Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The information on this page is focused on our intensive ESL, TOEFL Preparation, and College Preparation courses.

Application Process


What is Selnate’s admission policy?
What are the application deadlines?
What is the fastest way to apply?
What do you require for a bank statement?
What is a form I-20?
When will my I-20 be issued?
How long does it take to receive my I-20 in the mail?
Can you send my I-20 using express mail?
What if my I-20 has been lost?
What is the I-901 (SEVIS) fee and how can I pay it?

Payment and Finances


How much do I pay and when?
Do I have to pay tuition with my application?
How can I pay my fees and tuition?
What is the refund policy?
How much money should I bring?

Visa Process


How do I apply for a student visa?
What kind of visa can I study with?
Can I change my visa to an F1 (student) visa in the U.S.?

Coming to the U.S.


What should I do to prepare for my trip to come to the U.S.?
When can I come to the United States?
Where can I find information about the school calendar?
What can I expect at the United States Port of Entry?
How can I get to Provo?
What is Provo like?
Do I have to have health and accident insurance?

Housing


What housing options are available?
Can I get help with housing?

Studying at Selnate


How do I register for classes?
What if I don’t agree with the level I’m placed in?
How do I advance to the next level?
Does Selnate provide activities?
How does Selnate communicate with students?
How many students are in each class and where are they from?
How many classes do I have to take?
How long will it take me to learn English to be ready for university studies in the US?
What do I need to do to graduate?

Other Questions


How can I ask a question?
Who do I need to see if I need help?
Can I work while enrolled at Selnate?
Can I transfer to another U.S. school?
Does Selnate partner with universities where I can get a conditional admission?

 

 

Application Process


What is Selnate’s admission policy?

Selnate International School will admit most students who show a desire to learn and excel in English over the age of 18 who meet applicable immigration policy for study as found here. Students between 15 and 18 may also be admitted if certain requirements are met.  The amount of hours a person may study at Selnate depends on the type of visa the applicant holds and their current status.

What are the application deadlines?

Selnate has no application deadlines, but requires that all applicants time their arrival in Provo so they can take the placement test at least one business day before the first day of class. Students may start at the first of each semester or at the start of any block. See here for our current schedule.

What is the fastest way to apply?

The fastest way to apply is online, and then send required documents via email attachment.

What do you require for a bank statement?

An official bank statement showing at least US$16,000 for the applicant and an additional US$2,000 per dependent spouse and child is required in order for us to issue an I-20 for the maximum permitted time of one year. Alternatively, a bank statement showing half of the required total amount may be presented to request an I-20 for only one semester (4 months).

What is a form I-20?

A form I-20 is a document issued by a U.S. immigration (USCIS) approved school to accepted student applicants and is required in order to obtain a student (F1) visa.  More details can be found at the official Study in the States government website here.

When will my I-20 be issued?

An I-20 is issued when a prospective student has submitted all required initial documents and fees; usually within two business days. See here for a list of required documents and fees.

How long does it take to receive my I-20 in the mail?

We will mail the form I-20 and new student packet (including acceptance letter) by first-class mail at no additional charge. Please note that depending on the receiving country’s mail system, it can take 3-5 weeks or more to arrive via first-class mail. If time is of the essence, we advise applicants to request this packet be sent via express mail.

Can you send my I-20 using express mail?

Yes, for an additional fee (currently US$50). This fee must be received before the packet will be sent. We will use DHL or Federal Express or similar courier.

What if my I-20 has been lost?

If the form I-20 is lost or believed to have been lost, contact us immediately to request a new I-20. We will issue one at no additional cost. Express mail fees will apply if service is requested.

What is the I-901 (SEVIS) fee and how can I pay it?

