International Student Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions. If you do not find all of the information you are looking for, please contact us.


What programs are available Edmonds Community College?
Edmonds CC offers different programs to meet students' interests:

Can I complete a four-year degree at Edmonds Community College?
In general, community colleges do not offer four-year degrees. Applicants who would like to complete a four-year degree can begin their studies at Edmonds CC. They enroll in the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science program. The duration of these degrees is approximately two years. Upon completion of an associate's degree, students can transfer to a four-year school and finish the last two years of their bachelor’s degree.

How many students are on campus?
About 12,000 students attend Edmonds Community College annually, of these about 1,400 are international students from over 65 different countries.

What happens during orientation week? 
We explain important information that you will need during your time here as a student. You will need to take a placement test so that we can accurately place you in the right English and math classes. You will also learn about important immigration rules that international students must follow while studying in the United States. We also have many exciting activities during this week including a downtown Seattle tour and lunch.

Do I have to attend orientation?
Absolutely! You don’t want to miss all the fun and the opportunity to meet other new students from other countries.  Orientation Week is a great time to learn about the United States and how you can be a successful student at Edmonds CC.

I am transferring from another school in the USA. Do I have to attend orientation week?
Yes. Every institution has its own policies and rules. Our orientation will give you information about how to be a successful student at Edmonds CC.   

What kind of placement test do I need to take?
Once you arrive, we will have you take an English assessment test to determine your English proficiency. Please click here for additional information about English requirements.

What happens if I fail the placement test?
If your placement is not high enough for college or high school classes, you will be asked to take the ESL (English as a Second Language) placement test and study in the IESL (Intensive English as a Second Language) Program.

If I don’t do well the first time, can I take the test again?
Yes, you can.

I graduated from ESL at another school. Do I have to take the placement test?
Yes. Because each school has different English standards/levels. Please click here for additional information about English requirements.

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I am not 18 years old. Can I still come to your school?
Yes, minimum age requirement is 16 years old. 

I am 15 years old. Can I still come to your school?

Applicants must be 16 years old by the 10th business day of their first quarter enrolled at Edmonds CC. 

Our admissions policy states that, to be eligible, applicants must be at least 16 years old or a high school graduate. Completion of the following is considered as having graduated from high school:

  1. “O” level or higher. Applicants enrolled in “O” level or higher at the time of application are required to submit a letter from the current school verifying enrollment in O level or higher and graduation date from this level. Five (5) General Certificate of Education (GCE) O level subjects graded C or better.
  2. Completion of grade 11 in China
  3. Form 4 - for Hong Kong and Macau

I don’t have a TOEFL score. Can I still apply for the college program?
Yes, you may apply even if you don’t have a TOEFL score. We do not require any test scores prior to entering our college. New students take an English assessment test upon arrival. Your score will determine your class placement. Please click here for additional information about English requirements.

What is the deadline for admission?
Application deadlines vary depending on a student's English proficiency. Please click here for more information. 

Can I fax my application to you or apply online?
You can complete an online application by going to the How to Apply page. You also have the option of completing a fillable PDF version of the application, which you should email to or fax at 425.774.0455.

How long will it take to get my acceptance materials and I-20 forms?
Once we receive your application documents and determine that it is complete, it will take approximately one business day to send out the I-20 and the acceptance letter. However, if the application is incomplete, the process will be delayed.

How can I pay the application fee?
You can pay the application fee by credit card, personal check, money order, or wire transfer.

What kind of financial statement do you need?
Financial statement can consist of one of the following:

  • It can be a bank statement that shows the name of the person sponsoring the student, the balance, the date, and official signature or seal from the bank.
  • If you are sponsored by a government, you must submit an official letter from the government regarding your sponsorship.

Do I need to send transcripts with my application?
Transcripts are only required if you are applying for the High School to University Program. They must be official transcripts, both original and translated into English.

I want to study at Edmonds CC but haven’t decided on a major. Is that OK?
Yes. It is often the case that students are unsure of their major when they first arrive. Students are welcome to consult with an advisor for guidance in deciding their area of study.

I do not have enough money to pay for my education. Can I apply for financial aid? Can I get a job on campus?
Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for financial aid. However, there are several scholarships available for international students. Yes, F-1 students are allowed to work part-time on campus. However, there are restrictions on working outside of the campus.

