Admitted International Students
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.
Preparing for Your Visa Appointment
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 here. 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.
To learn what documentation you will need for your visa interview, visit the Department of State’s student visa page.
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.
As soon as you receive your I-20, you should schedule your visa appointment at the consulate. Wait times vary by country and by the time of year. You may find that the consulate is scheduling appointments 6-12 weeks out during busy times.
Speak in English
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. If you plan on majoring in English during your time at Keuka College, 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 from 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. If your family does decide to join you at a later time, it is helpful to have them apply at the same post where you applied for your visa.
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.
Submit Your Transcript Evaluation
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 sent to Keuka College two weeks before your arrival. 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
Access Your New Student Portal
Before arriving to campus, there are a few important forms we need you to fill out. Once you receive your Keuka College username and password, you'll be directed to your New Student Portal. Here, you'll be able to tell us your travel plans, and complete your health, housing and meal plan forms.
You can expect to receive an email from the Office of Intercultural Affairs two weeks after you submit your deposit to Keuka College.
What to Expect in the U.S. and Preparing for Arrival
Once you have been granted a visa and submitted your deposit to Keuka College, you will receive an email about when you need to arrive and how to set up your transportation arrangements to arrive at the Greater Rochester International Airport (KROC). Once you have followed the steps outlined in the email, you will need to keep Keuka College's Office of Intercultural Affairs informed of any changes to your travel itinerary so that we can make the appropriate arrangements for your transportation 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 25 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 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).
What to Wear
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, mini-game shows, bingo, creative activities, sporting events, cultural 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 and have some fun Keuka College does take trips through the semester. Some of these trips include the Waterloo Outlet Mall, the Windmill, a variety of places in Rochester, NY and many more. The Office of Student Affairs provides these trips at no cost to the students.
Making Phone Calls
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. If you are interested, there will be an opportunity to visit this Verizon Wireless store during International Student Orientation.
The Keuka College van takes students to the nearby town of Penn Yan for free on most weekdays and Saturday. The shuttle can take students to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy, local restaurants, and more.
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 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 can request to stay on campus using the process outlined by the Office of Housing and Residence Life a few weeks before the break begins. Many international students often make American friends and tend to go home with them for the holidays to share in the American culture and traditions.
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.
During International Student Orientation you will have the opportunity to shop at the nearest department store to purchase the goods you were unable to bring. Throughout the semester, you will be able to use the college’s transportation system to purchase any additional items.
Academic Support for International Students
In their first semester at Keuka College, most international students will take ENG201, 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.