International Students

“I can confidently say that my experience at SIT was truly life-changing. All the people I’ve met during this year challenged me, taught me new ways of doing things, showed me new perspectives and new opportunities.” – Yana Kraychinskaya, MA in International Education student from Russia

SIT Student Affairs provides assistance to all SIT international graduate students and scholars on our hybrid and certificate programs. Any international student enrolling in one of SIT’s global master’s programs should discuss visa requirements with their admissions counselor.

Admissions Requirements

The application process is the same for international and US students. For more details, please visit our Admissions page.

Verification of English Language Ability

Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from an English-speaking institution in a country whose official language is English must submit test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). (Applicants can access free TOEFL and IELTS practice tests online.)

  • Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of:
    • 600 on the paper-based test (PBT) or
    • 100 on the internet-based iBT.
  • Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of Band 7.0 or higher.
  • Applicants taking the PTE must receive a minimum score of 68.

These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.

Applicants Experiencing English Language Testing Center Closures Due to COVID19

The Covid-19 pandemic has made center-based testing unavailable in much of the world. Because of this, Duolingo, which is taken at home over the Internet, is now accepted as a substitute for the TOEFL and IELTS at a growing number of universities.

The Duolingo English Test presents an entirely different approach to testing because students can take it at home from their own computer. There are no test centers and no appointments. The cost is $49 USD and they can take the test online, anytime.

Application Deposit Payment

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. However, should international students defer program enrollment until the following year, a $400 nonrefundable deposit is required to hold their place.

Financial Aid

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 and merit scholarships. 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.

SIT Scholarships and Grants

SIT offers gift aid 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.

External Sources of Funding for Prospective International Students

For more information on financial aid, please contact your admissions officer.

Visa Information & Requirements

Types of Student Visas:

F-1 Visas
Students participating in summer residencies for our hybrid programs should apply for an F-1 visa. For more information on this process please read below.

J-1 Visas
Students participating in the CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding workshop should apply for a J-1 visa. For more information about this process please visit the CONTACT webpage.

F-1 Visa Application and Information

What is an F-1 visa?
An F-1 visa is a non-immigrant student visa. An F1 visa is issued to international students who are attending an academic program at a US college or university.

What is SEVIS?
The Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the online system that the US government established to maintain correct and current information on non-immigrant students, exchange visitors, scholars and their dependents. The system helps the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ensure that non-immigrant international students and scholars are in the US legally and are studying in the school that has accepted them.

What is the Form I-20 and why do I need it?
The I-20 is a government form issued by schools to certify that a student is eligible to receive an F-1 visa. In order to receive an I-20 from a school, a student must be admitted and must provide evidence that she/he possesses funds sufficient to cover the cost of attendance.

Deadlines for Receipt of I-20 Documents

Due to Department of Homeland Security requirements for processing I-20 and international student visas, we need to receive all documents related to your I-20 well in advance of your program start date. For information concerning US citizenship and immigration regulations and advice about obtaining a student visa, please contact Joyce Howland in SIT International Student Services: joyce.howland@sit.edu.

In order to obtain an F-1 visa, a student must:

Step 1:

Send the Certificate of Finance and supporting documents to SIT Financial Aid at finaid@sit.edu.

Step 2:

  • Submit payment to SIT for:
    • The first enrollment of your degree program. This payment must include tuition, and room and board if you plan to stay on campus. You may deduct the first semester amount of your grant or scholarship awarded by SIT.
    • The SEVIS I-901 fee $475: ($350 SEVIS fee and $125 shipping fee) This fee is required by the US Department of Homeland Security for all international students applying for a student visa. You will be required to pay this $475 fee for each summer residency period.
  • Mail or fax a copy of your passport to the SIT Admissions Office
  • Obtain a Form I-20 from SIT
  • Apply for a visa (Form DS-160) and pay the visa application fee. You may apply online at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

Step 3:
Make an appointment at your local US consulate. Please note that the time required to obtain a visa interview can range from days to weeks depending on the country and region, so give yourself sufficient time to obtain the visa. Current wait times may be found at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html

Fill out your DS-160 form to schedule a visa appointment as soon as you have received your I-20. . In areas where extra administrative processing is required, you should apply as early as possible. Administrative processing can take many months.

To find a US consulate or embassy near you, visit www.usembassy.gov

Step 4:
Go to your visa appointment and bring the following documents:

  • Your Form I-20
  • Your SEVIS fee receipt
  • A valid passport (note: the passport must not be set to expire within six months of your program start date and arrival in the US)
  • Two 2×2-inch passport photographs
  • Your completed, signed visa application forms
  • Copies of your financial documents, including original bank statement that shows you have sufficient funds to study at SIT
  • Your SIT Acceptance Letter
  • Your SIT Award Letter

Read NAFSA’s 10 tips for the visa interview.

For complete information about applying for a student visa, please visit the US State Department website at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/.

How to pay your deposit and SEVIS fee

Payment can be sent to the Student Financial Services office attn: Jim Parker (finaid@sit.edu) or by calling 802 258-3520.

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 processing your funds.

Credit Card Payment

Another quick and easy way to make the payment is to use your VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card. To authorize payment, you must give us the name and number on the card, the expiration date, the amount you wish to charge 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.

Getting Ready to Go to SIT

Buy your airplane tickets

Brattleboro does not have an airport. The closest airports are John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City (200 miles); Logan International Airport in Boston (120 miles); and Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut (90 miles). 

The United States’ new international air travel policy, effective November 8, 2021, replaces the existing country-by-country restrictions, putting in place a consistent approach worldwide. go.usa.gov/xeqyy

Packing Tips

Keep your important documents and a photocopy of each one in your carry-on. Important documents include passport, immigration documents (I-20 or DS 2019), and airplane tickets. Optional but helpful documents include your Admissions Acceptance Letter and/or an academic transcript.

Other items you should keep in your carry-on include the contact number for SIT’s Student Affairs Office, prescription medicine with the prescription, electronics and chargers, and your wallet. Please note: If you and your dependents carry more than $10,000 US,  be sure to complete US Treasury Form FinCEN_105, available at https://fincen.gov/sites/default/files/shared/fin105_cmir.pdf. Carry the completed form with you in your hand luggage, as you will need to show it to the immigration official when you enter the US.

You should also pack a change of clothes, small amounts of essential toiletries, and several days’ worth of any medicine you have to take regularly in your carry-on, so you will have these with you if your checked luggage is lost or delayed.

Before packing, check with your airline about their weight limits. 

Getting to SIT

Once you have arrived in the US, you will need transportation to the Brattleboro Campus. Visit this page to find directions.

International Student Health Insurance

J-1 students are required to have health insurance. While F-1 students studying in the United States are not required to have health insurance, it is highly recommended. International students should secure their own insurance before arriving in the US. Please visit www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/explained/ for more information.