Each year, Brown welcomes students from around the world who seek a college experience in the United States. They come to Brown 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 Brown, please carefully read the following information regarding language proficiency and visa requirements for studying in the US.
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, to your level of English proficiency. Students who participate in these programs must have a strong command of the English language in order to succeed in rigorous academic study, involving:
You will also need to be able to communicate effectively with your peers in social settings. Because these programs provide both 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 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 Brown. While some courses may require substantially more reading and writing than others, all will require listening and speaking skills at a high level.
Students for whom a language other than English is the primary language of instruction will be required, as part of their application, to submit an English Language Assessment, to be completed and submitted by their English teacher.
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.
Some classes may employ a writing exercise to assess student language proficiency on the first day of class. If, in our judgment, the student’s level of proficiency does not meet the minimum necessary for succeeding in the course or program of their choice, we may direct the student to a more appropriate course or program.
Student applicants are encouraged to review our Financial Policies. Please note that there is a $50 international processing fee and a $75 health insurance fee required for all non-credit international students. The international processing covers various costs associated with foreign delivery of completion materials, I-20 documents and refunds where applicable as well as other costs associated with foreign bank fees, etc.
International students are considered non-United States citizens or permanent residents of the United States. United States citizens living abroad are charged neither the processing fee nor the health insurance fee, unless insurance is requested.
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:
For programs, courses, or combination of courses that require I-20 documentation, please ensure that you adhere to appropriate deadlines to submit application and immigration related materials:
|If your course begins on:||Your complete application and immigration-related materials must be received by:|
|June 17||April 19|
|June 24||April 26|
|July 8||May 3|
|July 15||May 10|
|July 22||May 17|
|July 29||May 24|
Immigration rules allow visitors on a tourist visa (B-2 or Visa Waiver Program (VWP)), who are coming to the U.S. primarily for tourism to take a short course of study which is not for credit and is less than 18 hours per week. A consular officer will determine the Visa that may be appropriate based on the purpose of a visitor’s travel and supporting documentation.
Brown University does not provide formal supporting documentation to enable students to acquire a tourist visa. Your acceptance letter to our programs can serve as proof of initial visit.
IMPORTANT: If your enrollment is full-time, meets in excess of 18 hours per week, 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 Port of Entry or risk future entry attempts into the country.
PLEASE NOTE: U.S. CONSULATE VISA PROCESSING AND VISA APPOINTMENT WAIT TIMES CAN BE LENGTHY. PLEASE ALLOW ADEQUATE TIME FOR PROCESSING.
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:
Remember - At your visa appointment, you must present:
Students who have been issued a Brown Sponsored F-1 visa are required to send an electronic copy of the visa to SPSInternational@brown.edu. Failure to do so could result in registration complications.
Countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
General Questions About Student Visas: Please consult the U.S. Department of State Visa Page where you will find links to specific consular locations and other helpful information at http://travel.state.gov.
Listing of U.S. consulates: http://usembassy.state.gov/
Please plan ahead as processing times vary at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
If requesting admission to enter the United States in F-1 status with an I-20 from Brown, you must present to the Port of Entry Officer:
If requesting admission to enter the United States in a status other than F-1 or with an F-1 I-20 from another U.S. academic institution, please contact the appropriate party responsible for your immigration status about travel information.
Brown University has partnered with Flywire to offer a streamlined and cost-saving way to make international tuition payments. With this partnership, students and families are offered favorable foreign exchange rates, the ability to pay in your home currency (in most cases) and savings compared to traditional banks. In addition, you will be able to track your payment via Flywire's dashboard and you will be notified via email (and/or text) when your payment is received by Brown University.
Visit the Flywire website to make an international student account payment.
Please contact us by email: SPSInternational@brown.edu
Or by phone: (401) 863-7900 Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 4:45pm EST