Frequently Asked Questions : International Students

Admissions

Do I need to submit a TOEFL score?
Yes. All international students who do not have English as their first language must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score. The minimum TOELF scores required for admission are:
550 on Written TOEFL
213 on the Computer Based TOEFL
80 on the Internet Based TOEFL

TOEFL's website is www.toefl.org.

We also accept the IELTS exam. Students who take the IELTS need a score of 6.5 for admissions. For more information on IELTS testing see www.ielts.org.

Students who have earned previous academic degrees from U.S. regionally accredited colleges and universities can request to be waived from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

What is Wesley Seminary's institutional TOEFL code?
The institutional code is 5899.

What documents do I need to submit in order to apply for admission?
Please see application form for complete details. In summary, applicants are required to submit:
The documents required for applying to Master's degree programs and the Doctor of Ministry program differ. For information on required documents for the Doctor of Ministry degree please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@wesleyseminary.edu or refer to the Admissions application. Below are the required documents to applying to Master's degree programs:

a) A signed and completed application form along with a $50 application fee.
b) Official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. If academic work has been completed outside the United States, original copies of your transcript must be sent to World Education Services. Their website is www.wes.org. This evaluation is your responsibility and must be completed before the file can be reviewed. Please contact the Office of Admissions if you have questions about this requirement.
c) Official TOEFL or IELTS scores, if English is not your first language. Students who have earned previous academic degrees from U.S. regionally accredited colleges and universities can request to be waived from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
d) Write a short essay of approximately 500 words, discussing the formative elements in your background, focusing especially what you believe to be the most significant people and events in shaping your identity as a person; your sense of vocational call and professional objective; and your reasons for wanting to pursue your theological education at Wesley.
e) Send the Recommendation Form to your four recommenders. This is available as a PDF from the Admissions homepage or hard copies will be sent to you upon request. Requested references vary according to your degree objective. M.Div. and M.A. applicants are required to have recommendations from a pastor or minister who knows you well, a denominational administrator, a college teacher or employer and a layperson. M.T.S. applicants are required to have recommendations from two college teachers or employers and two laypersons.
f) A statement regarding your plans for returning home to your country after completing your studies at Wesley.

Do I need to have my international academic transcripts evaluated?
International students must present evidence of academic preparation equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree and of such quality as to indicate an ability to complete graduate studies. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Wesley Admissions Office from the college or university where you studied. If the transcripts are from an institution outside the U.S., you may also be required to send copies of transcripts, along with the appropriate fees, for evaluation by World Education Services. Details of this process are at www.wes.org. This evaluation is your responsibility and must be completed before the file can be reviewed. Please check with Admissions for more details.

Immigration

What kind of visa do I need to study at Wesley Theological Seminary?
Most of our Master's degree students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents come to Wesley on an F-1 student visa. If you are on another type of visa and have a question about attending Wesley please contact us with your questions.

What is the process of applying for an F-1 student visa?
In order to begin the process of applying for an F-1 visa you must first 1) be admitted to Wesley Theological Seminary as a degree seeking student and 2) show proof of full funding for all expenses for one year of study at Wesley Theological Seminary. After you have met both of these conditions Wesley Theological Seminary will grant you a document I-20. After being granted an I-20 the student will pay the SEVIS immigration fee and schedule an interview at the U.S. consulate in their country for an immigration interview. The U.S. consulate will review the application for an F-1 visa. All I-20 request forms and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Admissions Office no later than May 1.

What documents must I submit to show proof of funding?
The following are documents that can be considered for proof of funding:
a) Official bank statement verifying a minimum account balance able to cover all tuition, fees, books, living expenses and personal expenses as estimated by Wesley Theological Seminary. The statement must be signed and stamped by a bank official and must be no more than three months old.
b) Affidavit of support submitted by your sponsor that includes an official bank statement and a written statement explaining the amount that they are sponsoring you for. An 1-34 form (and valid financial statements) must be submitted if the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
c) Scholarship letter from a sponsoring organization indicating dates, amounts and terms of scholarship. (If you are granted a scholarship from Wesley Theological Seminary you will be given such a letter).

F-1 Student Request For I-20 form (available from Admissions Office).

Housing

When should I apply for housing?
If you are planning to live on campus for the spring semester, please apply between September 15th and November 20th. If you are planning to live on campus for the fall semester, please apply between February 20th and May 1st.

What housing options are available to me?
Wesley Theological Seminary has a wide array of housing options ranging from commuter dorm housing for students staying a few nights per week to apartment style housing for those students who are bringing their family. For detailed information that can help you decide which housing is right for you, please visit the Housing webpage.

How do I apply for housing?
Permanent Housing and Commuter Housing applications can be found on the Housing webpage.
Please apply as early as possible for housing; there is no guarantee that you will obtain a housing assignment, as assignments are given on a first-come first-served basis, and on-campus housing is extremely limited.

Am I required to participate in the meal plan?
If you live in dorm housing, yes you are required to participate in the dining hall meal plan. If you live in an apartment, the meal plan is optional and you may request to have meals included. For more information, please visit the dinning hall web page.

How much will housing cost per semester and how much should I plan on needing for living expenses?
Please visit the Wesley Theological Seminary's Financial Aid Website for information on "Estimating Cost of Attendance".

Financial Aid

What financial aid is available to international students?
International students are considered for merit scholarships on the basis of past academic performance and potential for ministerial leadership. International students may also be considered for need-based grant. Not all applicants for aid will receive funding.

How do I gain access to any financial aid I may receive toward living expenses?
Once the money is credited to your student account at Wesley, and charges are covered, the Business Office will issue you a check for the remaining credit balance.

May I work while studying?
Yes and no. International students in the United States can legally work no more than twenty hours per week on-campus. However, most campus jobs at Wesley are for only ten hours per week. There are a limited number of Workship (on-campus) positions available to International students. Compensation for hours worked on-campus during the semester is credited to the student's account at the end of the semester.

Per U.S. immigration regulations, F-1 students are not legally permitted to work off-campus during their first year of studies. This includes working for churches where any kind of compensation is received. Compensation includes salary, scholarship money, housing, money for books or transportation reimbursement. F-2 dependents are not eligible to work off-campus at anytime during their stay.

After the first year of full-time study, students may sometimes be granted permission to work off-campus if they meet all of the criteria outlined in the U.S. Government's Curricular or Optional Practical Training Programs. Students can inquire about these U.S. work authorization programs from the Director of International Students.

What is the average budget for an International student?
Well, it varies and would depend on whether or not the student is single, married, and has children. For more information, read the International Student Budget for 2014-2015.

Doctor of Ministry

Wesley welcomes the chance to include international students in all tracks as well as in tracks designed for particular groups of international students, such as the current Spiritual Leadership for the Global Church: the Asian Track. Our track Redefining the Church's Mission in Europe and America from a Wesleyan Perspective was offered in 2002.

Can I get a visa to study in the United States in the Doctor of Ministry program?
The Doctor of Ministry program at Wesley is not a residential program, therefore we do not grant the I-20 document to doctoral students.

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