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Questions from International Students

Tuition/Fees? Employment? Academic environment? Student life?

  1. After studying in California for one year, are international students eligible for in-state tuition (or California Resident Fee)?
    No, international students are not eligible for in-state tuition.  They are required to pay Non-California Resident Fee, International Student Fee and Enrollment Fee for the duration of their attendance at a California community college.  For information about tuition and fees, please browse Enrollment Fees.
  2. Are international students eligible for financial aid or scholarships?
    U.S. Federal or California State financial aid programs are designed for American students.  International students holding an F-1 visa or other visas are not eligible for these government-sponsored financial aid programs.  However, international students are eligible to compete for SBVC college scholarships.
  3. Are international students permitted to work?
    International students holding an F-1 visa are permitted to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week in the spring and fall semesters, and 40 hours in the summer.  However, on-campus employment is not guaranteed.  F-1 visa students cannot work off campus, except during their practical internship period after completing their academic programs in San Bernardino Valley College.  Considering the employment situation, international students should not count on the income from US employment to cover the costs during the period of their attendance at SBVC.  They are required to have sufficient funds to cover the costs while in the US on an F-1 visa.
  4. Does the college offer an intensive ESL (English as a Second Language) program?
    The college offers some ESL courses for non-English-speaking students.  However, it does not have an intensive ESL Program at this time.  Students who are seeking an intensive ESL Program in the local area can contact English Language Program at California State University, San Bernardino or English Language Programs at University of California, Riverside for the information about these programs.
  5. Can an international student apply course credits earned in colleges or universities outside of the U.S. toward his or her SBVC degrees or academic programs?
    SBVC will give students credits toward their degrees if the courses are evaluated by a approved foreign credential evaluation agency.  On the evaluation sheets, course information must include grades and course levels, "Upper" or "Lower" division.   Credits for coursework outside of the United States approved by SBVC are only applicable to SBVC degrees and certificates.  

    Students should be advised that college-level English courses taken at a non-US institution may or may not be considered equivalent to college-level English courses at SBVC.  Mathematics courses that are not clearly defined as statistics or calculus, etc., may require further documentation.  Most students will be required to take the Basic Skills Assessment Test upon admissions to the college, prior to their first-semester class registration.  The test assesses students' English writing, reading/comprehension and Mathematics skills and places them in appropriate courses.  Courses that are specific to majors may or may not be applied towards general education requirements. Students should also be advised if they transfer to another college or university, their foreign transcripts will be re-evaluated by the receiving institution. Questions regarding evaluation of foreign transcripts may be directed to Mr. Sophin Im, Admissions and Records Evaluator at (909) 384-8943, or International Student Counselor at (909) 384-4404.
  6. What is the average class size?
    The average class size is between 25 to 35 students. 
  7. Tell me about the Valley College faculty.
    San Bernardino Valley College professors focus on teaching instead of research.  They are accessible, dedicated and able to give students personalized attention.  All college full time faculty members hold either master’s or doctoral degrees in their chosen academic fields or disciplines. 
  8. Are there any special programs help students succeed?
    Yes.  Our Counseling Center and Transfer/Career Center assist students in making an informed decision on their career/academic goal(s) and creating an educational plan toward their goal(s.)  Our STEM Center (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Tutoring Services provide free tutoring services and workshops on Math, Science, English, etc.  Our Honors Program provides an enriched college experience for highly motivated students.  Students in the program expand their intellectual capacity through challenging coursework.  The program creates an academic environment that enhances students’ critical thinking skills through closely working with distinguished faculty. 
  9. Are there extracurricular activities?
    Yes.  There are social, academic, athletic, career clubs and organizations available for students to join, in addition to the Student Government Associated Program.  There are also many multicultural student groups such as the International Student Club. 
  10. How do I maintain my F-1 Student Visa Status?
    To maintain your F-1 student visa status, you should comply with the F-1 regulations set by the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.)  Here are some basic requirements for maintaining your F-1 status:
  • Register for at least 12 units each fall and spring semester.
  • Make expected progress toward your academic goals (degree or certificate.)
  • Notify International Student Counselor any changes in your address, phone number or email address, within ten days of the change.
  • Never work outside of the campus (SBVC) without the USCIS permission.
  • Keep your passport valid (not expired) for at least six months.
  • Have your I-20 endorsed by the college before traveling outside of the U.S.