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International Students

International Students

“SIT provides you an opportunity to widen your knowledge through experiential learning with the wide variety of courses, activities, and meetings with faculty, staff, and students from around the world. It enhances the skills and expertise of its international students, strengthening their contributions for social justice around the world. Brattleboro is a very beautiful little town. Fall is the most beautiful season I have ever seen anywhere. My first impression was the amazing beauty of this season and I hope you will enjoy it. If you never lived in regions where it snows in winter, be prepared for that. You will see snow for a long time and it is beautiful too.”

—Asma Kiran, MA in Sustainable Development alum

Welcome to SIT Graduate Institute's International Students Services.

We are proud to welcome and support international students as they join our multicultural, diverse learning community. SIT welcomes students from all over the world: between 25 and 35 percent of SIT Graduate Institute students are international.

The International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) provides special assistance to all SIT international students. In addition to providing necessary information on student visas and other US immigration regulations, the office counsels and advises students on cultural opportunities, cross-cultural concerns, employment, banking, driving regulations, and much more.

Read international student letters about studying at SIT Graduate Institute.

Contact:
Janet Hulnick
Director, International Student and Scholar Office
Student Center Room 207
Phone 802-258-3364
Fax: 802-258-3252
Email janet.hulnick@sit.edu
Skype: JHulnickpurple

Current students: Please visit our Continuing Students page.

SIT welcomes students from a wide range of economic backgrounds. Though funds are limited, international applicants are encouraged to apply for financial aid administrated by SIT. Financial aid is available to international students in the form of need-based grants, merit scholarships, and work-study opportunities. SIT financial aid typically covers about one-third of an international student's total costs. In recent years, more than 85 percent of all international students received partial support through SIT.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

  • International students will be contacted directly by the Admissions Office with a link to the online financial aid application and procedures for completing the financial aid process.

SIT Scholarships and Grants

SIT offers gift aid averaging between $2,500 and $11,500 for international students, based on need and merit. Several competitive SIT scholarships have also been established to recognize students who reflect the SIT mission through their professional and personal lives.

No additional application is required to be considered for SIT gift aid and competitive scholarships.


Employment for International Students

SIT Work Opportunity. The SIT Work Opportunity program supports the part-time employment of international students who need the income to help pay for the cost of their education. A variety of employment opportunities are available each year. Most student employment opportunities are funded through this program, and only students who are awarded work study funding as part of their financial aid package can participate. The rate of pay complies with the minimum wage law in the State of Vermont. Learn more about the various work study positions available.

Campus Resident Advisors. Students can also earn the equivalent of room and board fees by working to create a cohesive learning community as a resident advisor in SIT’s multicultural dormitories. Students do not need to qualify for financial aid to be eligible for these positions. Applications are only made available to students upon admission to an SIT graduate program through acceptance notification materials. The Housing Office begins making position appointments in April, and selection is based on demonstrated skills and experience.


External Sources of Funding for Prospective International Students


For more information on financial aid, please contact:

SIT Financial Aid Office
Tel: 802 258-3281
Tel: 800 336-1616 (toll-free in the US)
Fax: 802 258-3500
Email: finaid@sit.edu

Because international students must pay their first semester tuition and fees as part of their student visa process, SIT does not require the $400 deposit payment for international students. International students should review the information concerning student visas and focus their efforts on completing the necessary steps to obtain their I-20 and student visa, as outlined in the section below.

Every international student is required to have a valid student visa issued by the US government authorizing their study in the US. After you have been admitted to SIT, your finances for the first year of study have been documented, and the payment for your first enrollment period has been received, you will be sent an I-20 form. To apply for your student visa, you will need to present the I-20 form and your passport to the United States Consulate or United States Embassy in your country. For additional information concerning US immigration regulations and advice about obtaining a student visa, please email Janet Hulnick, director of the International Students and Scholars Office or call at 802 258-3364.

US Immigration Links:

Obtaining Your I-20 and Your Visa

Requirements for Non-Residents NOT CURRENTLY IN THE US

  1. You must be accepted to one of our degree programs. You will be notified in writing of your acceptance. You must take this acceptance letter with you to the consulate office or embassy when you apply for your visa.
  2. You must complete the Certification of Finances (PDF) form and return it to SIT.
    Your Certification of Finances form must demonstrate and document that you have sufficient funds to pay the expenses related to your education in the US and your return home at your program's conclusion.
  3. You must mail or fax a copy of your passport to the SIT Graduate Admissions Office.
  4. SIT must have received payment for the first enrollment period for your degree program.
    This payment must include tuition, fees, insurance, and room and board if you plan to live on campus. You may deduct the first semester amount of your grant or scholarship awarded by SIT. Note: A $200 SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee will be added to the above total. This fee is required by the US Department of Homeland Security for all students applying for a student visa.
  5. We prefer that you send your payment by check or international money order directly to SIT.
    Please make the check payable to World Learning. Please indicate your name and program on the check or in a letter sent with the payment. You should also notify your admissions counselor when you send payment, which will assist in the processing of your funds.

