Congratulations on your acceptance to Keuka College! Get ready to be challenged in ways you never imagined. There’s a lot to look forward to, and we are so excited to welcome you to the Keuka College community.
Now that you’ve been admitted, you probably have a lot of questions. Check out the important next steps you need to take before starting your first semester.
When you would like to confirm your attendance, we will need you to send in your $200 USD deposit to Keuka College. You can do this by using our partner site, Flywire.
Once you are accepted, an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student form is created through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency by Keuka College. We will mail an I-20 form to you along with your acceptance letter. You can only for a visa no earlier than 120 days before your anticipate date of entry.
You then must pay $200 USD for the creation of an I-901. This fee does not guarantee a student visa and is paid on the Internet. You must pay this fee before setting up an appointment with your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Once the fee is paid, contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to schedule an appointment for your visa interview.
Visa Interview Tips
To learn what documentation you will need for your visa interview, visit the Department of State’s student visa page.
As soon as you receive your I-20, you should schedule your visa appointment at the consulate. Wait times vary by country and by time of year. You may find that the consulate is scheduling appointments 6-12 weeks out during busy times.
The visa interview will be conducted in English, not in your native language. It may be helpful to practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview, but do not prepare a speech. It is also important that you speak on your own behalf; the consular officer wants to interview you, not a family member. If you attend an English language program, be ready to explain why knowledge of English will be useful to you in your home country.
Ties to Your Home Country
Under U.S. law, all applicants for non-immigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants unless they can convince the consular officer that they are not. Therefore, you must be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the United States. “Ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your current place of residence (examples include: job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc.) You may be asked about your specific plans and career prospects in your home country. Each person’s situation is different, and there is no magic explanation or single document, certificate, or letter that can guarantee visa issuance.
Be familiar with the school you are applying to and its geographic location. You should also be comfortable discussing the academic program to which you have been admitted and how it fits into your career plans. You should be able to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your future professional career, focusing on how you will use those skills when you return home.
Consular offices are under considerable pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview, since there are so many applicants to be seen. In general, they allow for only 2 to 3 minutes per interview and must make a decision during that time. As a result, the initial impression you create is very important, so be sure to keep your answers short and specific.
It should be clear, at a glance, to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be read and evaluated quickly, especially during a short interview. Remember to bring original versions of all supporting documents, if available, with you to the appointment. Your documents should be organized and you should be able to produce what the officer requests quickly.
Not All Countries Are the Same
Applicants from countries that are suffering economic problems, or those where many students have remained in the U.S. as immigrants, often have more difficulty getting visas. They are also more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study in the U.S.
Your main purpose for coming to the U.S. is to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students may work part-time during their studies, such employment is incidental to the main purpose of completing their U.S. education. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program.
Dependents Remaining at Home
If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. If the consular office gets the impression that your family members will need you to remit money from the U.S. in order to support them, your student visa will almost certainly be denied.
Please note: Indicating that your spouse will remain at home while you study in the U.S. is not likely to convince the consulate that you do not intend to immigrate. Other evidence will be needed.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Do not engage the consular official in an argument. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and obtain a written explanation of the reason you were denied.
Students with foreign educational credentials (credits and/or degrees received outside the United States) must receive an official evaluation from a recognized translation agency or official translator. You must have an official transcript evaluation with you when you arrive on campus—there are no exceptions.
Evaluation requirements vary by country, so please be prepared to work with your admissions counselor to ensure that you have submitted all required documents. Evaluations can be requested using one of the following companies:
- Education Credential Evaluators:
- Transfer students must request a course-by-course evaluation.
- Freshman and graduate students must request a general evaluation with grade average report.
- World Education Services:
- All students should request a course-by-course evaluation.
Official evaluations should be submitted to:
Office of Admissions
Attn: International Admissions
141 Central Avenue
Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478
United States of America
Prepare for Arrival
Once you have been granted a visa, you’ll need to set up transportation arrangements to arrive at the Greater Rochester International Airport (KROC). Your acceptance materials will note the dates you should arrive in the United States. You will need to keep Keuka College's international student services office informed of your travel itinerary so that we may arrange transportation for you from the airport to the College.