When can I start school?
We have four quarters that you can apply for: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Please refer to our Dates section on our website for each quarter start and end dates.

I don’t want to buy health insurance. Is that OK?
All F-1 students are required to purchase health insurance through the school-contracted plan with Lewer Agency. Please see our Costs for updated information.

I am going to live with my relatives. Do I still have to show sufficient funds on the bank statement?
Yes, although you will be staying with your relatives, the immigration regulation requires that you submit proof of financial stability in order to issue an F-1 visa.


Where can I live?
You have the choice of Residence Hall (dormitory) or Homestay (with local host families).


How do I apply?
Send us your application and application fee. We will send you information about your homestay family a month before you arrive.

How do I choose a home stay family?
When you fill out your application, you will answer questions regarding your preferences, as well as specific information that will help us match you with one of our host families. Application requests will be honored whenever possible, depending on availability.

What happens if I don’t like my family?
If there are problems or concerns that come up, we encourage students to talk to their families, and the Housing Office will help. If problems cannot be resolved, then we will try matching you with another host family.

Is my home stay family going to take me to school every day?
No. Your host family will help you with the local bus system. All students are matched with families that are close to bus stops, under 45 minutes to school by bus, and most families are 20-30 minutes from school by bus.

Who is going to pick me up at the airport?
When you fill out the Housing Application, you can mark if you would like to be picked up at the airport on arrival dates. Each quarter we have specific arrival and move in dates. The driver will meet you at the baggage claim area, with a sign that reads Edmonds Community College.

I am going to live with my relatives. Is that OK?
We encourage students to live in the Residence Hall or Homestay, where you can spend more time with U.S. students and/or families and learn more about U.S. culture, Edmonds Community College, and the English language.

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Residence Hall  

How do I apply?
Send us your application form and the application fees. You will be notified a month before the start of the quarter about your room placement.

What are the eligibility requirements for living at the Residence Hall?
A student must be physically living in their room throughout the term of the lease; a registered student at Edmonds CC and enrolled in at least three of four quarters with a minimum of ten (10) credit hours per quarter; or registered as a student in a program approved by Edmonds CC. Students can have one “Summer Quarter” (or vacation quarter) a year and still stay in the Residence Hall. The student must be 17 years of age or older.

Why should I rent at the Residence Hall instead of sharing an apartment off-campus?
You are only responsible for your own lease. If one or more of your roommates vacates the apartment, the resident manager is responsible for finding new roommates and you are not held responsible. When you share an apartment off-campus, all roommates sign one lease and all are responsible. Residence Hall rent includes all utilities, parking, events, furniture, and lounge use. There is also Internet, cable TV, and local phone service available. These would be additional costs when renting on your own.

If I choose the dorm, do I have to share my room with someone?
You do not. All rooms are setup apartment style: 2 or 4 individual bedrooms; 2 bathrooms; and one kitchen and living room.

How will I be placed in a specific apartment? How do I choose a roommate?
When you fill out your application, you will answer questions regarding your preferences, as well as specific information that will help us match you with other residents. Roommate requests will be honored whenever possible. However, these requests must be mutual. If a particular student is preferred as a roommate, then both residents should note their preferred roommates on the questionnaire.

What if my roommate moves out?
You won’t have to search for new roommates. If your roommate leaves, you are not responsible for finding a new roommate; that is the responsibility of the Housing Director. If there is someone from another apartment that you would like to have move in with you, you both can talk to the Housing Director.

Are there quiet hours?
We have a 24 hour courtesy policy which all residents and their guests must adhere to. At all times, students must be respectful of their roommates, neighbors and the community.

Still have questions? Email us at

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This section is intended for new students or students transferring to Edmonds CC. If you are currently enrolled at Edmonds CC, please visit the ISS Office.

I received my acceptance letter and some paper work, but I did not get my visa.  When do I receive my visa?
As a new international student, you must apply for an F-1 visa at a US Embassy/Consulate in your home country. As a current F-1 student transferring from another US school, you must apply for a new F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country if it expires by the time you re-enter the US. You can only apply or renew an F-1 visa at a US Embassy/Consulate outside the US.

I am attending another school in the United States. Can I use the same visa to come to Edmonds CC? Do I need to have a new I-20?

