How to apply to TCC as an international student
International students are "non-immigrant" visitors who wish to come to the United States to study. The Office of International Student Services will guide you through the admissions process. Follow these below steps to get started at TCC.
Apply for Admission
- Apply for admission to TCC using our online application.
- If you plan to transfer to a 4-year university, select Associate of Arts (A.A.), no matter what your bachelor's degree will be.
- If you do not plan to transfer to a 4-year university and are seeking a terminal 2-year degree, select Associate of Science (A.S.).
- After you submit you will receive a confirmation page with your TCC Identification number, email address, and password. Keep this page for your records as you will need this information to log in to Workday, and MyTCC to access your TCC email.
IMPORTANT: Your application is considered incomplete until you submit the required supporting documentation to International Student Services. Please carefully review the steps below.
Submit Required Supporting Documents
Official High School or University Transcript / Academic Records and Diploma
All academic records must be issued in the native language and be accompanied by a certified English translation.
Official Course-By-Course Evaluation of High School or College Transcripts / Academic Records, Diploma and/or Examination Results.
Submit an official evaluation of high school or college transcripts / academic records and diploma by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), such as International Education Services (Tallahassee Community College | IEE (myiee.org), Josef Silny & Associates (TCC Josef Silny Application), World Education Services, or SpanTran (TCC SpanTran Application). Costs for these services are paid by the student. Students may deal directly with the agency, or you can contact ISS for assistance.
Submit TOEFL or IELTS Report or English Language Proficiency Waiver*
International student applicants whose native language is not English must submit test scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate English language proficiency. Test scores must be sent directly to International Student Services from the testing agency. ISS will not accept test scores that are more than two years old. The minimum scores required for each exam are listed below.
- TOEFL: 61 (Internet-based test); 173 (computer-based test); 500 (paper-based test)
- IELTS: Overall band score of 5.5 or higher
*Exemptions from the requirement to demonstrate English proficiency may be granted after a review of any of the following cases:
- CIES 2 TCC Program: After the student completes the 6th level in the FSU Center for Intensive English Studies with a minimum of B average in all coursework, receives a certificate of completion, and a letter of recommendation from the CIES Director, the English language proficiency requirement will be considered satisfied
- Approval of ELP Waiver Request Form (or download the fillable English Language Proficiency Waiver Request Form Fillable) (eg. Completed the equivalent of English Composition or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university, Graduated from an accredited U.S. college or university, Graduated from an accredited U.S. high school, etc.)
Submit Proof of Funding
Submit proof of funds that demonstrates your ability (or your sponsor's) to pay for classes, living expenses, and health insurance during your program at TCC. Please click on the ISS Funding Guideline and Form (or download the fillable ISS Funding Form) to read more about the funding requirements for international students on F-1 visas. All financial documentation should be sent directly to International Student Services.
**All official transcripts / academic records/evaluations, TOEFL/IELTS results, and proof of funding must be sent directly to the following address.**
Tallahassee Community College
International Student Services
444 Appleyard Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Receive Form I-20
After your admission application file is complete and we have received all required supporting documentation, your Form I-20 will be processed and emailed to you.
The Office of International Student Services uses email to send your acceptance packet. This packet includes your I-20, Official Acceptance Letter to Tallahassee Community College, Information on Mandatory Health Insurance coverage a well as Information on Housing.
Your Form I-20, the Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status, is an important document that you must keep in a safe place at all times. It demonstrates that you have been accepted to study at TCC as an F-1 visa student and are required to apply for your visa.
F-1 Visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate
After you receive your Form I-20, you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee . You will need to present proof of your I-901 Fee payment at your visa interview, so please print your receipt.
Then, make an appointment for a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest you. Keep in mind that wait times to schedule an interview can vary greatly from country to country, so be sure to check the wait time at the location nearest you.
Mandatory Student Health Insurance
International students in F-1 status are required to have comprehensive health insurance for the duration of their academic program at TCC. This is a mandatory requirement that cannot be waived.
