International Students

Stanford Summer Session has been pleased to welcome students from more than 50 countries from around the world. In order to attend Stanford Summer Session, international students must satisfy additional requirements set by the U.S. government and our program. 

Additional International Student Requirements

Please review the following information below regarding international students requirements for:

Students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible to avoid delays in processing their I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) and obtaining their F-1 Student Visas.

English Language Proficiency

It is a stated requirement of the Stanford sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) that students studying in the U.S. must be fluent in spoken and written English. All courses are taught in English. Students should feel comfortable enough in the language to communicate with their roommates and classmates while studying at Stanford. Language proficiency will be verified in one of three ways:

If you are a native English speaker

Native English speakers are exempt from providing English Language Proficiency exam scores. Native speakers typically learn English as children, speak the language at home, and it is usually the native language in your country of origin (e.g. Australia, Jamaica, United Kingdom). Native speaker exemption requests will be reviewed as part of the application process. The Stanford Summer Session office reserves the right to request additional information and/or require language proficiency exam scores.

If you attend a school where English is the primary language of instruction

Students who have completed a year or more of full-time coursework at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction can qualify for an English language waiver. The year of coursework must be completed by December 31, 2018. Courses must be academic in nature and not courses teaching English as a second language.

Undergraduate and Graduate applicants must have completed the year of coursework at a university or post-secondary institution. Post-secondary education is after grade 12 in the United States or equivalent international grade level.

High School Summer College applicants must have completed the year of coursework at a high school or secondary institution. Secondary education is grades 9 - 12 in the United States or equivalent international grade levels.

English language waiver requests will be reviewed as part of the application process. The Stanford Summer Session office reserves the right to request additional information and/or require language proficiency exam scores.

If you attend an international school where English is not the primary language of instruction:

Stanford Summer Session requires the submission of qualifying TOEFL Exam, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Cambridge Assessment English scores as part of the application process. Exam scores are valid for two years and must be valid as of the application deadline for each program. 

The following score minimums are a strict program requirement. Exam scores below the minimum will not satisfy the English language proficiency requirement. 

Internet-Based Test of English as a Foreign Language (iBT TOEFL)
  • Minimum score of 95 for the iBT TOEFL 
International English Language Testing System: Academic (IELTS: Academic)
  • Minimum overall band score of 7.0
Cambridge Assessment English
  • Minimum score of 180 on the Cambridge English Advanced, CEFR Level C1

Visa Requirements

Stanford requires international students who attend Stanford Summer Session to have a visa appropriate for academic study. For most students, this will be an F-1 Student Visa, although there are additional visa classifications that cover credit-based study.

The following visa requirements apply only to students who have submitted applications to Stanford Summer Session. Other summer programs on the Stanford campus have their own visa requirements which may differ.

If you are already studying in the U.S. with an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) sponsored by another institution:

You may not require a new I-20 from Stanford. Applicants are able to describe their visa situation as part of their online application and will be contacted directly if additional information is needed. If you have questions about your visa status, you are encouraged to contact the Stanford Summer Session office.

If you require an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) from Stanford:

You are required to maintain enrollment in a minimum of 8 course units. The Stanford Summer Session office will monitor enrollment throughout the Summer Quarter to ensure compliance.

Process to Obtain an F-1 Student Visa

The first step in the process of attending Stanford for the summer is to apply.  If offered admission, the next step is to complete an acceptance process. This process includes submission of the following three documents:

  • Declaration of Finance: An online form completed as part of the Stanford Summer Session acceptance process.
  • Proof of Funding Document: A letter or statement from your financial institution or from your family’s financial institution, verifying that there are funds sufficient to cover the program’s full cost as stated on the Declaration of Finance. This document must be shown in U.S. dollars. We will also accept documents with the financial information listed in local currency, if necessary. It is recommended that you request two originals of this document: one to submit to Stanford and one to bring with you to your appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. When funding for the program comes from a source other than you (e.g. parent, company, or agency), the Stanford Summer Session office requires a short message from this source explaining that funds held in their name will be used to cover program costs incurred by the applicant.
  • Current Passport Photocopy: A copy of the identification page(s) of your passport.

Once all acceptance items have been received and you have been assigned a Stanford ID number, Stanford University will generate your I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status).

After you receive your I-20, the following items must be completed by the student in order to obtain an F-1 Student Visa:

  • Pay the SEVIS fee to the U.S. Government and obtain a receipt. Go to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) SEVIS I-901 website for information about the process, including details on how to pay the SEVIS fee online.
  • Arrange an F-1 Visa appointment at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate after you have received an I-20 and paid the SEVIS fee. You should follow the guidelines of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for requesting an F-1 Student Visa. The appropriate visa application fee will be assessed at the time of the appointment. You should plan ahead and allow plenty of time for this process to occur. To attend Stanford Stanford Summer Session, you must arrive to campus on Saturday, June 22, 2019.
  • Present the following items at the visa Appointment:
    • Original I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status)
    • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt
    • Stanford University Stanford Summer Session Admission Letter (available online within the Stanford Summer Session applicant portal)
    • Original Proof of Funding Document
    • Valid Passport
    • 2 Passport-Size Photos

For assistance with general questions about student visas, you should consult the U.S. Department of State Visas website. There you will find helpful information about the F-1 Student Visa, including locations of U.S. Embassies and Consulates, timelines for scheduling interviews, details about visa processing, and more.

Contact the Stanford Summer Session office if you have any questions relating to immigration or visa matters. F-1 students in initial status may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the “report date” listed on the I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status). On-campus housing is not available until June 22, 2019.

Document Requirements

The following six documents must be presented to the Port of Entry Officer upon entry to the United States:

  • Original I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status)
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Stanford University's Stanford Summer Session Admission Letter (available online within the Stanford Summer Session applicant status page)
  • Original Proof of Funding Document
  • F-1 Visa (this is the visa stamp attached to your passport by the U.S. Embassy)
  • Passport

On Stanford’s Campus

You are required to verify your presence on campus within the first few days of the program. Detailed information about how to fulfill this requirement will be sent by email prior to arrival. You are required to present the following four documents as part of the verification process:

  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (please print; this is retrievable online at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home)
  • Original I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status)
  • Stanford ID number
  • Passport with stamped F-1 Visa
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