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International Students and Scholars

Student Information

Albizu University is an institution that provides educational opportunities to students from more than 50 countries. Our programs provide international students with extensive exposure to culturally diverse populations through academic and applied training. The importance of global learning and powerful experiences is highlighted in our university. You will feel at home in a community of diverse cultural and international perspectives.

Albizu University is committed to providing educational opportunities for students from different countries as well as promoting understanding and cooperation between diverse populations. Under federal law, Albizu University is authorized to accept nonimmigrant foreign students for enrollment. All international students must obtain their F-1 visas prior to their arrival to the United States.

You may apply to Albizu University as an international student through one of the following options:
  • As a prospective student residing in your home country and applying for a study program at our Miami campus,
  • As a prospective student residing in the United States on a visa (that is not a student visa) who wishes to remain in the United States to participate in a study program, or
  • As a student who currently attends another U.S. college or university with an F-1 visa and wishes to transfer to Albizu University.

Below, we provide you with a list of documents and procedures that we recommend you consider when you decide to apply as an international student.

The first step towards becoming an international student at Albizu University is to apply for admission and be accepted as a full-time student. For information on how to apply, click here. If you need assistance with your application, please get in touch with our International Student Office (their contact information can be found here). Note: at this time, we are only accepting international students at our Miami campus.

After you receive your acceptance letter, use the following checklist of required documents to assist you as you prepare for your study program. Please send any forms or questions to your international student contact. See the Documents and Procedures section of this website for more information on each of the documents listed below.

  1. Proof of financial support for your tuition and living expenses for the duration of your program. You can cover these costs yourself or with the help of another person. Click here for more information, including links to the affidavits and supplemental documents that you will need to submit to prove availability of funds.
  2. One copy of each I-20 that you have previously received (if applicable).
  3. One copy of your passport, which must be valid for at least the next 6 months.
  4. The AU Information Form for international students.
  5. If you are currently in your home country: After you receive your I-20 from Albizu University, you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. To pay this fee and complete the accompanying form, visit the Study in the States website. Attach the payment receipt to your I-20 before your visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are applying for a change of status: To change your nonimmigrant status, you must complete two separate U.S. government forms (Form I-539 and Form I-901) and pay the accompanying fees. Click here for the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539). Click here for the I-901 SEVIS Fee. If you are applying for a school transfer: After you are accepted into an Albizu University program, ask the international student advisor or other official at your current school to complete AU’s Transfer Eligibility Form for International Students and return it to us.
  6. The International Student Health Insurance Compliance Form, which demonstrates that you have obtained health insurance for yourself and any dependents traveling with you. The form must be submitted prior to the registration date for your first semester. If you are currently in your home country or are applying for a change of status, purchase health insurance after your student visa is approved.
  7. Each dependent (spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age) who will be residing with you during your studies must submit the following documents in order for us to issue their I-20: (a) a copy of their passport, (b) proof of financial support, (c) a copy of Form I-94 (if applicable), and (d) a copy of all their previous I-20 forms (if applicable).

Sample Letters

The International Students Office has sample letters to assist you with:

  • Bank documentation to demonstrate fund availability for studies abroad
  • Requests to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjust or change your immigration status

The links on the left take you to these sample letters. In each case, these letters are intended to accompany other required documents, as specified in the Financial Support/Sponsorship and I-539 pages of the Documents and Procedures section of this site.

Please contact your Albizu University PDSO/DSO if you need further assistance.

The Tuition and Fees per Semester table and the cost of living calculator available through the links found on the left will help you determine program costs at Albizu University.



Per credit

For 12 credits

Per semester

Per semester







Speech and Language





Psychology, Ind./Org. Psychology

























The costs shown above reflect full-time undergraduate or graduate study for one semester consisting of four courses, each worth three credits. Albizu University operates on a three-semester year. Multiply the total per semester by three to obtain the costs for a full academic year. For additional information, please see: Tuition_And_Fees_Miami.pdf

Cost of Living Calculator

For Albizu University to issue the documents you need to apply for your F-1 visa, you must prove that you are able to pay for schooling costs and living expenses while in the United States. The cost of tuition and fees is easily obtained from the Tuition and Fees per Semester table on this site, but it can be difficult to determine how much you will need to cover your living expenses, particularly if you are bringing any dependents with you to the United States.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank in the United States, understands that people—particularly people living on a low or moderate income—need to have a sense of what their living expenses might be. To meet this need, EPI has created a Family Budget Calculator to measure the income that an individual or family will require to have a modest yet adequate standard of living.

