Past Colloquia

International Students

International Students' FAQs

Students at the spring 2012 International Dinner in Albion College's Baldwin Hall.

You have questions. We have answers.

Where is Albion College?

Albion College is located in Albion, Michigan, which is in the beautiful south-central region of the state between the cities of Ann Arbor and Battle Creek. Our campus is spacious with state-of-the-art facilities, lots of green space, a nature center and equestrian center. Albion College is near Interstate 94, making it within driving distance of many major cities. Albion is 150 km west of Detroit, 300 km east of Chicago and 540 km west of Toronto. View our map and directions

What is a liberal arts education?

Currently regarded as the best preparation for a professional career (according to top corporations and graduate schools), the liberal arts tradition dates back several centuries. It ensures a breadth and depth of inquiry into the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and creative arts—ultimately developing valuable tools and skills for career success and lifelong learning. Visit liberalartscolleges.com to learn more.

What is the difference between a college and a university?

Traditionally, colleges offer degrees after 2 years (associates) or 4 years (bachelors) and are smaller, while universities offer associates, bachelors, masters, doctoral and other degrees and are a group of schools – sometimes also called college. Today there may be small schools that are called university, too. Albion College is bachelors-only institution. Find more at Study in the USA.

What can I study at Albion?

Choose from one of our programs of study, or work with our faculty to design your own major. Students will not be required to choose a major until their second year, but you should be prepared to talk about your academic interests in your application and visa interview.

What if Albion College does not offer an academic major that interests me?

You may design your own academic major (with faculty and staff approval). We encourage you to think of new ways to make your Albion experience unique.

What makes Albion stand out?

Albion's academic program blends the classic foundation of the liberal arts and sciences with innovative, pre-professional course work and internships. Our institutes, centers, and programs offer professional preparation and semester, yearlong, and summer internships all over the world. We're one of the leading colleges in the U.S. for undergraduate research.

Who attends Albion College?

Total enrollment at Albion is approximately 1,500 students. Our students come from  25 states and 20 foreign countries and represent the diversity of the United States. Find out more about student life.

How successful are Albion College graduates?

Very successful - we let our alumni speak for themselves. Find their success stories here.

How selective is Albion College? How are admissions decisions made?

Albion places a high value on a rigorous college preparatory curriculum within the holistic review of applications. Therefore, we place great weight on grade averages, difficulty of courses taken, and consistency in academic performance. We also consider what you have done outside of the classroom adn the qualities that you will bring to the Albion community. Standardized test scores are used as a platform to normalize student performance at schools around the world and measure English proficiency. We have many more qualified international candidates than we are able to admit, and this makes scholarship consideration highly competitive.

Can I apply as a transfer student?

Yes. Official transcripts (certified and translated into English) are required from every college or university you have attended. Upon enrollment, an external evaluation by a NACES approved evaluation company may be required for universities outside of the US or as deemed necessary for evaluation by the Registrar.

I am a dual citizen of the USA and another country can I choose to apply as an international student?

You should apply as a U.S. Citizen and take advantage of financial aid awarded by the government that may not be available to international students. You would apply as a domestic student and follow the domestic procedures for admission, and are required by US law to enter on your US passport. Our Office of Student Financial Services can help you complete the FAFSA form that is required for federal aid.

Do you have an admissions counselor who works with Americans living abroad?

Yes, we have staff members dedicated to working with U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents with schooling overseas, for students living in off-shore U.S. territories and possessions, and for Americans living in other countries. If you have U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Permanent Residency, you should always apply as a domestic student.

How does Albion review exam-based academic records?

In most cases, a grade point average (GPA) is derived and weighed on a four-point scale based on a conversion from the host school's grading system. This is only part of the application review.

Are my grades the most important part of my application?

Yes, but not the only important part. We also look at the difficulty of classes you've taken, academic performance over time, performance on exams such as the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT and/or ACT, as well as engagement inside and outside of the classroom. Find application requirements here.

Can I apply with only my GCSE/IGCSE/O-Levels?

We accept applications from students who have completed their O-Levels and will complete 11-12 years of primary and secondary education. Applicants who have only completed these exams should send internal marks sheets as well, and take the ACT or SAT.

How long do decisions take?