If you are accepted and do NOT travel outside the United States before attending Edmonds CC, you do NOT need a new F-1 visa. After you register at Edmonds CC, the International Student Services office will give you an Edmonds CC I-20. If you are accepted and travel outside the US before attending Edmonds CC and absent from the United State less than five months, you do NOT need a new F-1 visa if it is still valid by the time you re-enter the United States. If you are absent from the United States more than five months before attending Edmonds CC, you must apply for a new F-1 visa with an Edmonds CC I-20 at a US Embassy/Consulate nearest to your home, if it expires by the time you re-enter the United States. You can only apply or renew an F-1 visa at a US Embassy/Consulate outside the United States.

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Program of Study

Intensive English Program

I studied English in my country. Do I have to attend Intensive ESL?
When you arrive for orientation you will take an English placement test. You will be placed in college-level classes or in the Intensive ESL Program based on your score. Please click here for additional information about English requirements.

I don’t have a TOEFL score. Do I have to go to Intensive ESL?
Not necessarily. You will be placed into college-level classes or the Intensive ESL Program based on your English placement test results. Please click here for additional information about English requirements.

How many levels are there?
There are five levels. Level 1 is basic English and Level 5 is for students almost ready for high school or college-level classes.

How do I choose my level?
You will take our Intensive ESL Placement test. We will choose your level based on your score.

How long will I have to study English?
It depends on your English ability. Some students need one or two quarters (3–6 months) and some students need more.

Can I take college courses while I am studying English?
Students need to complete Intensive ESL coursework before taking college courses. 

Will I be automatically admitted to an academic program (university transfer, high school, technical program, or certificate) when I finish the Intensive English program?
Successfully finishing the Intensive English Program meets the English requirement for college.  However, students do need to apply to the Edmonds CC college or high school to university program.

How many students are in each class?
Classes average 15 students per class. 

How can I finish the English program more quickly?
If you study well, you will finish one level per quarter.  You can also demonstrate your English skills to enter college or high school classes by passing the Edmonds Community College Institutional TOEFL test or the International Computer Based TOEFL test. 

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High School to University Program

What is this program about? 
Eligible students may earn college credit while completing their high school diploma.

How long does this program take? 
In general, students who have completed Grade 10 require 3 quarters of study in the high school program to earn their High School Diploma.   In general, students who have successfully completed Grade 11 are able to complete the High School Diploma after two quarters of study. Of course, individual situations may vary, and students must place at EAP 100 in order to enter the program.

How are my high school courses determined?
Students’ high school transcripts are evaluated and credit is granted for subjects successfully completed prior to entering Edmonds CC. Students take remaining courses at Edmonds CC to complete the requirements for a high school diploma.  

I don’t have very good English. What should I do?
You can still apply.  If your English level is not high enough, you will have to take Intensive ESL classes before entering the High School to University Program. Please click here for additional information about English requirements.

I already finished high school in my country. Can I still come to Edmonds CC and get a high school diploma?
Students who have earned a high school diploma in their own country can directly enter our college program. They are not eligible for the high school program.

Is the high school diploma accepted by all universities in the United States?
The Edmonds Community College high school diploma is recognized throughout the United States.

My grades are not very good. Can I still come to your program?
Yes, you can still apply for admission to the program.

I am over 20 years old, but I did not graduate from high school. Can I enroll in the high school program? 
Absolutely! There is no age limit for enrolling in our program. As long as you are at least 16 years old, you can enroll. 

How long will it take me to get my diploma?
Students are admitted when they place at EAP 100 (English for Academic Purposes) or upon successful completion of Intensive English. In general, students who have completed Grades 9 and 10 require three to four quarters of study to earn their High School Diploma. In general, students who have successfully completed Grades 9, 10, and 11 are able to complete the program after two to three quarters of study. Of course, individual situations may vary.

What classes do I need to take?
Students' high school transcripts will be evaluated to determine which courses are still needed to obtain a diploma. Washington high school diploma requirement include credits in:

  1. English
  2. Math
  3. U.S. History/Government
  4. History
  5. Life Science
  6. Occupational Education (Business, Computers, Accounting, etc.)
  7. Physical Education (P.E.)
  8. Fine Arts (Music, Art, Photography, Dance, etc.)
  9. Health 
  10. ACT Test including writing test

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University Transfer Program

Can I start any bachelor’s degree at Edmonds CC?
We are a two-year institution, we do not offer bachelor’s degrees but offer transfer degrees that help you complete your first two years and transition to a university to complete your bachelor's degree. We do have the added benefit of having a branch of Central Washington University where you can earn a bachelor's degree right here on our campus.

