News Archive

Visa Application Information

Upon receiving your deposit and confirmation to enroll at Albion College, the College will mail to you an I-20 or DS-2019. (Again, the I-20 is sent to degree-seeking students to obtain an F-1 visa. The DS-2019 is sent to exchange students and native speakers to obtain a J-1 visa.)

When you receive the I-20/DS-2019:

  1. Check it for accuracy. (name, birth date, gender, etc.)
  2. Sign and date the form.
  3. Make an interview appointment with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you delay, there can be a lengthy wait in getting a visa.
  4. Check with the U.S. embassy/consulate for a list of documents required for your interview.

Here is a brief list of documents you should be prepared to show:

  • Completed visa application
  • Valid passport
  • Your signed I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-901 Receipt (SEVIS fee payment receipt)
  • Financial documents (proof of finances)
  • Any additional documents the embassy may request you to bring to your appointment

Preparation for the interview:

In addition to gathering the necessary documents and forms, we encourage you to prepare for your interview with the U.S. embassy/consulate. You may want to give some special thought to your:

  • Foreign residence and ties to a community
  • Intention to return to the place of foreign residence
  • Ability to financially support yourself (and family, if included) while in the U.S.

What Should I Bring? What Should I Leave at Home?

Many international students are unsure of what they will need once they get to campus and move into their dorm room. Please read the following advice from our office and other international students.

  • Bring a long ethernet cord for your computer; sometimes the connection is way across the room!

  • Bring flip flops with you; they are less expensive overseas and you will wear them all the time in the United States.

  • Bring pictures, music, and videos from home; they will help you when you are feeling homesick and you can share them with students who are curious about your country, too.

  • Bring your medications if at all possible. Medicine in the United States is very expensive.

  • Bring some nice clothes with you, but not too many. You will have a chance to dress up,but mostly students wear jeans, T-shirts, and sweatpants.  Lubricant eyedrops: since most students face dry eyes when traveling for several hours.

  • Bring some of your favorite cookies, candy, or treats from home; you can't always get the same foods in the U.S. as you can at home. Also, be willing to try new foods native to the United States. You might also want to bring recipes from home.

  • Leave anything really big at home; you can buy almost anything in the U.S. and will have plenty of opportunities to shop.(ex. stereo, flashlight, hot pot, surge protector and other electrical appliances).

  • Bring your camera and extra memory cards so that you can take and send lots of pictures home to family and friends.

  • You may want to bring a dictionary that translates words from English to your own language and vice-versa.  The majority speak English in the United States and it's never too late to began improving your English lexicon.
  • You may want to bring an umbrella or raincoat.  The weather in Michigan is very unpredictable, and no one likes being caught in the rain.
  • Other miscellaneous items may include: address book, lip balm, calculator, and sewing kit.
  • Don't bring large containers of shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste with you; you will have a shopping trip your first full day here.

  • Don't bring school supplies; they are very cheap and easy to get.

  • Don't bring appliances unless you have an adapter; the United States runs on 120 single-phase voltage. Bring an adapter for your computer, too!


First-Year Experiences with French

All entering students enroll in a First-Year Seminar as part of the College's core requirement for graduation. Small classes like these—with an emphasis on discussion, an opportunity for individualized student research projects, and the development of strong communication skills—serve as the foundation for your undergraduate experience. The seminars below are instructed by professors of French in the Modern Languages and Cultures Department.

Cultures, Connections, and Communities from Albion to France—and Back

Instructor: Dr. Dianne Guenin-Lelle

The Albion-France connection is rich, vibrant, and longstanding. We continue to have students and alumni living, working, and studying in Grenoble and Paris, while French native speakers live and study at Albion College. As part of the course, we will meet and interview some of these individuals, both at Albion and in France. We will learn from their experiences and insights. As another part of the course, we will study the theories of "culture" and cross-cultural communication, in order to understand which parts of our identity are embedded in American culture, and how our culture acts as a filter through which we understand other cultures.

Course materials include readings such as Cultural Misunderstandings, A Year in Provence, and Au Contraire: Figuring out the French, and we will also draw on French news media and films as well as the Internet. As part of our fieldwork, there will be a trip to France, during fall break, with stays in Paris and in Albion's sister city, Noisy-le-Roi. To enroll in the course, students will need to have studied French for at least two years in high school. A passport and a field trip fee are required.

