The Institute of International Education (IIE) is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education organizations. Our mission is promoting closer educational relations between the people of the United States and those of other countries.
IIE's fees for our service are competitive and fair. As a non-profit institution with a mission of international education and mutual understanding we remain true to our reputation for excellence and integrity in all our services.
Undergraduate - Degree Program
IIE works with the full range of accredited U.S. academic institutions to provide appropriate study opportunities for international applicants. Secondary school seniors or recent graduates from participating countries are carefully selected by bi-national screening committees based on academic excellence and leadership potential. These students come to the United States for up to four years of undergraduate study leading to the completion of their bachelor's degree in various fields. Students who have completed no more than four semesters at their home institutions are also eligible to apply for this Program as transfer students.
Most students have limited finances at their disposal and, therefore, each application is submitted to several U.S. institutions for either partial or full awards. Universities and colleges that accept students in this program provide F-1 visa sponsorship.
Undergraduate - Visiting Student Program
IIE administers programs for international undergraduates who seek admission as visiting students at U.S. institutions. Students in these programs are funded by governments, foundations and/or personal sources. Undergraduate study is a key formative period in a person’s life. IIE believes that this is the most appropriate time for an individual to have a significant learning experience abroad. Such an opportunity develops concrete skills, opens the mind, expands students’ academic and career horizons, and can be a life-changing experience. Taking advantage of a variety of opportunities, including workshops, cultural events, internships and community activities, students in these programs gain first-hand knowledge of U.S. culture, society and education, after which they return to their home countries to complete their degree.
U.S. institutions provide cost-sharing in the form of partial tuition waivers. For most students IIE provides J-1 visa sponsorship and administers funding for round-trip travel, insurance, books, a settling-in allowance and a monthly stipend. Independent students who have completed high school, or who are currently enrolled in undergraduate study in their home countries are also eligible to apply.
The Study America Undergraduate Program is competitive and is based on academic achievement, English proficiency, maturity and sincerity of objectives. Because the higher education community looks to IIE to submit quality students for admission, candidates are carefully screened. The Program will accept candidates as long as the candidate meets eligibility requirements and has a personal interview with an IIE representative.
Students must take the TOEFL exam and score a minimum of 79 (internet based), 213 (computer based) or 550 (paper based). In addition to the TOEFL students must take the SAT I exam and score a minimum of 1100 (combined Math and Critical Reading only). To make their application more competitive, it is recommended that students take the SAT II exams in Writing, Math and a subject related to their proposed major.
As most scholarships and awards that are offered through this program are not full awards, it is required that students be able to prove the availability of a minimum of $14,000 per year for each year of their undergraduate career. This represents the balance of costs students would be expected to cover. Examples of these costs include room and board, books, travel, health insurance and any balance of tuition that is not covered by the U.S. institution.
After receiving the COMPLETED application (incomplete applications will not be reviewed), from abroad, IIE will evaluate credentials and research appropriate programs at colleges and universities that have agreed to take part in the program.
If the student’s application is accepted, they will be notified and presented with a submission plan. IIE will then submit the application to up to seven institutions that we determine the candidate’s chances for admission and scholarship are the greatest. Offers of admission and scholarship assistance are forwarded to the student for consideration.
Throughout the process IIE acts as an intermediary coordinating the submission of all necessary documents. A final decision concerning the acceptance of admission and award is the student’s.
If students are accepted in the program they are required to pay a fee to cover administrative costs associated with submitting the application. Please contact the Study America Program Officer for additional information.
All offers of admission and scholarship assistance are forwarded to the student for consideration. Throughout the process IIE acts as an intermediary coordinating the submission of all necessary documents. A final decision concerning the acceptance of admission and award is the student’s. To place candidates in the most suitable academic institutions IIE will:
- Carefully read and review each application and evaluate academic performance and English ability
- Research academic programs suited to the candidate's interests and personal preferences
- Research financial aid availability at institutions offering appropriate programs
- Provide candidates with a list of recommended schools that the Study America Staff believes their chances for admission and scholarship are the greatest
- Simultaneously submit the application to up to seven institutions selected by candidates for placement
- Forward Announcement of Offer letters to cooperating agencies abroad or to candidates directly
- Negotiate with admissions and financial aid officers on behalf of candidates as necessary
- Inform schools of candidate's final placement decisions
- Mail preliminary information, such as tuition deposits, and arrival, registration and orientation information
- Receive all visa documents (I-20/DS-2019) from schools and mail them to International Partners or candidates directly
- Provide schools with candidate's contact information
An opportunity to request preferred schools is given to the student on the application. IIE will only take these preferences into consideration. We cannot guarantee submission to that school.
- Students should be informed NOT to make reference to any particular U.S. institution in the Curriculum Vitae or on the International Student Financial Aid Application, as this might prejudice their opportunities at other schools.
- Students should be cautioned, that by placing limits on which institutions they are submitted to, they reduce their opportunities for placement. Requests for specific schools will be honored only if IIE determines that the student is qualified, and the schools can provide the appropriate academic program and financial assistance. Athletic interests are not valid reasons for selecting schools or regions.
Nominees and their families should NOT contact the colleges and universities which are working with IIE before the student is placed. Additional involvement only serves to complicate the admission and financial aid procedures and may hinder the admission decision.
Students are placed in direct contact with schools after accepting their offer of admission for final placement.
- While in the United States, the Study America Undergraduate Program students are under the visa sponsorship of their academic institutions.
- The I-20 or DS-2019 and Certificate of Eligibility forms, issued by the admitting institution, will be forwarded to the student.
- These forms need to be presented to the visa desk at the U.S. Embassy in the home country. Both the I-20 and DS-2019 will show the amount of aid the school will provide and the balance the student will need to pay.
- Upon presentation of the I-20 or DS-2019 at the U.S. Embassy, the student may be called upon to certify that the funds are on hand to meet the balance shown on the forms.
- Institutional policies on the issuance of these documents vary, IIE cannot control the manner in which the I-20's or DS-2019's are issued.
- Many schools require a deposit prior to the issuance of the visa form. In these instances, candidates are urged to pay the specified amount at the earliest possible date. Although IIE requests visa documentation to be sent directly to the office for forwarding to the candidate, schools occasionally send the documents directly to the students.
Sometimes discrepancies may appear in the amounts shown on the IIE Announcement of Offer letter and the I-20 or DS-2019. This can happen due to one of the following:
- The Announcement of Offer is calculated on a nine-month academic year basis. The totals shown on visa documents may be twelve-month calendar year figures, as required by the U.S. Government.
- Schools may require students to certify support for the summer following the academic year on campus whether or not the student expects to remain on campus.
- At times, the tuition cost for the following academic year may not be set until late in the spring semester. The cost therefore may increase slightly from the time the student receives an Announcement of offer and the time the I-20 or DS-2019 is issued.
A student expecting to return home at the end of the nine-month academic year should inform the U.S. Embassy visa officer.