U.S. immigration law requires payment of a US$200 fee AFTER the I-20 is created but BEFORE the visa application interview. This fee is called an I-901 fee or “SEVIS fee.” It is used to help pay for the online international student database used by immigration and SEVIS-approved schools in the U.S. It can be paid online with a credit card or by using Western Union at www.fmjfee.com. For convenience, we are happy to pay this fee on an applicant’s behalf as long as we receive the entire fee from the applicant in advance. In this case, we will include the receipt with the I-20 and accompanying packet. We provide this payment service at no additional charge.

 

Payment and Finances


How much do I pay and when?

In order to process an I-20, we require the application fee to be paid in full. If you want us to pay the I-901 (SEVIS) fee on your behalf, we require that to be paid at the time of application. Express mail fees are required at the time of application as well. Homestay application fee must be paid before we begin the search for a host family, and homestay fees are required before moving in. Airport transportation fees are required before the service. Tuition is due in full by the first day of class. See here for a full list of fees.

Do I have to pay tuition with my application?

No, we do not require advance payment of tuition in most cases. One exception is that a tuition deposit is required of prospective students who desire an I-20 for the purpose of changing their visa status to student (F1) visa while in the U.S.

How can I pay my fees and tuition?

You can pay your fees and tuition by cash, check drawn on a U.S. bank, a new FREE method we utilize with Western Union, by Bank-to-Bank International Wire, or by credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express). Some forms of payment require a surcharge. See here for more information.

What is the refund policy?

Tuition:  After Selnate issues the Form I-20, if the student is unable to attend Selnate for any reason other than visa denial, the student must notify Selnate in writing at least 30 days before the beginning of the semester to receive a tuition refund. If Selnate is not notified at least 30 days before the semester begins, no refund will be made. If the visa is denied, the student is eligible for a full tuition refund. Tuition will not be refunded to students who withdraw from their studies after a semester begins. Application fees are non-refundable.
Homestay fees:  Homestay fees are calculated on a weekly basis.  Selnate will refund homestay fees on a prorated basis for unused weeks, provided the student gives at least a four-week notice to school administration.  If less than four weeks’ notice is given, the minimum four weeks may be added to the cancellation date and the refund adjusted accordingly.

How much money should I bring?

Selnate does not recommend a specific amount, but it is a good idea to exchange currency for U.S. dollars before your departure. However, you should not carry large amounts of cash.  We recommend you make arrangements to have money available to you in the U.S. when you arrive. Most businesses (including convenience stores and grocery stores) accept Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, but you should notify your credit card provider or bank before you leave for the U.S. that you will be traveling and living in the U.S.

 

Visa Process


How do I apply for a student visa?

These are the steps to applying for a student visa outside the United States. (Contact us for information on how to apply for a visa without leaving the U.S.; visa restrictions and rules apply.)
1.  Applicant submits application and all required documents and fees to Selnate.
2.  Selnate creates a form I-20 and sends it to the applicant.
3.  I-901 (SEVIS) fee is paid and a receipt is generated.
4.  Applicant applies for a student visa at an embassy, consulate, or visa processing center in home country and pays fee.
5.  Applicant is interviewed by a visa officer.
6.  Visa and passport are returned to the applicant.
7.  Applicant comes to Selnate in time to take placement test and attend orientation (before the first day of class).

What kind of visa do I need to have in order to study?

The most common visa that permits full-time study is the student (F1) visa. Other visas, such as tourist (B1, B2, or visa waiver) may permit part-time study. Contact us for more information on study allowances or restrictions for other types of visas.

Can I change my visa to an F1 (student) visa in the U.S.?

Yes, in many cases. It depends on the type of visa you currently have and any restrictions placed on your visa. Tourist visa holders (with the exception of visa waivers) generally are permitted to change their visa to F1 in the U.S. J1 visa holders may or may not be able to change, depending on restrictions placed on the visa in the passport. It is important to note that it can take up to 3 months to approve a visa change of status request, and if approved, the student may not leave the U.S. and return on the same student visa at any point during their study (if they must leave the U.S. for any reason, they must generally return to their home country and apply at the embassy or consulate from the beginning of the process). In any case, the application process to change a visa status is generally the same as applying outside the U.S., including cost, but it takes longer to receive a decision. Applicants may or may not be permitted to study while they wait, depending on their original visa status. Contact us for specific information.