An instructor for the past 21 years, Dianne Guenin-Lelle (Ph.D., Louisiana State University) has taught a wide array of courses at all levels of French, as well as courses relating to women's studies, ethnic studies, and peace studies. Born in New Orleans, in a family where French is not a "foreign" language, she researches the current cultural renaissance in Southwest Louisiana, post-Katrina studies relating to New Orleans, 17th-century French Quietism, and multicultural teaching. She hopes that her students learn to be more understanding of the richness of the human condition, and more tolerant and accepting of difference. She loves to sail, travel, and spend time with her family.

pdfSee pictures from France and read what students have said about the experience.

Read the trip's student-created blog, To France and Back.

Africa: Myth and Reality

Instructor: Dr. Emmanuel Yewah

Pick up a local, national, or international paper; watch the news; read some major texts, even some comics; surf the web and two things become immediately clear to you:

  1. Africa is totally absent, nonexistent, a "blank or enchanting darkness," a "heart of darkness."

  2. If it does appear at all, the picture is that of a continent in crisis, a continent "enmeshed in a web of myth" ranging from "the dark continent or wild Africa," "the place on earth that abounds with wild animals," "the last great wilderness, the untamed paradise, the virgin land," to a continent without a history because, according to some Western historians, "whereas other continents had shaped history and determined its course, Africa had stood still, held down by inertia."

Given the pervasiveness of myths about Africa, this course, with emphasis upon a multidisciplinary perspective, will use several sources—geography, history, newspapers, the Internet, the arts, film, documentaries, literature, etc.—to analyze the myths in order to understand how they have been constructed. The second part of the class will attempt to deconstruct those myths to see the reality hidden behind them, reality that will become clear with the experiential trip to Cameroon in Central Africa.

The objectives of the course are to acquaint you with the "other" Africa and to encourage you to reevaluate some of your basic assumptions; to gain a sense of who Africans are and what they do, feel, and hope for; to develop critical reading, viewing, and surfing skills and an appreciation of African art; and to sharpen your research skills, oral communication, and your ability to analyze and synthesize information.

pdfSee pictures of Cameroon and read what students have said about the experience.

Newly Admitted International Students FAQ

What do I need to take to my visa interview?
You should take your I-20 and acceptance letter that you received from Albion College, your passport, and your financial information.

How do I get my student number from Albion College?
Once you have paid your deposit, you are given an Albion College student identification number. You should receive it in the mail. You can also contact the CIE office to get your number.

When do I register for classes?
You will actually register for classes when you get here in August at SOAR.

How do I apply for housing and when will I find out who my roommate is?
You should fill out and turn in your housing application when signing up for SOAR. Residential Life will contact you toward the end of June with your housing assignment and your roommate information.

Do I have to attend international student orientation and SOAR?
Yes. It is mandatory for all new incoming international students to attend international student orientation and SOAR. You will need to arrive to campus in August about two weeks before the start of classes.

If I arrive early will someone from campus pick me up at the airport?
Albion College will only run shuttles to the airport (DTW) on the specific date sent to you by the CIE office.

Does Albion College run a shuttle to all airports?
No. We will only pick up students at Detroit Metro Airtport (DTW).

Can my family come with me to orientation?
Family members are welcome at SOAR, but during international orientation you will be with other students from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day, so it is not recommended that family join you. Family will have to find other transportation arrangements as we only run a shuttle for new incoming students and all of their luggage. They will also need to make housing arrangements with an area hotel or B&B in town.


What paperwork should I have with me when I am traveling to the United States?
You should have your passport, visa, and I-20 as well as your acceptance letter from Albion College. You will be given an I-94 card to fill out when you are on the plane coming to the United States. Do not lose this card.

If I miss a connecting flight or have trouble with immigration or Customs, what should I do?
Contact Albion College at 517/629-0392 during the day, or if it is after 5 p.m. call Albion College Campus Safety at 517/629-1234—a Campus Safety representative will then get in touch with our Designated School Official.

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