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Skidmore College
Summer Sessions

Students examining things

International students

In accordance with U.S. Federal regulations, all non-U.S. citizens must have a student visa to study in the United States. You may not attend Skidmore on a tourist visa. If you are an international student applying to summer sessions, please review the visa information below.



Welcome to Skidmore!

Each year, Skidmore welcomes students from around the world who seek a college experience in the United States. They come to Skidmore to experience the challenges of college-level learning, the independence and self-discipline necessary for life on a college campus, and to meet new friends from around the US and the world who share their academic interests and goals. To prepare yourself for success at Skidmore, please read carefully the following information regarding language proficiency and Visa requirements for studying in the US.

Language Proficiency

When choosing a course or program, give serious consideration not only to your interest in and familiarity with the subject matter, but just as importantly, your level of English proficiency as well. Students who participate in these programs must have a strong command of the English language to succeed in rigorous academic study, which involves:

  • listening to lectures
  • engaging actively in class discussion
  • fast-paced reading and writing in English

You will need, as well, to be able to communicate effectively with your peers socially. Because these programs provide academic challenges typical of college-level study and opportunities for you to experience the academic and social aspects of American college life, your proficiency in English is crucial to having a positive experience. Students who struggle with their skills in listening, speaking, reading or writing, will find that their challenges with the language itself can present significant obstacles to their learning of the subject matter, no matter how well prepared or interested in that subject matter they may be. Determining that your level of English language proficiency is appropriate for your chosen program and courses is essential to a successful outcome at Skidmore. While some courses require substantially more reading and writing than others, all will require listening and speaking skills at a high level.

We do not require the TOEFL or any other language exam as part of the application process. We will carefully review all application materials in order to determine if a student's English language proficiency is aligned with the level needed for our course and program offerings.

Important: Immigration Guidelines

Enrollment in credit courses, or courses that entail greater than 18 hours per week of in-class time requires that nonimmigrant students obtain an F-1 student Visa, specifically:

  • Nonimmigrant students enrolling in Skidmore's Summer Session or the Pre-College Program must obtain an F-1 student Visa and, as stipulated by the regulations, must also be enrolled full-time, that is, enrolled in two courses.
  • Once in the US, nonimmigrant students cannot change their course enrollments by adding or dropping courses, shortening or extending their enrollment, without potentially jeopardizing their visa status, and therefore should choose their courses carefully.

You will require I-20 documentation, so please ensure that you adhere to appropriate deadlines to submit application and immigration related materials. Your complete application must be received by April 1 and immigration-related materials must be received by May 30.

IMPORTANT: Do not enter the U.S. as a tourist (e.g. B-2 or Visa waiver program). If you enter the country in the wrong status, you may be detained at the point of entry or risk future entry attempts into the country.

Application Instructions for International Students Requiring an F-1 Visa

  1. Complete your application
  2. A complete application includes:
    • A completed online application
    • A transcript from your current school
    • A current grade report from your school
    • Two letters of recommendation completed by an instructor
    • If applying for art courses, 8-10 jpegs of your artwork
    • The application fee, payable online
  3. PLEASE NOTE: We cannot accept international checks for application fee payments. Also, the name on your application materials must match the name on your passport.
  4. Await an admission decision
  5. Confirm your attendance and choose your courses
  6. Accepted students must confirm their attendance with a $500 deposit, payable online. We cannot accept international checks for deposit payments. We can accept payments via Flywire, please see the International Wire Transfer section below.
  7. After you have been enrolled in your course choices, you will be notified of your outstanding balance and you should make full payment of fees. Fees include: the course(s) selected, room and board, activities fee, and any additional material/lab fees).

A) Students outside the U.S. and in need of an F-1 Form I-20 to attend a full-time program

  • A copy of the student’s biographical page(s) of their passport
  • PLEASE NOTE: You must either pay in full or provide us with financial documentation from you or your sponsors before we can process your I-20.  The I-20 is required for the Visa application process. Delays in payment or providing financial documentation will result in delays in arranging for a timely F-1 Visa interview at a U.S. consulate.
  • We will send the I-20 to you via international courier. You should receive your I-20 following our receipt of full payment, completed forms and required documents
  • F-1 students can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date of their program

B) Students currently studying in the U.S. with an I-20 and F-1 Visa:
If you currently have an I-20 from another school in the U.S. and intend to return to that school after the summer, submit copies of your:

  • I-20
  • A copy of the student’s biographical page(s) of their passport
  • F-1 Visa
  • A letter from your current school confirming your lawful status and eligibility to continue your education there after completion of your summer courses at Skidmore

C) Students currently in the U.S. in status other than F-1:
If you are currently in the U.S. in an immigration status other than F-1 you will need to submit copies of your:

  • A copy of the student’s biographical page(s) of their passport
  • Visa
  • I-94
  • I-797 approval notice (if applicable)

F-1 Visa Application Instructions


For Canadian Citizens

Although you do not need an F-1 Visa to enter the United States in F-1 status, you will need a Form I-20, and should follow the instructions above for obtaining that document. You must also pay the SEVIS fee and present your SEVIS receipt and I-20 at the U.S.—Canada land border or at the airport for lawful entry to the U.S. as an F-1 student. Please make sure at the Port of Entry that you receive an I-94 arrival/departure record (small white card) stamped “F-1 D/S” (D/S – Duration of Status).

To apply for an F-1 Visa:

  • Review Form I-20 and sign bottom of page 1 if all information is correct.
  • If student is under the age of 18, parent must co-sign on bottom of page 1. If there are any questions about the Form I-20, please contact the School of Professional Studies as soon as possible.
  • Pay the required SEVIS fee to the U.S. Government, and obtain a receipt.
  • In order to apply for the F-1 Visa, you will need to provide receipt of payment of a $200 SEVIS fee to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For payment instructions, please go to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Form I-901 Online Completion website at For more detailed information go to the SEVP website and review Frequently Asked Questions. This site also contains a link to Form I-901.
  • Complete online visa application forms and set up an F-1 Visa appointment with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
  • Once you receive your I-20 from Skidmore College and have paid your SEVIS fee, you will be able to set up an appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy nearest you. Please follow the guidelines of the individual U.S. Embassy or Consulate for requesting your F-1 Visa. Appropriate Visa application fees will be assessed at the time of your appointment. Detailed instructions for the F-1 Visa application can be found at the website of the U.S. consulate where you will apply.

    Listing of U.S. consulates:

Remember - At your Visa Appointment, you must present:

  • SEVIS Form I-20
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Skidmore College Admissions Letter
  • Official proof of funding or receipt of full payment for program
  • Valid Passport

Entering the U.S.

If requesting admission to enter the United States in F-1 status with an I-20 from Skidmore, you must present to the Port of Entry Officer:

  • SEVIS Form I-20
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Skidmore College Admissions Letter
  • Official proof of funding or receipt of full payment for program
  • Valid Passport
  • I-94 Arrival / Departure card (received from the airline during the flight

International Wire Transfers

Visit the Flywire website to make an international student account payment.