International Students

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Welcome to the Alamo Colleges District. This is where the pathway to your educational fulfillment begins.

The Alamo Colleges District has a 120-year history of providing students with a quality education.

We offer more than 300 degrees, certificates, and licensing programs.

Why do international students choose Alamo Colleges District?

Employers seek culturally skilled employees who have the global knowledge in their areas of expertise. 

Why do international students choose Alamo Colleges District?

Employers seek culturally skilled employees who have the global knowledge in their areas of expertise.

  • Reputation for academic excellence

  • Small class sizes offer a supportive learning environment and focus on teaching

  • Rigorous English as a Second Language program prepare you for academic courses

  • Transfer pathways to a four-year university to complete a bachelor's degree

  • Opportunity to get one year of work experience thru Optional Practical Training when completing an Associate's Degree

 Quick Facts About the Alamo Colleges District

  • Located in San Antonio, Texas
  • A Combined enrollment of over 100,000 students
  • Five colleges around the city:
    • Northeast Lakeview College
    • Northwest Vista College
    • Palo Alto College
    • St. Philip’s College
    • San Antonio College

  • Located in San Antonio, Texas
    • 7th Largest City in U.S.
    • Annual average temperature 20.3 C
    • Annual average precipitation 70.9 centimeters

  • International Student represent over 44 countries


Alamo Colleges District

Northwest Vista College

Palo Alto College

St. Philip's College

San Antonio College


Apply Now

How to Apply

Visit our How to Apply-International Student web page for detailed step-by-step instructions on how International Students can enroll at one of the Alamo Colleges. Please note that in STEP 3: Apply for form I-20 (International Student Supplemental Application) of the How to Apply-International Student page the International Admissions link will bring you back to this International Student page where you can complete the process for your Form I-20 under the International Admissions section below.

International Admissions

International Checklist
  • Admission Application (

  • International Student I-20 Application

  • Required Financial Verification to meet cost-of-attendance

  • Proof of high school completion- evaluated and translated official transcripts from high school and/or college/university

  • Proof of English Proficiency—TOEFL scores

  • Copy of Passport

  • Photo (passport photo size)

  • Processing Fee of $100 U.S. (Non-Refundable)

For help, please contact us at

New International

New International Students

The I-20 application is for individuals who are applying for the F-1 visa from outside of the U.S. 

You must submit items 2-10 on the I-20 application checklist.

Select a College for More Information
Northeast Lakeview College Northwest Vista College Palo Alto College
St. Philip's College San Antonio College  
International Transfer

International Transfer Students (Current F-1 Visa Holders)

The I-20 application is also used for students interested in transferring from a U.S. college or university.

You must submit items 2-11 on the I-20 application checklist.

Select a College for More Information
Northeast Lakeview College Northwest Vista College Palo Alto College
St. Philip's College San Antonio College  

Concurrent/Transient Students (F-1 Visa Holders)

This application is for students who are currently attending another U.S. college or university and would like to take classes at San Antonio College during the regular or summer semester.

You must submit items 1-7 on the application checklist.

Select a College for More Information
Northeast Lakeview College Northwest Vista College Palo Alto College
St. Philip's College San Antonio College  
Other Visa

Other Visas

This application is for individuals who hold a visa other than F-1.

You must submit items 1-8 on the application checklist.

Select a College for More Information
Northeast Lakeview College Northwest Vista College Palo Alto College
St. Philip's College San Antonio College  
International Tuition & Fees

International students are assessed at the current Non-Resident tuition and general fee rates, plus the Student Activity Fee.

Learn more about Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change by the Texas State Legislature and the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees.

International Cost of Attendance FY2024:
Tuition & Fees $11,548
Housing & Food $11,512
Books, Course Materials, Supplies, & Equipment        $500
Transportation $2,732
Personal & Misc.
Total Estimated Cost $28,720
Financial Verification

The total amount of the financial guarantee is $28,720 for students and an additional $5,000 per dependent.

International students applying to any of the Alamo Colleges must provide verification of financial resources by submitting a letter in English from their bank, their parents’ bank or their sponsor’s bank.

All verification letters should be on bank stationery and show available funds for one academic year and additional funds for a spouse or children accompanying the student. The list below explains what should be in the bank letter.

Financial documentation should be included with your international application.