We should have a decision in 2 to 4 weeks as long as you have provided all of the requirements for admission. Please note that sometimes decisions may take longer due to staff availability. Please check your application status regularly to learn if we have asked for additional materials.

How do I receive my acceptance letter and I-20?

Once you have decided to enroll at Albion, you will pay a non-refundable Enrollment Deposit and complete several forms that gather the information we need to issue an I-20 on your behalf. Once we have issued this document, we will send the packet to you by courier.

Does Albion College offer full-tuition scholarships?

We do not provide full scholarship support. International students who demonstrate superior academic achievement and potential for success often receive substantial academic merit scholarships. Most students contribute $25,000-$35,000 per year toward their studies. Excellent students admitted by March 1 will be invited to apply for our competitive Global Scholar Program.

Will Albion help me with employment opportunities?

The Internship and Career Center assists students with employment both on and off campus. To be considered for student employment, students must have the appropriate visa to work in the United States, and complete additional federal documents once they have a job. Working on an F-1 visa involves many regulations; however, you should be able to work up to 20 hours per week on campus; off campus employment is restricted by immigration regulations, and you will work with the Center for International Education for clearance for any internships and employment after your degree. Learn more about student employment here.

How much money will I be able to earn annually?

Student wages vary depending on the kind of job you get and how many hours you work per week. On-campus jobs typically pay between $7.40 to $9.00 per hour. During the academic year, full-time students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. When school is not in session, you can work up to 40 hours a week on campus. You can expect to earn $1,500-$2,000 per year as a student employee, and positions must meet immigration regulations.

What kind of services are available for international students at Albion?

A wide variety of services are available for international students in particular and all Albion students.

What are my housing and meal options?

All students are required to live in campus housing for their entire degree. All first-year students are housed in either Wesley Hall or Seaton Hall. This allows you to become familiar with Albion and to make friends quickly. More information can be found at the Office of Residential Life.

All of our students love Albion Dining Services. There are several facilities that you have access to in your meal plan, and older students may live in apartments (for an increased fee) that allows them to cook some meals on their own. The on-campus food is so good, though, you’ll probably eat in Baldwin Dining Hall with your friends – and see quite a few staff, too!

Will I be able to stay on campus during school holidays?

Yes, international students may obtain approval to stay on campus during school-breaks if they do not have another option. We'll help you make arrangements. Our dining hall is not open during holidays, so students will need to prepare their own meals. Students may stay on campus over the summer if they have campus employment.

How do Albion students spend their free time?

Our students are active. They do everything. See for yourself.

Are there student organizations at Albion that promote internationalism and multiculturalism?

Yes. Albion has more than 100 student organizations, and there are several groups devoted to diversity and awareness, including our International Student Union.

Will my religious faith be welcomed on campus?

Yes. At Albion, we value all faiths and individual spiritual development. The Office of the Chaplain supports programs that promote innovative thought on ethics, religion, and social responsibility from all perspectives and the Office of Intercultural Affairs supports underrepresented students by promoting awareness of multicultural issues among all students, staff, and faculty.

Can you place me in communication with current students and faculty?

Absolutely, whenever possible, qualified applicants can be connected with current students and faculty upon request. We just ask that you take advantage of the opportunity to ask them good questions!

How do I obtain a visa to study at Albion College?

After you meet all the admission criteria, the Office of Admission will issue you a Form 1-20 which will allow you to apply for a visa at your local United States Consulate. Learn more at EducationUSA.state.gov

If I am on a B visitor visa, can I seek a change of state I-20?

No, at this time, students on B (visitor) visas are not eligible for a Change of Status to an F-1. Students approved for a change of status I-20 must complete the change of status before entering the US and commencing at Albion College.

Do I have to fill out a Statement of Financial Support and provide proof of funding if I am on a G, H or similar visa?

Yes, at this time we require that you still demonstrate that the funds necessary to pay for your studies at Albion College are available to you. This will be kept on file and may be helpful if you decide to change to F-1 status at a later date.

What can I do to prepare for my departure?

We encourage you to attend an EducationUSA pre-departure session. It's not mandatory for incoming international students, but we feel these sessions are very valuable. We have excellent relationships with EducationUSA officers throughout the world. Please visit EducationUSA for more information and locations.

What should I bring from home to the United States?