Click here to access EPI’s Family Budget Calculator. Enter “Miami/Miami Beach/Kendall, FL” in the blue box to access the calculator for the greater Miami area and use the dropdown menus to the right of the box to select the number of adults and children in your family. The calculator will then display the monthly and annual costs of living in the Greater Miami area.

To know how EPI determined the amounts for each category, move your mouse to the immediate right of a category name (such as “Housing”) and a small information button will appear. Click the button for more information on what the category includes and where EPI obtained the cost for that specific category.

Note that, as an international student, it is unlikely that you will owe any U.S. taxes, so you can subtract that amount from the total provided. You might also wish to reduce or increase the amounts in other categories. For example, the “Transportation” category assumes that you will own and operate a car. If you intend to walk or take public transportation to and from campus and/or to move around the city, your costs will be much lower. On the other hand, the “Food” category assumes that you will buy ingredients in a grocery store and prepare meals at home. If you plan to eat many of your meals in restaurants or frequently purchase takeout meals, your food costs will be higher.

Tips for International Students

Studying abroad is a great and adventurous experience. You will be exposed to new concepts and cultures that will enhance your personal and professional pursuits. However, along with the excitement comes the stress of adapting to an unfamiliar environment.

Most international students agree that getting through the first month is hard, and you might experience confusion as well as psychological pressure. Please be reassured that this is a normal part of the adaptation process. The key is how you, as an international student, handle the situation. If you acknowledge the difficulties and prepare for them, you will approach this phase of your life with courage and enthusiasm.

Here are some tips to help you successfully meet the first month’s challenges.

Familiarize yourself with the culture: Before your arrival, learn about the culture of the United States, and look for information on Miami in particular. The International Student website offers extensive information on life in the United States geared specifically to help you during the adaptation process. Visit the Things to Do section of the Miami Visitor’s Bureau website to see the many cultural and recreational offerings in the area and learn about the city’s history and heritage.

Get a sense of the location: Familiarize yourself with the geographical location of the city, its climate, and other practical considerations. For example, Miami has tropical weather, so pack with this detail in mind. The Plan Your Trip section of the Visitor’s Bureau website includes helpful information on the weather, along with many other tips.

Choose your neighborhood: What kind of housing would you prefer, and what is important to you in your neighborhood? As you would at home, you will need to consider a variety of factors, such as cost, safety, medical care, and Internet access. Additionally, proximity to campus, shops, as well as cultural and recreational activities is also important. If you do not plan to buy or rent a car, you may want to look at the public transportation map and schedules to locate nearby bus stops and how long it would take you to travel by bus to the places you will need to reach. Finding your ideal living environment is vital for your adaptation.

The International Students website includes practical tips on off-campus housing, transportation, and safety issues. To help with your search, the Rent Jungle website provides a map of the Greater Miami area with icons for every apartment and house currently available for rent, including those in Doral, which is the neighborhood where Albizu University is located. Click on the icon to obtain basic information about a specific unit (such as size and price) and a link that you can follow to learn more details. If you would like to find a roommate, bring a flyer with relevant information to the Admissions Office, and they will post it on a bulletin board for other students to view.

Attend university activities: Stop by the Admissions Office or give them a call at 305-593-1223 (ext. 3245) to ask about activities for new students, such as Student Orientation. The office also plans many special events each semester. Make sure you get involved and participate in these activities, since they are an excellent way to make friends and to familiarize yourself with Albizu University.

Join a group: Albizu University has several student clubs and organizations that you are welcome to join. Click here to view the current list and see if there’s a match for your area of interest.

Do not be afraid to explore: Enjoy getting to know Miami. This is your chance to explore its neighborhoods, museums, parks, beaches, and other attractions that you learned about before your arrival. Ask other students if they would like to join you on day or weekend trips to different touristic locations, such as the Orlando theme parks or the Florida Keys.

Be flexible: Be open to new textures, colors, flavors, and points of view Try different things. This is all part of the experience of living in another culture.

Do not judge or believe in stereotypes: Leave behind any feelings that will prevent you from growing as an individual while you experience a new way of life.

Take comfort in your own customs: Keeping in touch with your own customs can also be a helpful part of adjusting to living abroad. Albizu University may have other students or staff members from your country who can also provide tips to help you through this adaptation process. See if you can find a restaurant where you can occasionally enjoy a meal just like you would back home.