  • Name of the person who owns the bank account
  • Bank account number
  • Type of account(s): checking or savings
  • Date the account(s) were established
  • Current account balance in U.S. dollars
  • Current official rate of exchange from local currency to U.S. dollars
  • Title and signature of a bank official
  • Telephone numbers and email address of bank official
  • Bank letters must be dated within 60 days
  • Bank statements will not be accepted
  • All documents must be translated to English
  • All dollar values must be in U.S. dollars
Foreign Credential Evaluations

All foreign credentials must be evaluated. Admission requires a general evaluation stating credential is equivalent to that of a U.S. high school or U.S. college or university.

All evaluations must be completed by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). Please note: Some evaluation services require translation from a translation service.

In order to have foreign college credit count towards the completion of a program at a college of the Alamo Colleges District, students must submit a course by course evaluation.

Foreign Credential Evaluation and official transcripts should be sent to:

Evaluations and official transcript must be in original sealed envelope.  Original transcript must be noted with a request to be returned to student.

Northwest Vista College

International Student Services
Cypress Campus Center
3535 N. Ellison Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78251

Palo Alto College

International Student Services
Palomino Center, Room 103
1400 W. Villaret Blvd.
San Antonio, Texas 78224

San Antonio College 

International Student Services - Box 709
1819 N. Main Ave. 
San Antonio, Texas 78212

St. Philip’s College

International Student Services - Box 333
1801 Martin Luther King Dr.
San Antonio, Texas 78203

Proof of English Proficiency

TOEFL or IELTS scores required for enrollment*:

  • TOEFL score: 500
  • iBT TOEFL score: 61
  • IELTS score: 5.0

* TOEFL or IETS scores are not required for English as a Second Language student and students planning on attending San Antonio College. Please visit SAC Center for English Language Learning for more information.

Obtaining your F-1 Visa

International Student Services

Arrival & Orientation

Mandatory Orientation and Visa Check-in

Important Notice:
As an international student, your attendance at this orientation session is required.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires student visa holders to register with your college before beginning classes in the United States.

In order to help you with this requirement, each college has prepared an F-1 Compliance Seminar for International Students.

Although you will be invited or required to attend a variety of orientation programs, the F-1 Compliance Seminar and Check-in with International Student Services is designed specifically to address the needs of international students.

You must bring both the originals and photocopies of the following documents:

  • I-20 (for F-1 visa holders) or DS-2019 (for J-1 visa holders)
  • Passport (ISS needs copies of your identity and expiry pages and the visa stamp)
  • I-94 card

Each college has trained international advisors ready to help you with:

  • immigration issues
  • financial aid resources
  • answering general questions.

Also, each student is assigned a certified academic advisor who will help with choosing courses or degree planning.

Maintaining F-1 Status

It is very important for non-immigrants to maintain their status in the United States.

Failure to maintain the requirements of non-immigrant status is grounds for removal from the United States.

To maintain F-1 Status you should:

  • Report to the Principal School Official/Designated School Official for initial registration in Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) upon arriving at the school.
  • Attend the authorized school on you Form I-20.
  • Register for a full course of study-12 semester hours (except in your last term and official school breaks).
  • Make normal academic progress by completing studies before the program completion date on Form I-20.
  • Depart from U.S. on or before the sixty (60) day grace period, unless before completing your course of study you apply for practical training, moving educational levels, or school transfer.
  • Notify International Student Office (ISO)/ International Advisor within 10 days of moving to a new address.
  • Do not break the laws of the United States. Conviction may result in deportation.
  • Not work, either on or off-campus without authorization.

When appropriate, file the following in a timely manner:

  • Program Extension
  • School Transfer

It is the student’s responsibility to comply with all immigration regulation that applies to the F-1 status. 

If you have any questions visit your International Advisor.


For on-campus employment:

  • student must complete 12 credit hours per semester
  • maintain a 2.0 overall GPA. 
  • Employment must not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session.
  • Must obtain a U.S. Social Security number.
  • Authorization for on-campus employment will be canceled if you are out of status.

Fill out necessary paperwork with your International Advisor to obtain authorization for on-campus employment.

For off-campus employment:

The International Students Office cannot give authorization for a student to work off-campus.  Only the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can authorize this type of employment.

To qualify to apply for off-campus employment you must be in good standing for one academic year at this college and have an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher.

To apply for off-campus employment, you must submit a letter explaining your severe economic hardship. 

In this letter, you should discuss the hardship and your efforts to find on-campus employment, and include a list of all income and expenses.  With your letter, you will need to provide documentation of severe economic hardship (such medical bills, unexpected change in the financial circumstances of your sponsor, home country currency devaluation, a large increase in tuition, loss of scholarships, or loss of on-campus employment).