You should bring prescription medicines, glasses, or other medical supplies that may not be available in the U.S. You'll need warm clothes for the winter in Michigan, and these may be purchased in Albion but if you are arriving in January you should bring a warm coat and shoes with you on the plane. We arrange special outings and events to accommodate our international students' needs.


Albion has opened my mind to things that I would not have learned otherwise; from the city of Albion to the homemade solar panels in Israel and everything in between. With every class and extracurricular activity that I do, I find myself expanding my horizons. Roohia, Pakistan, Sociology, 2018

The academics are rigorous, yet fun. My professors challenge me, but also understand that have other things going on in my life. I have gotten a lot of help looking for summer opportunities from various people at Albion – and this summer I’ll be doing research on campus! Matt, USA, Biology, 2019

I enjoy any opportunity to interact with professors in real life, like watching Dr. Harris perform blues at Washington Gardner, playing soccer with Dr. Streu, or listening to the jazz ensemble with Dr. Metz. Those are my favorite interactions. Liliya, Russia, Chemistry and Mathematics, 2019

International Students

At Albion, the classroom is only the beginning.

From the first day, you're encouraged to dive into the things that you love. Our students investigate, explore, and create.

For over 180 years, we have prepared some of the brightest individuals contributing to the worlds of science, business, research, health, education, and many more fields. Our distinguished liberal arts and sciences curriculum is based on thinking that makes connections.

As an Albion student, you'll gain access to institutes, centers and internships that give your education an advantage. Combining your studies with hands-on education will create a dynamic learning experience that prepares you for what lies ahead.

Our residential community means that it will be easy to make friends, balance your schoolwork, and develop a “family” of faculty, staff, and students to support you through your studies – and it means we’re an incredibly safe place to live.

Albion College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the American Chemical Society, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the National Association of Schools of Music.

Here are more reasons you'll like Albion:

  • We're ranked among the top 100 U.S. National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News and World Report.

  • Our classes are small, which assures personal attention from exceptional faculty who will help you achieve a first-rate education at a world-class institution.

  • We support extensive opportunities for paid undergraduate research.

  • Our beautiful 90-acre campus adjoins a 144-acre nature center on the banks of the Kalamazoo River.

  • We offer state-of-the-art facilities, including a $41.3 million science complex and 340-acre equestrian center.

  • Cultural, sports, and entertainment centers are nearby, such as Ann Arbor, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and Cleveland.

  • We're committed to building a global campus community.

  • Environmentally friendly and sustainable campus.

  • Total enrollment numbers 1,500

  • Faculty to student ratio 11:1

  • Over 100 clubs and organizations on campus

  • Over 90% of our faculty hold a doctoral or terminal degree.

  • For more rankings view our Awards and Recognitions

Want to learn more? Visit About Albion College and FAQs for International Admissions

International Student Services

Albion College international students and Center for International Education staff have fun in front of the camera.

Where you'll find support for… everything.

International students often choose Albion College because they know they'll have the support they need on campus.

 Center for International Education

The Center for International Education and Off-Campus Study is the global heartbeat of campus. CIE organizes International Student Orientation, hosts programs for international students throughout the year, and provides support for students on non-immigrant visas. CIE also helps any student who wishes to study abroad with the preparation and their return to campus.

 International Orientation

Living and studying far from home can be challenging. You may need help becoming comfortable with our customs, lifestyles, academic practices, and even our food. We've created an international orientation program to help you in the transition.

You'll be greeted at the airport by international orientation leaders and the Director of the Center for International Education. They'll take you to your room at Albion, where your residence hall assistant will help you settle in.

At international orientation, you'll get to know our campus, the city of Albion, and each other. We will help ease your transition and introduce you to the many ways you can get involved on campus. We provide help with things like bank accounts, mobile phones, and shopping trips.

Degree-seeking international students will also participate in SOAR (Student Orientation Advising and Registration), an exciting program that introduces all new students to Albion College.The Office of the Registrar will prepare a preliminary class schedule for you once you complete the online academic forms in your Albion Student Portal. At SOAR you can meet with academic staff to discuss changes.

 Advising and Counseling

Every Albion student has at least four advisors: student and faculty first-year mentors, an academic advisor, and a residence hall assistant. Further, our Counseling Services office provides all students with confidential mental health counseling andreferrals to community mental health agencies.

