FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Every visa category has different restrictions regarding who may study and who is not permitted to study. Please contact the Office of International Student Services for a one-on-one advising appointment about your particular visa category.
Although you cannot apply for a visa from within the United States, you may be able to change your Non-immigrant Status to student status. This is dependent on your current Non-immigrant Status, shown on your I-94 card. Please contact the Office of International Student Services for an immigration advising appointment about your particular visa category.
Students who not meet Cerritos College's TOEFL requirement may be able to meet the English Proficiency requirement in another way.
If you are not able to meet any of the English Proficiency requirements, you may enroll in the Intensive English Program. This program does not require a TOEFL or other kind of English Proficiency, and is designed to assist international students to improve their English skill in order to join a college level program at Cerritos College. Please visit the Intensive English Program for more details.
Once your application has been reviewed and completed by the Office of International Student Services, it will takes us approximately one to two weeks to prepare and mail your I-20. The Office of International Student Services will send you a confirmation email with instructions for the next steps.
There are two options to receive your I-20:
- The Office of International Student Services uses an express mail service called eShipGlobal to send documents via express mail. This service is available at the student's expense.
- You can authorize a friend or family member in the U.S. to pick up your I-20 at the Office of International Student Services at Cerritos College.
The U.S. consulate or embassy abroad can process your visa up to 60 days before the start date of your academic program. You may enter the country as early as 30 days in advance of the program start date on your I-20.
According to the immigration regulations, you must provide us with your immigration documents upon arrival at Cerritos College. These regulations apply to students from outside the U.S., as well as to students transferring to Cerritos College from another U.S. school.
You may also have questions about class registration and getting settled on campus. These questions along with other important information will be answered at the Mandatory New Student Orientation. All new and transfer students are required to attend this orientation.
Immigration transfer is different than academic transfer. Even if you are completing an academic program at another institution or you will return to your home country for under 5 months before returning to attend Cerritos College, your former school must still transfer your immigration record. You must obtain a new I-20 from Cerritos College as part of the transfer process.
In order to have international college credits transferred to Cerritos College, you must first request your college or university in your country to submit an English-language version of your international transcript to a foreign credentials evaluation service (the Office of International Student Services has information on such services). After receiving a report from the evaluation service, you must submit your official sealed evaluation to the International Academic Counselor. It will be processed in Admissions and Records. It will take at least one semester for that credit to appear on your transcript, so please submit this request during your first or second semester at Cerritos if you want some credit to be applied toward your degree. If you plan to transfer to a four-year institution, you will have to request that institution to evaluate your international college credit. Even though Cerritos accepts your international credit, another institution might not.
You will need to schedule an appointment with an international academic counselor to develop a new Educational Plan to determine the length of your study at Cerritos College. Once you get a plan from the international academic counselor, you must meet with the Designated School Official in the Office of International Student Services to request a new I-20.
You can schedule an appointment to see an international academic counselor by calling the Office of International Student Services or by stopping by our office in person to make an appointment. We are located in the Santa Barbara Building.
You still may have a chance to get in to the class. Go to the class on the first day. The time and location of each class is listed can be found on Schedule Plus. Get there at early before class begins and tell the instructor that you would like to add the class. Usually, the instructor will wait until the break or the end of the class, and will decide if there are spaces for more students.
If dropping a class will cause you to fall below 12 units, you must schedule an appointment to see an international academic counselor before you drop the class. You may visit the Office of International Student Services located in the Santa Barbara building or call our office to schedule an appointment with an international academic counselor.
All international students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units each Fall and Spring semester while at Cerritos College. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but it is difficult to get permission to be enrolled in less than 12 units. See the International Academic Counselor or a Designated School Official for more information.
If your G.P.A. is in good standing and you have not dropped out of many classes in the past, you may be given permission by the International Academic Counselor to take more than 18 units.
International students are eligible to apply for on-campus jobs after successful completion of one academic semester and must receive permission from the Designated School Official (DSO) at the Office of International Student Services. After receiving permission, students will be eligible to work 20 hours a week as long as they are enrolled full-time (12 units).
Parking at Cerritos College is by permit only, with the exception of motorcycle zones. Permits may be purchased for the day of for the semester. Students may park in any white-lined stall.
Daily Permits are $2.00 and should be disposed of after use. They are available from permit dispensers located in the parking areas throughout the campus. Student Semester Permits can be ordered online by logging into your MyCerritos account where you will find Buy Parking Permit. Parking permits may also be purchased on campus at the Admissions and Records office during normal office hours and also be purchased at Campus Police when Admissions and Records is closed and on weekends. Permits must be properly displayed at all times while parked on campus.
There is no need-based financial aid available for international students at Cerritos College. There are occasionally some scholarships for which international students might qualify. See the counselor, an advisor, or the Financial Aid office for more information.
All international students at Cerritos College must have medical insurance for themselves and any accompanying dependents while enrolled at Cerritos College.
All international students are encouraged to get involved in extra-curricular activities during their enrollment at Cerritos College. The Student Activities Office has information on a variety of campus clubs and organizations. The benefit in being involved in extra-curricular activities are many, but one is that universities with competitive admissions processes often look for students who have been very involved in campus activities outside the classroom. Extra-curricular activities also look good on a resume, especially for one who has recently graduated from a university and has little work experience.
Do not worry, sometimes it's hard to get adjusted to new procedures from written instructions. If you are not sure on how to do something, we encourage you to come to the Office of International Student Services for more information. We'll be more than happy to help you!