Coming to the United States in pursuit of higher education is an exciting and rewarding experience, but we understand you may be worried about the American way of life and traveling to the United States. International students are an important part of the Keuka College community, and we look forward to sharing with you the culture and opportunities our country has to offer.
The information in this section is here to help you learn more about traveling to the U.S. and adapting to our culture. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact our office—we’d be happy to help.
Classes are usually small, with an average of 20 students per class depending on your major. Professors are respectful and excited about the subjects that they teach; they take the time to learn your name and enjoy being involved in your college experience. Keuka College’s professors and staff members create a supportive environment that allows each student to achieve personal and academic goals.
Climate and Weather
One of the numerous advantages to studying at our Keuka Park campus is the ability to experience four very distinct seasons.
Summer days can occasionally reach the 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) during the day. In the fall, leaves change to a marvelous display of deep reds, yellows, and oranges, and temperatures average in the 50s Fahrenheit (10s Celsius). The winter brings cold weather, sometimes in the single digits (around -20° Celsius) and students enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities in the snow. The spring, temperatures average around 65° Fahrenheit (about 18° Celsius).
Americans typically choose to dress comfortably and casually. Good winter clothes are essential, and buying them here is often a better option for those coming from a warmer climate. For special events, such as making a presentation in class, students usually wear business casual or professional attire.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
In New York state, the minimum age to consume alcohol is 21; the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products is 18. Smoking is not permitted inside public buildings (including residence halls), bars, or restaurants in the State of New York. Smoking is permitted outside on the Keuka College campus.
Underage drinking and any form of drug use is not tolerated on the Keuka College campus.
Fun and Recreation
There is always a lot going on at Keuka College, such as screened movies, musicians, hypnotists, minigame shows, bingo, creative activities, sporting events, and much more. Keuka College is located in Keuka Park which is two hours and thirty minutes from Niagara Falls, forty minutes from Watkins Glen State Park, and one hour from the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass.
If you want to get off campus, the Waterloo Outlet Mall is only 45 minutes away, or the Windmill Market a mere 20 minutes away. For more options, the Rochester area is just an hour drive from Keuka College. The Keuka College van takes students to most of these venues each week.
Buying a “pay as you go” cell phone or a cell phone with a contract is something that can be done in the nearby town of Penn Yan, less than a 10-minute drive away.
The Keuka College van takes students to the nearby town of Penn Yan for free each day. On the weekends, the van makes trips to Canandaigua, Rochester, East View Mall, or the Waterloo Outlet Mall. The shuttle service also goes to and from the Greater Rochester International Airport as well as the Geneva Bus Station for minimal cost.
Units of Measure
The United States does not use the metric system—it uses the United States Customary System.
Length is measured by the inch, foot, yard, and mile. Fluids are measured in pints, quarts, and gallons. The temperature is measured in degrees Fahrenheit, while pounds and ounces are used for weight.
International students are able to choose from the same residence halls as American students. The Office of Housing and Residence Life page has more information about residence life and the six residence halls at Keuka College.
Keuka College requires all first-year students to live on campus to get the most out of your college life experience.
There are four breaks (vacation/holiday periods) throughout the College year:
- October Break
- Thanksgiving Break
- Winter Break
- Spring Break
Keuka College is closed during designated break periods. International students often make friends quickly and tend to go home with them for the holidays to share in the American culture and traditions. In certain situations, students are permitted to stay on campus during october and spring breaks for a small fee.
Transporting Your Belongings
Keuka College cannot accept or store baggage. If you want to mail a box of belongings ahead of time, you may ship it to:
141 Central Avenue
Keuka Park, N.Y. 14478
United States of America
Please ensure that you will be in the country to accept this package.
Keuka College will drive you to the nearest department store to purchase the goods you were unable to bring.
Academic Support for International Students
In their first semester at Keuka College, most international students will take ENG 201, American Academic Culture, a course aimed at providing non-native English speaking international students with the skills and strategies needed to meet the academic demands of their courses in a U.S. institution of higher education. This course is taught by our English as a Second Language (ESL) faculty.
Our ESL faculty can also provide language tutoring, assistance with writing assignments, or assistance with language-related issues on other assignments.