International Students: Information

Welcome International Students

Student Graduates

West Valley College welcomes international students with a comprehensive curriculum that includes:

  • University transfer courses
  • Associates degrees and certificates
  • Occupational training programs
  • Personal or skill development opportunities

Students may choose to attend course work offered in the day or evening schedule of classes. The college calendar is based on the semester system, and a double summer session. West Valley College confers Associate degrees (A.A. and A.S.), Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), certificates of training, and general education certification for lower division university requirements. The college is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

West Valley College is located in the "Heart of the Silicon Valley". Set amid 143 acres of Saratoga's beautiful foothills, West Valley College has been enriching the lives and careers of students from the Santa Clara Valley since 1964. Graduates from our more than 40 departments enjoy one of the highest successful transfer rates to four-year colleges and universities of any community college in the state. We also offer opportunities for vocational training or personal development in a vibrant atmosphere. West Valley College is proud of its respected faculty, counselors, staff, student services personnel and our students typically find that the education at West Valley has prepared them well for the competitive demands of both higher education and the working world.


Program Contact

Contact the Counseling Department - International Student Assistance

Mailing Address

West Valley College
Attn: International Student Counselor
14000 Fruitvale Avenue
Saratoga, California 95070-5698, U.S.A.

Application Information

Admission documents issued one month following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Spring Semester: November 1

International Student Application Forms

Note: This web page contains links to PDF documents that require the most current version of Adobe Reader to view. The Adobe Acrobat Reader may already be installed on your computer as a browser "plug-in" or standalone application. The Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free at the Adobe Acrobat Reader download page.

Application Forms

  1. International Student Instruction Sheet (89 KB)
  2. International Student Application Checklist (135 KB)
  3. International Student Application (282 KB)
  4. International Student Financial Statement (101 KB)
  5. International Student Immunization History (100 KB)
  6. International Student SEVIS I-20 Request (57 KB)

Application Requirements

The following are required and must be completed before West Valley College can issue a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) Form.

  • Application must be completely filled out and returned with the other required documents before the deadline date shown above along with an application fee of $100 (U.S. Dollars) made out to West Valley College International Students.
  • Submit English translation of high school transcript and any college records.
  • Submit a notarized financial bank statement in U.S. Dollars with a minimum of $21,500.
  • Must take the TOEFL test administered by the American Embassy or consulate in your homeland. Students already in the United States may obtain information online at TOEFL or phone 1-800-GO-TOEFL (1-800-468-6335). Send results to West Valley College (institution code 004958). Minimum TOEFL requirement: 500 (paper based), 173 (computer based), or 61 (internet based) TOEFL minimum. Minimum IELTS requirements of 5.5.
  • IELTS exam accepted in lieu of TOEFL at 5.5 or higher.
  • Eiken exams accepted in lieu of TOEFL at the Pre-1 level.
  • The international student must be able to use the English language with a degree of proficiency which will enable him to profit from instruction at West Valley College. The international student must offer evidence of a standard degree of academic aptitude and achievement equal to an American high school education.
  • All new international students accepted for the current semester must complete a Counseling 002, orientation class with the International Student Counselor before registering.
  • International students must be enrolled in and maintain a minimum of 12 units each semester excluding Summer and Winter Session to meet status requirements per SEVIS guidelines.
  • A student must be at least 18 years of age or a graduate from a high school with proof/verification.
  • All international students must become familiar with the regulations of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and assume responsibility for complying with those regulations by taking the required orientation class, Counseling 002.
  • Students must keep programming appointments with the international student counselor. All subsequent program changes must be approved by the international student counselor.
  • Departmental assessments are required for Math and English placement after acceptance to the college.
  • Post office boxes are not acceptable per Immigration Law. All international students must have a physical street address. Immigration requires change of address notifications within 10 days of moving.

Fees and Expenses

Educational Cost

  • Tuition fee is $258 per semester unit. Subject to change.
  • Enrollment is $46 per unit. Subject to change.
  • Consult the tuition refund schedule after dropping classes.
  • No financial aid is available for international students in the United States
  • Full payment expected at time of registration. No partial payments allowed.
  • Approximately $150 in other student fees will apply at registration per semester. All fees and tuition are subject to change.
  • Estimated Health Insurance $1100 per year through a private provider of your choice.

Housing

Housing and cost of living are estimated into your cost of education per DHS requirements. Each student is responsible for arranging their own housing. West Valley College does not have any housing or dormitories for students.

Total Expenses

The following provides a typical break down of expenses for one academic school year, which includes Fall and Spring semesters. Some of the amounts that are listed below are estimates. If a continuing student attends summer session or remains in the area during the summer break, additional money will be required. San Francisco Bay Area cost of living is very high.

Estimated Expenses for One Academic School Year

Fee Cost
Enrollment Fees (based on 24 units per year) $1,104
Tuition (based on 24.0 units per year) $6192
Room, Board and Supplies (for 9 months) $13,024
Health Insurance (9 months) $1100
Health, WebReg, Campus Ctr, ASB fees (approximate) $80
Total $21,500

Transcript Evaluation Guidelines

West Valley College can accept foreign transcripts evaluated from any of the approved services listed on the NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) membership list. WVC reviews transcript reports on a case by case basis. Credit can be granted providing that reports are detailed enough so evaluators can determine the placement of courses for West Valley's academic programs.

It is recommended that students who HAVE NOT completed an evaluation prior to attending West Valley College use either IERF (International Education Research Foundation) or ECE (Education Credential Evaluators - if planning to transfer to San Jose State University). When ordering an evaluation, students MUST request a detailed report (contact evaluation service for cost).