I don’t have a TOEFL test. Can I still apply to the university transfer program?
Yes. We do not require TOEFL, but you will need to take an English assessment test to see which level you will start.

I want to complete a bachelor’s degree, but I am not sure what major I want to study.
You can begin by looking online to see the types of degrees that are offered. You can also consult with International and Academic Advisors about the different types of degrees that are available and how our programs can help you reach your goals.  

I don't know what I want to study. Can I still come to Edmonds CC?
Yes, you can decide your major after you have arrived. If you cannot decide on a major right away, we normally recommend that you start with the Associate in Arts transfer degree. You can also keep in mind that students are free to change their majors at anytime.

What classes should I take?
After getting your placement test results, you will be advised on the classes you can take and the programs we offer.

What happens if I change my major?
You should meet with an Academic Advisor to get information on your new program and its requirements. You should also meet with your International Student Advisor to discuss any changes that need to be made to your I-20.

I want to go to graduate school.  If I go to Edmonds CC, what classes can I take?

The requirements will depend on which graduate school you are accepted to. Communication with the graduate school and an advisor at Edmonds CC will help you plan the classes you need to take.

What kind of assistance is available to students who want to transfer to a four-year university?
You can meet with our International transfer advisor, Academic/Faculty advisor, and visit our transfer page.

How can I find out about transferring to a four-year university?
You may choose to do one of the following:

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Professional/Technical Programs

What are these programs?
These programs are designed to prepare you for entry-level into specific jobs or to improve existing skills. Our professional-technical programs range from short-term certificates to two-year degrees.

I don’t have any work experience. Can I enroll in these programs?
Yes, we do not require any work experience to enroll.

Do I have to take English classes before I take these programs?
It depends on the program. Some programs may have English requirements before or along with the other required classes. However, some programs may only require you to show your English proficiency results and not require you to take any classes.

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Who can help me choose classes?

If you are in a college program, our International Student Advisors can help you choose your classes for the first quarter. However, you will be required to meet with an Academic Advisor starting your second quarter. You may schedule an appointment with Enrollment Services (located on the 1st floor of the Lynnwood Hall). It is important that you meet with an Academic Advisor, they can provide you specific advice for your major and approve your graduation.

If you are in the High School to University program, you should schedule an appointment with your High School Advisor.

If you are in the Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL) program, your instructors will be helping you to choose your classes on registration day.

Who is my advisor?
You will meet often with three kinds of advisors: Academic Advisor, Faculty Advisor and International Student Advisor.

  • Academic advisors: Help you select the college or high school classes to meet your graduation requirements.
  • Faculty advisors: Are your class instructors. They can be Academic Advisors, too. Normally, you will have to contact the instructors directly to schedule an appointment.
  • International student advisors: Answer your questions about visas and immigration issues, cultural adjustments, personal concerns, first quarter class registration and many other situations. You may schedule an appointment with an advisor at the International Student Services (ISS) Office, located in Snohomish Hall Room 301.

When do I register for classes?
When new international students arrive, you will attend the new student orientation and take a placement test so that we can help you register for the appropriate classes.

Current college and high school students will register for classes on their own, online, or in person at Enrollment Services.

IESL (Intensive English as a Second Language) instructors will help IESL students register for classes at the beginning of each quarter.

Can I transfer credits from a school in my country?
It's a possibility. Enrollment Services is responsible for helping you get your foreign transcripts evaluated. We advise that you visit Enrollment Services (Lynnwood Hall, first floor) and meet with credit evaluation staff.

I attended another school in the United States. How do I transfer my credits?
You must have your official transcript mailed to the following address, and request to have your credits evaluated by the Enrollment Services office. 

Enrollment Services
Edmonds Community College
20000 68th Ave. W.
Lynnwood, WA 98036

If I have questions about my visa and my passport, who should I talk to?
International Student Advisors at the International Student Services (ISS) Office (located in Snohomish Hall Room 301) are authorized by the U.S. government to advise you on visa, passport and other immigration status related matters. They have the training, skills and experience in working with international students and are the only reliable source on campus.

Can my advisor answer questions about housing and dormitory?
International Student Advisors work very closely with the Housing Office to help with your housing arrangements. We may not know the answer to your every question, but we can refer you to the Housing Office or contact them for you.

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