Students must submit proof of insurance to the Office of International Student Services.
International students may purchase a health insurance plan through Insurance for Students (IFS) or through International Student Insurance (ISI) which is specially designed for International Students at TCC. More detailed requirements are found here.
Arrival in the United States
Please notify the ISS when you receive your F-1 student visa. The ISS will send you more information on arriving in the United States, what documents you need to carry with you, and when you need to report to campus for the International Student Orientation Program.
Obtaining an F-1 Visa
Student visas are issued by U.S. embassies and consulates located outside the United States. The application process typically includes an interview with a consular official to determine the applicant's purpose of travel to the U.S.
Most visa interviews are short and are conducted in English, so good preparation is essential. It is important to be completely honest and thorough and plan your answers ahead of time.
Learn more about applying for a student visa at an American embassy or consulate. You may also view our "Guide to a Successful F1 Visa Interview" in our ISS Video Vault.
Prepare for the Interview
You should have a clear plan.
Make sure you can answer these questions:
- Why do you want to study at TCC?
- What are your educational and professional goals?
- How will you use your degree when you return home?
You must be able to demonstrate...
- Adequate funding to cover tuition and living expenses
- Ties to your home country
Sample Interview Questions
Why do you want to study at Tallahassee Community College in the United States?
- You should be able to talk about why you are interested in pursuing your degree at TCC in a clear and succinct manner.
Do you have any family members or relatives in the United States?
- If you have relatives in the United States, identify who they are, what their relationship is to you, and where they live.
What ties do you have in your home country that will draw you home?
- Clearly express your motive to return to your country after you complete your studies in the United States.
- This might include:
- Job offer or admission to an educational program upon return
- Documentation of research you've done on your intended job market in your home country. Examples include translated job advertisements, written description of a discussion you had with a person in the kind of job you want, or quote from newspaper article or trade industry write-up.
- Statement of future plans. How does your academic program fit into your future plans?
- An indication of close personal ties in the home country (parents, spouse, children, fiancé, etc.).
- Local identity card (indicating, if possible, your entire immediate family).
Who is funding your educational expenses?
Advice for a Successful Visa Interview
- Wear formal clothing.
- Be polite. Greet the officer with a smile and say "good morning." You want to make a good first impression.
- Give brief and to-the-point answers. The interview will not last long, so you want to give brief, succinct responses to the consular officer's questions.
- Be prepared to explain how your degree fits your career plans.
- Focus on your study goals and future plans during the interview and not your desire to be with family or friends in the USA.
- If you do not understand a question, say "I do not understand. Please repeat the question."
- Be honest during the interview.
- Be prepared to express why you want to study in the USA and why you will return to your country. You are expected to be able to describe why you want to pursue your degree at Tallahassee Community College.
- Good preparation is key. Be sure to have all supporting documentation, including your financial documents.
- Be positive and confident!
Required Documents for Interview
Check for specific requirements in your home country. Typical documentation includes:
- Completed visa application (Form DS-160)
- Visa processing fee - paid to U.S. Embassy or Consulate
- Original Form I-20 issued by Tallahassee Community College
- Receipt for SEVIS I-901 Fee ($200).
- Valid passport
- Passport-sized photo
- High school (and post-secondary, if applicable) transcripts / academic records, in English.
- TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable)
- Documents demonstrating reasons to return to home country after completion of academic program, if available.
- Financial documentation demonstrating your ability to pay for your program and living expenses during your time at TCC.
Examples of financial documents:
- Bank statements and/or letters
- Scholarship award letters
- Government grant/award letters
- Proof of sponsorship from an employer
Issuance or Denial of Visa
If you are issued a visa: Congratulations! Please confirm your arrival with the ISS staff.
If you are denied a visa: Politely ask the consular official why your application was denied. Also, ask when you may reapply for a visa. Then, contact the ISS office to discuss your next steps.