 

Coming to the U.S.


What should I do to prepare for my trip to come to the U.S.?

Plan to arrive a few days before classes start, to give your body and mind a chance to adjust to the local time, altitude, climate, and food. You need to bring your passport with proper visa, original I-20, and copy of your I-901 (SEVIS) fee payment. If you have prior I-20’s from other schools or an old passport with your current visa, you should bring these, too.

We strongly recommend that you review the official U.S. Customs website to see what you can or cannot bring with you when entering the United States.

You will need to take a placement test before the first day of class. You do not need to schedule the placement test, but you do need to begin the test by 2 PM on any regularly scheduled business day. (See here for our calendar.)

When can I come to the United States?

For F1 student visa holders:  Your I-20 Form and welcome letter indicate your program start date; you should plan to enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before this date. If you come sooner than 30 days, you may not be allowed to enter the U.S. Please also refer to your welcome letter that accompanied the I-20.  It is desirable that you arrive in time to attend New Student Orientation before your classes begin. You will be held accountable for any absences you accrue if you fail to arrive before classes begin. Please note: If your plans change and you decide not to attend Selnate, let us know and we will cancel your I-20, which will help you avoid problems in the future. If you wish to defer your admission to a later date, please contact us for approval and important instructions.

Where can I find information about the school calendar?

The school calendar and schedule is found here.

What can I expect at the United States Port of Entry?

Before you will be admitted to the United States, you are required to present your passport, visa, Form I-20, your proof of SEVIS fee payment and (if given a printed one) your completed Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to the immigration inspector. We recommend that you also have your proof of finances documentation with you should you be asked for it. Most of the time, there should be no difficulty. In certain cases, if there is some problem with your documents, you may be issued a 30-day entry and issued a Form I-515, usually with instructions to see your student advisor to resolve. Please see an advisor IMMEDIATELY upon arrival to Utah if this happens to you.

How can I get to Provo?

If you are coming from Salt Lake City International Airport which is 50 miles (80) kilometers) north of Provo, you can take a train from Salt Lake to Provo for about $6.00 or a shuttle for approximately $33.00.
If you are driving to Provo, plan your route by using an on-line map service such as Google Maps (maps.google.com) or Mapquest (mapquest.com).   We also offer airport pick-up services for a fee. Please contact us at least one week before you will be arriving to schedule a pick-up.

What is Provo like?

Selnate is located in Provo, Utah, a city that is nationally ranked for low crime and an excellent place to live.  See here for more information on this great city.

Do I have to have health and accident insurance?

All students are required to have health insurance that is valid in the United States during their enrollment at Selnate. If a student lets their insurance expire, or they fail to obtain insurance, they will not be allowed to attend class.  Policies should include a minimum coverage benefit of $50,000 as well as emergency medical assistance (medical evacuation) of $300,000.  Students may purchase insurance on their own or through Selnate.  Contact us for more information.

 

Housing


What housing options are available?

We provide homestay for our students, and students may also stay in nearby apartments or in hotels.

Can I get help with housing?

We can help find a host family for you. Click here for more information or to apply for homestay. We also can help you find an apartment for a small fee. Click here for apartment information. If a hotel is more your style, there are several nearby. Click here for more information on hotels.

 

Studying at Selnate


How do I register for classes?

Once you arrive you will take a placement test and be placed in the classes that best suit your English proficiency.

What if I don’t agree with the level I’m placed in?

If students are displeased with initial placements, they may talk with the Assistant Director and request a level change.  Past student performance (if applicable), diagnostic test results, and teacher input is taken into consideration.

How do I advance to the next level?

