept test scores that are more than two years old. 

  1. Submit official scores at or above these minimum scores:
    TOEFL internet-based: 79 (school code 1010)
    IELTS overall band: 6.5
    PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic overall score: 50
    MET (Michigan English Test, 4-skill): 57
    Duolingo English Test: 105
    iTEP Academic: 3.7
  2. Submit official SAT or ACT scores at or above these minimum scores:
    SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 510
    ACT (English section only): 21
  3. Complete 3 Advanced Level subjects or 3 Higher Level IB subjects.
  4. Transfer students currently enrolled in undergraduate study in the United States at a regionally accredited college or university can fulfill the English language requirement if you have passed a course equivalent to Alma College’s English 101.
  5. Successfully complete level 112 at an ELS Language Center.
  6. The completion of English language programs outside Alma College may be considered on an individual basis. Include certificates of completion with your application.
  7. Applicants may qualify for a waiver based on high school language of instruction. On an individual basis, we will waive the English proficiency requirement for applicants who have successfully earned a high school diploma at an international high school where the only language of instruction is English. Your graduation date should be less than two years ago to qualify for this waiver.

International transfer students enrolled in an accredited college or university where the language of instruction is English may qualify for a waiver upon completion of a minimum of 24 semester credit hours of undergraduate coursework. 

Obtaining Your Student Visa

Obtaining Your Student Visa

Once accepted to Alma College, a Form I-20 (for an F1 Student Visa) or DS 2019 (for a J1 Student Visa) will be emailed directly to you along with your official acceptance letter.

You must schedule an appointment in your home country’s U.S. Embassy/U.S. Consulate Office to obtain your student visa. Be sure to pay your I-901 SEVIS fee and carefully review the visa application processes within your home country before your appointment at the U.S. Embassy. We also recommend that you pay your $300 commitment deposit early!

Per the Department of Homeland Security, the I-901 SEVIS fee for F and M international students is $350. The full I-901 SEVIS fee for J exchange visitors — excluding those in the au pair, camp counselor and summer work or travel program participant categories — is $220.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and Financial Aid

Ease your transition to college and the United States with personal academic guidance and excellent programs in a caring and friendly community. International students include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors or those in other non-immigrant classifications.

International Student Scholarships


Ameer Alsabaa

Associate Director of Admissions for International Recruitment

Office: (989) 463-7292
Cell: (989) 954-3333

Frequently Asked Questions

Is orientation required?

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Yes. Orientation is essential for several reasons. It will help you prepare for the semester, schedule your classes, get to know the campus and local community, establish friendships, meet your faculty advisor, participate in activities, discover clubs and organizations, learn about F1 or J1 immigration regulations and more.

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Where will I live?

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Alma College is a residential campus, meaning the students live on campus all four years. There are a variety of residence facilities, but first-year students are typically assigned to a two-person room. The common space, halls and bathrooms are cleaned by housekeeping staff. Keeping your room clean will be your responsibility.

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Can I join a student organization or club?

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Yes! We strongly recommend you join any and all clubs and organizations of interest. Our 100+ student clubs provide many ways to stay engaged with campus events, gain new friends, travel within and outside Michigan and exponentially enhance your campus quality of life.

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What kind of weather does Alma, Michigan have?

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Alma is a friendly small town in a four-season state. Fall is spectacular, with an array of colors. Spring is beautiful, and summers are mild. Winters (November – February) can be very cold, with lots of snow. You can even try winter sports like skiing or snowboarding! We organize shopping trips for students, so you do not need to pack everything.

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Is medical insurance required?

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Yes, as an F1 or J1 visa holder, you are required to have medical insurance at all times. To ensure this, the College automatically enrolls you in the Alma College student health insurance plan. This will help to keep you safe and healthy while studying and traveling in the U.S.

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Is medical care available?

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Yes. The Wilcox Medical Center on campus provides a full range of services for non-emergency care. A Walk-In / Urgent Care Clinic is minutes from the hospital and should be used only when the Wilcox Medical Center is closed. A local hospital for emergency care is nearby, as well as specialized services sites.

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Our partnership with AccessUSA

AccessUSA is a unique program designed by premier Michigan colleges and universities to accelerate admission for international students. Learn how you can kick-start your international career as early as ninth grade.

Learn More