Frequently Asked Questions

Campus and the Tallahassee Area

What is Tallahassee like?

Tallahassee is a lot of things.  

  • It's the capital of Florida, so our town is the political and governmental hub for the state. However, for being a state capital, it maintains a small-town vibe and strong community feel. 
  • It's a college town. There are two other major universities in town, Florida State University and Florida A&M University, making Tallahassee home to over 60,000 college students from across the United States and the world. Tallahassee caters to students and student life, with endless outdoor activities, entertainment, festivals, museums, parks, and restaurants.
  • It's a sports town. If you enjoy sports, you'll have no trouble tuning in to the heartbeat of this town.
  • It's beautiful.  It is in the panhandle of Florida and is known for its canopy roads, historic locations, and hiking and biking trails. Plus - if you enjoy the sand and surf, it's only a short drive to the ocean coast. Rolling hills, moss-draped oaks, fragrant magnolia trees and grand plantation homes cover the landscape. The Georgia line is just 14 miles to the north, while the Gulf of Mexico is 25 miles south. 

Get to know Tallahassee in this short video.

Does TCC have dorms on campus?

TCC does not have on-campus housing. It is the student's responsibility to find her/his own housing. There are many apartment complexes surrounding the campus and even more designed just for students all around Tallahassee. See Student Housing options.

Another great option, especially for new international students, is living with a homestay family! TCC partners with American Homestay Network, which works with students, families, and colleges & universities to make the home stay experience a memorable one!

Does Tallahassee have a public transportation system?

Yes. StarMetro is the City of Tallahassee’s official transit service.

Admission and Financial Aid

Can I study at TCC with an F-2 visa?

Yes, F-2 dependents can engaged in study at a SEVP-certified school as long as they are enrolled in less than a full course of study. F-2 minors often study full-time, from kindergarten through 12th grade. To discuss this, contact the Office of International Student Services by calling (850) 201-8258 or via e-mail iss@tcc.fl.edu.

Can I study at TCC with a J-2 visa?

Yes, J-2 visa holders may study or work while in the United States. A J-2 may enter the United States along with their J-1 spouse or parent or join the J-1 while participating in their exchange program in the United States.

What is the financial requirement for F-1 students?

The breakdown of the estimated costs (in USD) for one academic year are as follows:

Tuition $11,200
Books and supplies $1,000
Living expenses $10,700
Health insurance (required) $950
Total $23,850

 

How do I print my I-94?

  1. Students can access their I-94 record online!
  2. Students should bring their updated I-94 record to the ISS to keep on file.

Academics and Transferring

Should I do an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) program?

The A.A. degree program is designed for students who plan to transfer to a Florida public university for their junior year (3rd year) to complete a bachelor's degree program.

If you want to study for two years and go directly into the workforce, then you should pursue one of our A.S. degree programs.

Many students get confused by the words "arts" in the A.A. degree title.

Regardless of whether you want to study political science, art history, engineering, chemistry, or another major, if your goal is to transfer to a four-year university in your third year to finish your bachelor's degree, then you should enroll in the A.A degree program. It is also known as the "university transfer" degree.

I don't want to do an A.S. or A.A. Can I pursue an academic certificate program as an F-1 and receive an I-20?

Yes, F-1 students are eligible to purse an academic certificate program. TCC offers more than 50 certificate programs. 

How many credit hours do I need to take to maintain my full-time status?

During the fall and spring semesters, you must complete at least 12 credits each semester. Summer term is optional, unless it is your first term at TCC.

How do I transfer to another school as an F-1 visa student?

  1. You will need to apply for admission to your desired institution.
  2. Once accepted, please bring a copy of your acceptance letter along with the SEVIS Transfer-Out Form to International Student Services and an advisor will complete the transfer in SEVIS.

How do I transfer to another school as an J-1 visa student?

  1. Apply to your desired school.
  2. Once accepted, please bring your acceptance letter and transfer form to International Services and an adviser will complete the transfer.

Please note, that J-1 transfers must maintain the same degree type, or very similar field of study.

Working On-Campus

Can international students work?

Yes, international students can work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. International students are not eligible to work off-campus. Please contact the Office of International Student Services to learn more.

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a type of work permission available for eligible F-1 international students, allowing them to obtain real-world work experience related to their field of study.

There are three general types of OPT:

Pre-Completion OPT: Any portion of OPT that is used before a student's Program End Date on his/her Form I-20. This type of employment may be full-time or part-time.

Post-Completion OPT: Any portion of OPT that is used after a student's Program End Date on his/her Form I-20. This type of employment must be full-time.

STEM OPT Extension: This type of OPT is for students who majored in designated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) degrees approved by Department of Homeland Security.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The student has been a full-time student in a SEVP-approved college or university for one academic year.
  • The student is not studying English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • The student's proposed employment relates to the student's major area of study.
  • The student has not used all of the practical training available at the current level of study.
  • The student has not been authorized for 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Apply for OPT

Students interested in applying for OPT need to schedule an appointment with an ISS advisor. An ISS advisor will review the eligibility requirements and the application process.

Note, Walk-in appointments are not accepted for OPT applications.

What is Curriculum Practicum Training (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is training that is an integral part of a program's established curriculum and relates directly to the student's major area of study. CPT must occur before the Program End Date on a student's Form I-20.

To qualify for CPT, the student must either:

  • receive academic credit in a course, or
  • work as a part of a requirement for the degree.

Do I need to have a job offer when I apply for CPT?

Yes, you need to have a job when you apply for CPT.

Can I change employers during CPT?

No, you cannot change employers during CPT. Your CPT authorization is for a specific employer and specific training or internship position.

Do I need to submit my CPT application to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services?

No. You will need to submit your CPT application to the Office of International Student Services for review. An ISS advisor will make a decision on your OPT application. If approved, the ISS advisor will authorize CPT in SEVIS and generate a new Form I-20 for you.

Apply for CPT

To learn more about CPT eligibility requirements and application process, please make an appointment with an ISS advisor by phone (850) 210-8258 or by email iss@tcc.fl.edu

Transcripts and Testing

What is a transcript evaluation? Why is it needed?

In order to determine whether or not your academic transcript(s) and diploma(s) are equivalent to achieving the same level in the United States, your records must be evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (naces.org).

Examples of such agencies include Josef Silny & Associates (www.jsilny.org) and World Education Services (www.wes.org).

My high school is accredited by SACS. Does my transcript need to be sent for evaluation?

No. If you went to a high school that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), then your academic records are already equivalent to the United States and do not need to be evaluated for admissions purposes.

What is the PERT test? Am I required to take it?

The PERT (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test) is the placement exam that tests new students on their math, reading, and grammar skills. If you have not taken the SAT or ACT, you must take the PERT before you will be able to register for classes. Your PERT score will determine which math and English classes you take in your first semester.

The PERT is offered every day on TCC's campus in the Fine and Performing Arts Center, and no appointment is necessary. Be sure to bring your TCC student ID number and photo identification.

If you have a question that is not listed above, feel free to send us an email and ask at iss@tcc.fl.edu.