link International Student Pre-Arrival Info

email:    phone: 408-855-5110

Updated March 2015

Our deadlines

We have two sets of deadlines; they are the Mission College degree program deadlines and deadlines for our Intensive English Program, IIS. The deadlines are for students outside the U.S. They give you enough time for us to process your application, send your documents to you, give you enough time apply for an F-1 visa and buy an airline ticket. We occasionally accept late applications. Please contact our office if your application will be late.

If you are already in the US and are transferring from another school, we will accept your application after the deadline. Our Intensive English Program, IIS, has five (5) start dates per year. Therefore, if your application is too late for one session, it is on-time for the next session!

Preparing for the Visa Interview

When we send you your admission documents, we send a paper called "Tips for Passing the Interview." Please read that paper very carefully. We cannot tell you enough: Prepare for the visa interview. Why do you want to study in the United States? At Mission College? What do you know about Mission College? (The visa examiner might ask you!) How will a degree from the U.S. help you prepare for a career in your country? What four-year university will you attend after you finish at Mission College?

If you think about these questions ahead of time, they will help you develop a plan for your future. You need to tell the visa officer about your plan, so preparing for your interview by thinking about what you will do after you finish at Mission College is essential. You should be prepared to speak in English.

The staff in the International Student Center at Mission College is happy to discuss your plans with you before you apply for a visa. Please email us at:



San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC) serve Mission College. SFO is 45-minutes away by car. SJC is ten minutes away!

Getting here from the airports: We do not have airport pickup. Visit Super Shuttle at for transportation from SFO to the Santa Clara/San Jose area if you need a ride. You can also contact our office if you need assistance in arranging for a ride. If you choose a host family, your family will pick you up.

Homestays and Housing

We suggests that new students choose a homestay at least until they become familiar with this area. Host families can also provide airport pick up. Please contact: or send an e-mail to: International Student Placements can be reached at 199 First Street, Suite 305, Los Altos , CA, 94022, USA; phone (650) 947-8879; fax (650) 948-1105.

We do not recommend using a website to find off-campus apartments because new students are not familiar with the neighborhoods in this area. Also, advertised prices for apartments do not include electricity, internet, rental deposits, etc. Students who have additional housing questions should contact our office at

Driver's License

If you plan to drive in California, you must get a California Driver License. We will give you more information when you arrive. So that you can drive here until that time, you should get an International Driver License in your country. This will allow you to legally drive in California for 60 days.


Social Security Number

The current rule states that international students on F-1 Visas may not apply for a Social Security Number. The only exception is: If students receive a written job offer for a part-time student assistant's job from an office on the college or university campus where they attend school, then they can apply for and receive a Social Security Number.

We know that many students want a Social Security Number because the numbers are commonly used in the U.S., and we are sorry about the inconvenience. However, we will give you tips on how you can do business in the U.S. without a number. In fact, you can get a California Driver' License, bank account, etc., without one! We will explain when you arrive.

Working on Campus

Federal immigration rules allow F-1 International students to work part-time on the campus where they attend school. However, there are limited job opportunities for students and international students at Mission College, so there is no guarantee of a job. Also, we ask intensive English language students to wait at least one semester to make sure they are making good progress in their studies before they look for a campus job. On-campus jobs are a way for students to improve their English and get experience. They do not pay enough to support students, however.


Travel and Health Insurance

Health insurance is required of all international students at Mission College. The U.S. does not have "national health care" that covers international people. One policy is different from another; therefore, we require you to pay for our policy because it is complete and comprehensive. Students will enroll and be charged for insurance at the time they enroll, and a coordinator will assist students who have questions.

We recommend that you get Travel Insurance in your country to cover you until classes begin here, and you have purchased health insurance in our office.


Health Requirement

All students, faculty and staff at Mission College are required to take a tuberculosis test when they arrive here. It will cost you a very small amount of money out-of-pocket. A physical examination is not required!