The Certification of Finances form and payment can be sent to:

SIT Graduate Institute
Attn: Janet Hulnick, Director of the International Students and Scholars Office
1 Kipling Road, PO Box 676
Brattleboro, VT 05302-0676 USA

Credit Card Payment

Another quick and easy way to make the payment is to use your VISA or MasterCard. To authorize payment you must give us the name on the card, the number of the card, the expiration date, the amount you wish to be charged to your card, and your signature if the request is made by letter or fax. Your request for us to charge your credit card can even be made by email or over the telephone.

Wire Transfer Payment

You may also make your payment by wire transfer. This is a secure method of payment, but it can take up to four weeks for your student account to be credited. Please consider this option carefully if time is limited.

Once your Certification of Finances has been reviewed, your admissions counselor or the Financial Aid Office can provide you with the details of the wire transfer process.


Requirements for Non-Residents ALREADY IN THE US

  1. You must be accepted to one of our degree programs.
    (See above.)
  2. You must complete the Certification of Finances form.
    (See above.)
  3. SIT must have received payment for the first enrollment period for your degree program.
    (See above.)
    Depending upon your current immigration status, you may or may not have to pay the $100 SEVIS fee.
  4. Photocopy the following and send the copy to the SIT Admissions Office:
    • The issue page of your passport (the page that states where and when your passport was issued)
    • The page of your passport showing your current US visa
    • Your I-94 card (the card you were given when you entered the US)
    • Your current I-20 or DS 2019

Deadlines for Receipt of I-20 Documents:

Due to the Department of Homeland Security's requirements for processing I-20s and international student visas, we will need to receive all documents related to your I-20 by the following deadlines in order to issue the I-20:

Program Deadline for Receipt
of All I-20 Documents
International Education Low-Residency MA and Certificate Programs April 15
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Low-Residency MA Program May 15
Fall Term Graduate Programs July 15

As you plan for graduate study at SIT, you may find completing the estimate of expenses worksheet helpful. This document is for personal planning purposes only, so do not submit it to SIT.

For additional information concerning US citizenship and immigration regulations, and advice about obtaining a student visa, please contact SIT's International Student and Scholar Office at 802 258-3364.

Note for participants who come to the US on an F-1 or J-1 visa: SIT is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.


Useful links for obtaining 1-20 and student visas

Types of Student Visas: F-1 and J-1

  F-1 J-1
Eligibility Restrictions None Cannot be self-funded and a substantial portion of your financial support must be from a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship from an external funding source.
On-Campus Employment Limited up to 20 hours per week while school is in session; may work full-time during vacation periods Same as F-1
Off-Campus Employment Yes Yes
  Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Academic Training
  Optional Practical Training (OPT) Unforeseen Economic Hardship
  Unforeseen Economic Hardship  
Possibility of Changing Status Yes, fairly easily Yes/No. Depends on whether the student is subject to the 2-year home residency requirement.
Work Authorization For Spouse Not allowed Yes, with evidence that earnings are not to support the J-1 visa holder, and it requires BCIS approval.
Termination of Studies Leave US immediately. Leave US immediately.
Completion of Studies Leave US in 60 days. Leave US in 30 days.

SIT offers multiple ways to support international students for whom English is not their first language, both before and during the on-campus academic year.

Intensive Academic English Preparation Course

Prior to the start of the fall semester, incoming international students can enroll in an intensive academic preparation course. This three-week course is designed specifically for international students who wish to improve their English language and study skills before beginning the residency phase of an SIT graduate program.

The course includes but is not limited to:
  • Discussion skills
  • Presentation skills (formal and informal)
  • Writing skills
  • Intercultural communication and cultural adjustment
  • US culture
  • Pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar skills (addressed as needed)

Special attention is placed on grammar, academic reading and writing, note-taking strategies, class discussions, and presentations. Additionally, the course is a great opportunity to meet other international students.

Additional resources available during the academic year

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) is offered at an advanced level during the academic year for students for whom English is not a first language.
  • SIT’s Language and Culture Department has writing tutors who offer support for students in need of assistance with their written work.

SIT/World Learning, Inc. | 1 Kipling Road, Brattleboro, VT 05302-0676 | 1015 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
802 258-3510 | 800 336-1616 (toll-free in the US)
© SIT Graduate Institute 2014

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