FAQs

International student admissions

Do you have on-campus housing?

No. GCC does not provide campus housing. Students will need to make their own arrangements for housing.

What is the SEVIS I-20 Form?

The Form I-20 is your “certificate of eligibility” issued by the Greenfield Community College indicating you are attending (or planning to attend) Greenfield Community College. It is like a pass to stay in the United States while studying. You need your I-20 to obtain your F-1 visa.

What is the F-1 visa?

The F-1 visa is a student visa issued to persons who will be full-time students seeking a degree or certificate at an approved institution. Your F-1 visa is issued by a US embassy or consulate in or near your country and is on one of the pages of your passport with your picture, personal information, and name of the school on it. It is like a ticket to enter the United States.

What is the I-94?

Form I-94 is the DHS Arrival/Departure Record issued to foreign travelers who are admitted to the US. Foreign visitors to the US arriving via air or sea no longer need to complete paper Customs and Border Protection Form I-94 or I-94W. You can access their CBP arrival/departure record information online.

Can I get credit for college courses I took at a college in my country? How?

Yes, you may be eligible to receive credit for courses that are equivalent to GCC courses. You will need to have your transcripts translated to English (if needed), and/or have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved credential evaluation service.

How/where do I have my transcripts translated and evaluated?

There are many outside agencies that translate and evaluate international transcripts. You may obtain help from the embassy/consulate or you may find a list
of agencies on the internet at educei.com or naces.org.

When will I get my Form I-20?

Once we have received all required documentation, your file will be evaluated by the International Admission officer. If you meet the admission requirements, you will be issued your I-20. Please note: the I-20 cannot be issued more than 120 days prior to the start of your academic program.

What if I am applying to a particular program (Nursing, Paramedic, Medical Assisting, or Outdoor Leadership)?

You must meet the criteria for those programs as well as the minimum admission requirements. You may request more information about a particular program by emailing hardyt@gcc.mass.edu. Please be aware that admission to the GCC does not guarantee admission to these programs. Additional coursework may be required before you may apply to some programs.

When do I make an appointment with the Embassy?

Because the speed of mail delivery differs by country, we recommend you schedule your appointment only upon receipt of your I-20.

Can I submit a change of status form (I-539) if I am in the U.S on a visitor’s visa?

Applicants entering the United States on a visitor’s visa (B-2) without the “Prospective Student” classification (which is issued only in exceptional circumstances) may find it difficult to change to student classification. You will need to apply to the College and provide all the required documentation. Your current visa and I-94 must be valid and not expired. Your passport must also remain valid for the intended duration of study.

Can I change my major once I am in the US?

Yes, you may change your major, but we must issue you a new Form I-20 with your new major and completion date.

Can I transfer from another college in the US to GCC? What do I need to do?

You will need to submit all documentation required for new applicants. A completed “Transfer Verification Form” signed by your current college/university and current official transcript indicating completed courses and those in progress.

Can I transfer to another college? How do I go about it?

As long as you are currently in good standing both financially and academically with GCC, we will sign a transfer approval form issued by the school you wish to attend.

Who can I get to sponsor me? Does it have to be someone in the US?

You will need to obtain your own sponsors. The sponsors do not need to be in the US. Our only requirement is that the sponsor(s) have sufficient funds to meet your financial responsibilities.

How much does it cost for an international student to attend your college and obtain a degree?

The estimated cost provided in the International Student Information Packet is based on one academic year. Your degree may be completed in two years; however, additional time is required for students who need to improve their English and/or mathematics skills. When planning your financial needs, it is advised that applicants estimate financial need to be between 2 and 3 years.

Can I seek employment with a student visa?

No. This is why USCIS requires financial documentation that demonstrates sufficient funds available to support your education.

What happens if I do not complete my degree before my I-20 expires?

GCC can file for an extension to your Form I-20 so you may complete your degree.

Can I travel outside the US during school breaks? What do I need to do?

Yes, you may travel during school breaks. You will need your Form I-20 signed by a GCC official (PDSO/DSO).

Can I drive while in the US? Will I need a US driver’s license?

If you have a valid driver’s license from your country, you may not need to apply for a license in the US. Each state within the US, however, establishes their own requirements and will accept driver’s licenses only from certain countries. For information on Massachusetts driver’s license requirements, you can visit the RMV web site.