The advancement of returning students at Selnate International School is not an automatic action. Even though students have attended a level for a semester, this does not guarantee that students have achieved the learning outcomes necessary to successfully accomplish the work in the next level. Students earn a Certificate of Completion and can advance to the next level when they:  1) have an overall semester proficiency GPA of 2.0 (75%), a “B” or higher; 2) take the placement tests (computer, written and oral) and reach the benchmark scores for the next level; and 3) receive recommendations from three teachers regarding their ability and attitude in the previous semester classes.

Does Selnate provide activities?

Social and recreational activities are introduced to students during the new student orientation. Each individual activity is announced weekly along with any costs in individual classes.  Many activities are free to the students.  An activities bulletin board in the front lobby is used to post upcoming activities, and many times flyers are posted in classrooms and in lounge areas as well as on Facebook and Twitter.  Some activities may require a signed risk waiver in order to participate.

How does Selnate communicate with students?

Selnate uses email and Facebook and Twitter for informal announcements, but formal announcements are always given in writing.  Communication of an urgent nature usually is given by phone or in person.  General announcements are posted in classrooms or on bulletin boards and/or sent via email.  Students should make sure that Selnate has their most updated email address and phone number, and they should follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to stay in touch with the latest activities and other information.  By law, F1 student visa holders must notify Selnate of any changes in their address within 10 days of the change.

How many students are in each class and where are they from?

Selnate usually averages 10-12 students per class. Our students come from every corner of the globe, and nationalities vary from semester to semester. You may or may not have students in class that speak your language, but we require our students to speak only English in class and encourage students to speak English outside of class as much as possible in order to maximize the speed and efficacy of classroom learning.

How many classes do I have to take?

Student (F1) visa holders must take 20 hours per week of classroom instruction. Other visa holders may have restrictions on how many hours they can take by law.

How long will it take me to learn English to be ready for university studies in the US?

That depends on what level you start at when you first arrive and your target proficiency goal. A student starting at level 3 should be ready for many college undergraduate programs within one year. Students starting at a basic level may require up to two years. Selnate offers 4 levels of general English, 2 levels of college (TOEFL) preparation, and one level of graduate school (GRE and GMAT) preparation. Each level generally takes one semester to complete.

What do I need to do to graduate?

Most students are considered graduated upon successful completion of level 5B. Each student who successfully passes a level will be given a Certificate of Completion. An official Certificate of Graduation (required for admission into partner schools as proof of English proficiency) is only granted to those students who successfully pass our graduation test.

 

Other Questions


How can I ask a question?

Call +1 801-356-7060, send an email, or Skype us at selnateinfo. You can also send us a message on Facebook.

Who do I need to see if I need help?

Stephanie: Admissions, student accounts and records, I-20s, basic SEVIS questions, insurance, attendance, textbook sales, computer testing center, student employment, and facilities

Karen: Level placement, curriculum development, textbook selection, and teacher hiring and supervision

Mike: Special programs, student consultation, and homestay

Tracy: Recruitment and retention, student consultation, change of visa status and advanced SEVIS questions, and sponsored students

Can I work while enrolled at Selnate?

Student (F1) visa holders by law may ONLY work on campus, and then with restrictions. Other visa types may or may not have restrictions on working while studying at Selnate. We do provide limited work opportunities from time to time for currently enrolled students. Contact Stephanie for more information.

Can I transfer to another U.S. school?

Yes, by law you may transfer to any other SEVIS-approved school at any time.

Does Selnate partner with universities where I can have the English proficiency requirement (such as TOEFL) waived?

Yes. Selnate currently has such partner agreements with Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Southern Utah University, Dixie State University, Northern Arizona University, and Westminster College. You must be enrolled as our student for at least one semester, then you must pass our Graduation Test. We will then send your school a copy of your Certificate of Graduation, which specifies the level of English attained at a specific partner school.

or

Get Started Now!

Apply
Contact Us

Have Questions?

We can help. Just fill out the contact form below and one of our agents will contact you as soon as possible.

96%
Success
Rate
Find success at Selnate