Students should note that acceptance of any foreign course work applies to West Valley College's academic programs ONLY. All four-year colleges conduct their own evaluation of foreign course work, and acceptance of this work is subject to the descretion of these institutions. Typically, four-year colleges require certified translations of transcripts for all university and college level course work completed outside of the United States. Students are encouraged to contact other colleges to find out more information.

Please be aware that West Valley College does not use foreign course work to satisfy CSU GE or IGETC requirements (with the exception of language other than English for IGETC).

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Application Deadlines for International Students?

Admissions documents are issued one month following the application deadline. Please check with the International Student Office to see if there is a late filing period beyond the posted deadline dates

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Spring Semester: November 1

How do I know that I am an International student and need a special packet?

  • Students or potential students, who need an admissions document to apply for F-1 visa status.
  • Students on F-1 visas who wish to transfer to West Valley College or potential students on visitor visa’s (B-1/B-2 or visa waiver) wanting to apply to F-1 visa status - please note that B-1/B-2 may NOT attend until change of status is approved from DHS.
  • Potential students who are on H-4, E-2, L-2 or F-2 turning 21 years of age are required to change to F-1 visa to continue their schooling in the United States.
  • Potential students applying from outside the United States who are not on H, E, or L visas.
    Students who are here on resident alien “green cards” are not considered International Students for application purposes and should apply directly to the college, NOT the International Student Program.
  • If you have a question about your residency or status, please call the International Student Counselor/PDSO or admissions,
    • Sara Patterson at (408) 741-2694
    • Terry Eppley, Program Specialist/DSO at (408) 741-4028

How do I apply to West Valley College as an International Student?

Obtain an International Student Application from West Valley College by:

  • Online: Application Forms
  • Phone: (408) 741-2001
  • Email: askwvc@westvalley.edu
  • Mail: (Please include your name, street address, city, postal code and country of origin)
  • West Valley College
    Attention: International Student Counselor/DSO
    14000 Fruitvale Avenue
    Saratoga, CA 95070-5698

What is required to apply as an International Student?

  • International Student Application, includes West Valley College application and $100 application fee. Please make check payable to West Valley College – must be in U.S. Dollars.
  • TOEFL minimum score of 500 (paper version) or 173 (computer version) or 61 (Internet version) or STEP Eiken Pre-1 level or IELTS of 5.5. Waivers are available for students who have college level English completed or who qualify for English 1A.
  • Financial Statement totaling $21,500+ for one academic school year.
  • If in the United States when applying, you must be in legal “status” to apply or transfer, since West Valley College does NOT accept reinstatement students.
  • Transfer letter (if attending US school) with SEVIS release date sent to PDSO, Sara Patterson.
  • Copy of passport front page
  • Copies of I-94, I-20 and Visa page if currently attending school in the United States. DS-2019 required for J-1 visa applicants.
  • Health statement (included in application includes immunization record).
  • Application fee of $100 US Dollars and official transcripts from schools attended either in or outside the USA.

Who do I contact if I should have a question about the application?

Is there any other information that will help me with my application?

Other Resources for International Students

  • USCIS – United States Customs and Immigration Services (local office): 1887 Monterey Highway, Ste. 219, San Jose,CA 95112 web site: www.uscis.gov
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) - West Valley College Chair – Anne Marie Wasserbauer (408) 741-2486, email: am_wasserbauer@westvalley.edu
  • Web resource for ESL Department at West Valley College
  • International Partnership Program, West Valley College - Anne Marie Wasserbauer (408) 741-2486, email: am_wasserbauer@westvalley.edu
  • Career Programs at West Valley College (check out different major requirements)
  • IERF – Int’l Education Research Foun. – Foreign transcript evaluation towards Associates Degree. Phone: (310) 258-9451 Fax: (310) 342-7086 email: information@ierf.org
  • ECE – San Jose State University foreign transcript evaluations for transfer advising. Phone: (414) 289-3400 Fax: (414) 289-3411 email: eval@ece.org
  • Homestay: ISP - International Student Placements – Phone: (650) 947-8879 fax: (650) 969-9857 email: info@isphomestays.com

What is the current tuition and fees that International Student is required to pay?

The current tuition and fees as of Fall 2018 semester $258 per unit (12 units minimum required for all F-1 visa holders), not including the $46 enrollment – all fees and tuition are required to be paid by F-1 and students changing their status to F-1 from any other visa status. Basic registration fees include:

  • Health Services fee: $40.00 per year
  • Associated Student Body Card: $8.00 per year
  • Campus Center fee: $30.00 per year
  • Parking Permit: $50.00 per semester

How many units am I required to take as an International student?

12 units constitute full time "status" per Immigration requirements for undergraduate students in a Fall or Spring semester ONLY.

What if I want to take a class at West Valley but I hold an I-20 from another college

This is called “concurrent enrollment” and requires permission from your home school that issued your I-20. You need to fill out a West Valley College application, in the Admissions office (or online) and bring a letter of permission from your International Student Advisor from your college to the Admissions office. You will be  limited to take 6 semester units (or less) at West Valley College.

Your application does not need to be filed through the International Student Office, since this is only for students wishing to attend our college full time.

What do I do with a transcript from an International University?

Students planning to use transcripts towards a degree at West Valley College from a foreign country's university or college will need to have that transcript evaluated by a service.This evaluation counts only towards a West Valley College Associates Degree. If you plan to transfer, contact the transfer college or university to see what requirements are needed for foreign transcript evaluation. West Valley College only accepts evaluation services from the NACES list (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services).

What Campus Services are NOT available to students attending West Valley college on F-1 student visas?

They include the following programs:

  • Financial Aid - Federal or State are only available to residents and citizens (limited scholarships are available to International Students once they attend West Valley College starting their second semester of full time attendance).
  • Work Study programs are only available to residents and citizens
  • EOPS - limited to residents and citizens of the United States only
last published: 9/25/18