International Student Resources

International Student Insurance

The Alamo Colleges District does not provide health insurance; therefore, all international students are highly encouraged to purchase health insurance for sickness and/or accident while enrolled at one of the colleges.

The cost of healthcare in the United States is extremely high. Health insurance can help protect international students and their dependents from the high cost.

It is recommended to have at least the following coverage:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  • In case of death, repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  • In case of serious illness or injury, payment of expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000;
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness; and
  • Co-insurance (co-pay) not to exceed 25%

Listed below is a list of companies you can purchase your health insurance from; however, you can select different insurance as long as it provides coverage listed on the F-1 Health Insurance requirements

English As a Second Language Program

The Center for English Language Learning at San Antonio College (CELL @ SAC) provides an opportunity for international students, immigrants, professionals, and other English Language Learners (ELLs) to study in a dynamic learning community and acquire or improve essential English skills.

CELL @ SAC offers English language credit (ESLA and ENGA) and noncredit (ESL) classes to help students learn to read, write, speak, and understand American English for social, professional, and academic purposes.

Learn more about the ESL Program

Housing & Transportation

Transportation Information: 

VIA Metropolitan Transit - Upon completion of registration and tuition payment, one week before classes begin students will receive a semester bus pass issued by the Business Office located at respective college.



Living in San Antonio

In addition to apartment and house rentals throughout the city, students have several choices to meet their level of comfort and budget.

Tobin Lofts

Located on the San Antonio College’s campus, Tobin Lofts features affordable rates, a convenient location, and set you up for academic, social and personal success. Any college or university student in San Antonio are eligible to live at Tobin Lofts.

View Tobin Lofts Information

University Oaks

This privately-owned residence is located on the University of Texas-San Antonio campus, where you will have many opportunities to make the most of student life in San Antonio. Any college or university student in San Antonio is eligible to live at University Oaks.

View University Oaks Information


Villa Maria Residence

This female-only dormitory, located in downtown San Antonio, is run by Religious of Mary Immaculate and is open to women 18-29 years of age.

View Villa Maria Residence Information


Stay with families located around San Antonio with easy access to public transportation. Please contact the International Programs Offices at for a request for placement with a family.

E-Mail International Programs About Homestays

Information for Parents

Information for Parents

Parental support is vital in helping International Students choose the right program of study and college. We hope you find the following information helpful, but please contact us if you require any further information.

Benefits of studying as an international student in the United States

Sending your child overseas to study will allow them to gain self-confidence and intellectual maturity as they learn about different cultures. 

They will improve their ability to communicate across cultural lines and develop their foreign language skills. Your child will return home more responsible and independent and prepared to face the challenges of employment.

 Some of the advantages of studying in the U.S. are:

  • A variety of program choices
  • Colleges and Universities that are accredited and are recognized in almost every corner of the world
  • Supporting industries, training & research
  • People & Culture- America is a melting pot of people from all over the world
  • Technology
  • Flexibility - Classes are offered at different times and in various formats

Benefits of studying at one of the Alamo Colleges

The Alamo Colleges offer the international students a choice of five beautiful campuses with state of the art facilities, class rooms, labs, and libraries.

Students can develop their English language skills, complete their core curriculum in order to transfer to a four-year university, or gain a job skill to enter the workforce. The combination of high academic standards, diverse cultures and a dynamic learning environment makes studying at one of the Alamo Colleges an ideal choice in which to launch a successful educational journey in the U.S.

Contacting Your Child

Contacting your child

Staying in touch with children studying overseas is easier and more affordable than ever. You have the option of using telephone, email, online video calls, instant messages, text messages and, of course, regular postal mail.

Tips for staying in contact:

  • Before you child leaves, make sure you have their contact details and email address. 
  • Purchase a rechargeable international calling card for discounted telephone calls.
  • Skype is a great way to keep in touch with little or no cost.
Campus Safety

The Alamo Colleges Police Department provides law enforcement and security service to all of the Alamo College campuses. 

The department has uniformed officers on patrol 24 hours a day, year round.  In addition, the department provides the assistance of unarmed security officers who work closely with our patrol officers by constantly patrolling campus properties.

Helpful Links

U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

US Department of State:

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)

Student Process Steps: How to Navigate the U.S. Immigration System

I-94-Arrival/Departure Form

City of San Antonio