The Center for International Education provides support for immigration questions, your adjustment to the US, and anything else you want to ask about.

 Health Care

Health insurance enrollment is required for international students. Albion College's Student Health Services clinic provides every Albion student complete outpatient health care with referrals to specialists as needed. Emergency services and full laboratory testing and X-rays are available in cooperation with Oaklawn Hospital.

 Employment Opportunities

Campus employment is available to help you meet expenses. The Career and Internship Center has a listing of on-campus jobs available to all students as well as internship and career opportunities. If you are on an F-1 student visa, you must coordinate any internships and off-campus employment with the director of the director of the Center for International Education and other Albion staff and faculty. Off-campus employment is restricted for students in F-1 status.

 Transportation

Our students go everywhere—and most of them rely on our College transportation. Campus Safety takes students to and from medical appointments or classes if injured. The college also arranges shuttels to the movie theater, shopping malls, grocery, and department stores several times a month. During scheduled holidays, a shuttle service is available to and from Michigan airports for a minimal fee.

 Religious and Multicultural Diversity

At Albion, we value all faiths and individual spiritual development. The Office of the Chaplain supports programs that promote innovative thought on ethics, religion, and social responsibility. And the Office of Intercultural Affairs supports underrepresented students by promoting awareness of multicultural issues among all students, staff, and faculty.


The food is so good that you'll have a hard time trying not to gain weight. Roohia, Pakistan, Sociology, 2018

It's definitely a safe community to study in. The city of Albion isn't a major metropolitan city, so students can focus on their studies and activities. The crime rates are very low too, compared to big cities, so anywhere you go on campus it's a safe place. Duuluu, Mongolia, Biochemistry, 2019

Actually living with students from different backgrounds made me learn lot about their cultures and how to interact with people. The first-year residence hall helped me make lot of new friends who were coming from various places and were also looking for new friends, which was perfect. Duuluu, Mongolia, Biochemistry, 2019

Albion has opened my mind to things that I would not have learned otherwise; from the city of Albion to the homemade solar panels in Israel and everything in between. With every class and extracurricular activity that I do, I find myself expanding my horizons. Roohia, Pakistan, Sociology, 2018

International Student Estimated Costs and Financial Aid

International students attending Albion College are eligible for scholarships.

Meaningful investments will build a life of purpose.

Albion College International Scholarships

International students who meet or exceed the minimum requirements for admission will be awarded academic scholarships . In determining scholarships, we look at a student's overall application, academic achievement and potential for success at Albion College. Scholarships are also available to recognize fine arts talent; students must submit an audition or portfolio for review after admission.

We have many more qualified international applicants than we can support though our financial aid awards. In general, families must be able to contribute most of the cost attendance from sources outside of Albion College.

Estimated Cost for International Students

Before you apply to Albion College, it’s important to review our costs and make a family financial plan. We require the Financial Planning Worksheet as part of your application, and you should discuss this with those who will support your studies. Once you are admitted, you will be required to submit a detailed Statement of Financial Support to document your available funding.

Estimated Costs for International Students

2017-2018 Estimate*
Tuition and Fees $43,050
Housing and Meals $12,210
Personal Expenses $2,000
Health Insurance $1,450
TOTAL COSTS $58,710

*Estimates for 2018-19 will be available in late fall and will be updated in the Statement of Financial Support.

International students are to purchase health insurance coverage approved by the college. For this reason, the estimate may not reflect the cost estimate for US Citizens and Permanent Residents.

In order to receive the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility necessary for your visa application, you must be admitted to Albion College and submit the necessary documentation showing that you have the funds to cover your first year of study. Please complete the Statement of Financial Support no later than 2 months before your intended term of entry.

External Sources for Financial Assistance


Albion has opened my mind to things that I would not have learned otherwise; from the city of Albion to the homemade solar panels in Israel and everything in between. With every class and extracurricular activity that I do, I find myself expanding my horizons. Roohia, Pakistan, Sociology, 2018

Living in residence halls allows you to meet more people and lets you get more work done. There are study areas you can use, and if all that is distracting, you have a million other places to go study. Erris, Kosovo, Mathematics, 2019

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