Understand that it is fine to feel alone sometimes: Remember that feeling lonely can be part of the adjustment process, even though it might seem as though no one understands you. Your international student advisor at Albizu University is always ready to talk things over with you when you need a friend. To fill some time in a way that benefits others and reminds you of all that you can accomplish, consider volunteering at a local library, art museum, hospital, senior living facility, outreach center, or other venues. For example, if you decide to volunteer, VolunteerMatch is an organization that can help you match your interests to volunteer activities in the Miami area.

Have a clear goal: You decided to study abroad for a reason. Embrace your decision and enjoy the experience.

Credential evaluation services provide objective evaluations of the U.S. equivalents of foreign education and work credentials. Different terms are used for the same educational credentials around the world. In Spanish-speaking countries, for example, a bachiller corresponds to a U.S. high school diploma, even though the literal translation of the word is “bachelor’s,” which signifies an undergraduate college degree in the United States.

As part of the Albizu University admissions process, we will ask you to send us an evaluation of your official transcripts so that we can best determine how your previous academic work matches up with the United States’ university system. It is your responsibility to contact a credential evaluation services organization or agency to review your transcripts.

There are several foreign educational credential evaluation services agencies and organizations. The following list, organized in alphabetical order, includes agencies that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). NACES has stringent membership requirements that ensures its members provide high-quality, reliable evaluations that are prepared with integrity.

Below we include the contact information of suggested translation and evaluation agencies:

Academic Evaluation Services, Inc.

5620 East Fowler Avenue, Suite E
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 374-2020
Fax: (813) 374-2023
Email: [email protected]

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone: (414) 289-3400
Fax: (414) 289-3411
Email: [email protected]

Josef Silny and Associates, Inc.
7101 SW 102nd Ave
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616

World Education Services
Attention: Documentation Center
Bowling Green Station
P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274
Phone: (212) 966-6311
Fax: (212) 739-6100

Note: The information provided above has been verified as of May 2020 through direct contact with the listed agencies. We are not responsible for subsequent changes in agency information. If a listing is missing specific information (such as a fax number), the agency did not provide us with said information.

Documents and Procedures

It allows you to enter the United States or its territories to complete a study program certified by the Exchange Students and Visitors Program (SEVP). Albizu University is a school approved by SEVP.

If you are in the United States with another type of visa or if you are still in your home country, you must obtain an F-1 visa, regardless of the school that you choose to attend. The following steps will help you become an international student at Albizu University.

  1. You must apply for and be accepted as a full-time student. The Admissions Office is responsible for assisting you with your application for admission. For more information on how to apply, you can click [HERE].
  2. Once accepted, the Admissions Office will provide you with an acceptance letter for the academic program that you have requested.
  3. Evidence that you have the financial solvency to cover the costs related to your education and living expenses while you are in the United States. Funding can either come from your resources or through sponsorships.
  4. The Admissions Office will confirm that it has complied with the required documentation. A Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (Form I-20) will be provided. Form I-20 is a paper record of your information in a government database called the Exchange Student and Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must apply for your visa using the I-20 we provide. If you are already in the United States, you or one of your friends or family members can pick up this form. Since federal laws protect a student's right to privacy, the friend or family member that withdraws your I-20 must present a photo ID and a signed Third-Party Consent Form. We can also mail Form I-20 to your home. If you prefer, we can send it by express mail, but you must pay the express delivery.
  5. Verify that your name and date of birth are correctly listed and written on Form I-20. They must match your passport information. If they are not correct, contact your admissions officer.
  6. The last step in the process is to pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee, which helps support the SEVIS system. Attach the payment receipt to your I-20.

If you are outside the United States, you must obtain a visa through a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. The embassy or consulate website provides specific instructions on how to apply for a student visa, which allows a foreign citizen to travel to an official port of entry (usually an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. After obtaining your F-1 visa, you can request entry to the United States through a port of entry no later than 30 days before the start date of the program that is stated on your Form I-20. We suggest that you contact your admissions officer as soon as you enter the country to avoid problems pertaining to your arrival date.

If you are already in the United States and request a change or adjustment of status, you must complete an Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539).

Regardless of whether you are coming from your country or your visa status is changing, you must inform Albizu University before classes start, thus avoiding a serious situation where you may be asked to leave the United States. For details on the procedures and regulations of an F-1 visa, visit the Student Visa page of the U.S. Department of State website.

Note: Although most applications are approved, the United States cannot guarantee your visa will be granted. We recommend you do not make any definitive travel plans or buy tickets until you have your F-1 visa. Dependent family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) who will reside with you during your studies may apply for F-2 visas. Please contact us for more information.

Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (Form I-20)

Once you are accepted to Albizu University, we will send you a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status or Form I-20. We will also send an I-20 for each of your dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age), if applicable.

The data that appears on your I-20 is based on the information you provide. This data has been entered into the Student Visitor and Exchange Information System (SEVIS), a database of the U.S. government. It maintains information about international students, and I-20 is a hard copy of its file in SEVIS.

The website of the United States Department of Homeland Security provides examples of Form I-20 for students and their dependents.

To ensure that we have all the necessary information about you and the dependents that will travel with you, complete and submit the Albizu University Information Form.

Make sure your name, address, and other information as well as that of your dependents matches all passport information and any other legal documents provided. You are also responsible for verifying Form I-20 when you receive it to ensure that everything is correct. If you find any error, be sure to contact us immediately.

Arrival / Departure Record (I-94)

I-94 is the Arrival and Departure Record, either in electronic or paper format, issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. When you enter the country, a CBP officer will examine your passport and visa to stamp your passport or provide you a small, white card called Form I-94. If arriving by air or by sea, arrival and departure records are created electronically and a passport stamp will be provided. If you arrive by land (from Canada or Mexico), you will receive a paper card. In this case, an electronic record will not be made.

The passport admission stamp or I-94 paper card indicates how long you can remain in the United States (the "Admission until" date) and shows that you entered the country legally. As a student visa holder, your "Admission until" date will appear as "D / S," which means "duration of status." You can stay in the country as long as you maintain your F-1 status. In other words, you may stay as long as you are enrolled as a full-time student and your I-20 has not expired. You must keep your passport stamp or your I-94 card during your stay in the United States, so make sure you do not lose either document.

If you are in the United States and are applying for admission as a transfer student or under a change of status, we will download a copy of your Electronic Arrival and Departure Record from the Department of Homeland Security website as part of the admissions process. If you are allowed entry to the country while outside the United States, we will download a copy of your registration after your arrival.

Until April 2013, visitors to the United States had to complete a paper form I-94. For more information on I-94 and the new automated process, see the U.S. Customs and Border Protection I-94 Fact Sheet.

SEVIS I-901 Rate

The I-901 SEVIS Fee helps support the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a government database that facilitates international student programs in the United States. All universities that host international students have access to SEVIS so that information can be stored in one place, which makes it easier to ensure that all records and forms are valid and up to date.

If you travel to the United States from another country or request a change of status within the United States, you must pay the I-901 fee after receiving your I-20. You will not be issued an F-1 visa unless you pay said fee.

As of 2019, the SEVIS I-901 Fee for international students studying with an F-1 visa is $350.  Spouses and dependent children traveling to the United States with F-2 visas do not have to pay a fee. Please note that rates are subject to change.

Payment Instructions

Before proceeding:

You must have a complete and accurate Form I-20 or DS-2019. If you do not have an I-20 or DS-2019 or if the information on the form is incorrect, contact your school official or program sponsor.

Do not pay for a dependent child or spouse who is on an F-2, M-2, or J-2 visa. There is no I-901 SEVIS fee due for a dependent child or spouse for these types of visa.

Do not pay again if you know that you have made a mistake after you submitted your information. Instead, please send an email to [email protected] and explain what information may need to be changed.

Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status (I-539)

If you are currently in the United States with a visitor visa or other temporary visa and wish to change to the F-1 student status to attend Albizu University, you must submit an Application to Extend / Change the Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

You must mail the form and the corresponding fee to the address specified in the instructions. For a general description of the process, including contact phone numbers and addresses, you can consult the brochure prepared by USCIS.

You may want to send a letter to USCIS along with the form to provide an overview of your intention.

If you are already studying in a U.S. institution with an F-1 visa and wish to transfer to Albizu University, it is not necessary to change your visa status.

If you are transferring to Albizu University from another school in the United States, ask the international student advisor at your current school to complete Albizu University’s International Student Transfer Eligibility Form and return it to us. The information provided on this form will help ensure a smooth transfer.

Contact Us

Albizu University’s International Students Office helps ensure that your study abroad program is enjoyable and valuable while you remain in compliance with immigration regulations. Please submit all required forms to the admissions officer/PDSO listed below, and do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions that you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

International student contact: 

Elena S. Zablah, International Student Advisor
Primary Designated School Official
Adjunct Faculty
2173 NW 99th Avenue
Miami, FL 33172

Phone: (+1) 305-593-1223, ext. 3199 (direct line for Elena S. Zablah) or 3137 (front desk of the Admissions Office)
Email: [email protected]

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