International Students' Frequently Asked Questions

Students at the spring 2012 International Dinner in Albion College's Baldwin Hall.

You have questions. We have answers.

Where is Albion College?

Albion College is located in Albion, Michigan, which is in the beautiful south-central region of the state between the cities of Ann Arbor and Battle Creek. Our campus is spacious with state-of-the-art facilities, lots of green space, a nature center and equestrian center. Albion College is near Interstate 94, making it within driving distance of many major cities. Albion is 150 km west of Detroit, 300 km east of Chicago and 540 km west of Toronto. View our map and directions

What is a liberal arts education?

Currently regarded as the best preparation for a professional career (according to top corporations and graduate schools), the liberal arts tradition dates back several centuries. It ensures a breadth and depth of inquiry into the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and creative arts—ultimately developing valuable tools and skills for career success and lifelong learning. Visit to learn more.

What is the difference between a college and a university?

Traditionally, colleges offer degrees after 2 years (associates) or 4 years (bachelors) and are smaller, while universities offer associates, bachelors, masters, doctoral and other degrees and are a group of schools – sometimes also called college. Today there may be small schools that are called university, too. Albion College is bachelors-only institution. Find more at Study in the USA.

What can I study at Albion?

Choose from one of our programs of study, or work with our faculty to design your own major. Students will not be required to choose a major until their second year, but you should be prepared to talk about your academic interests in your application and visa interview.

What if Albion College does not offer an academic major that interests me?

You may design your own academic major (with faculty and staff approval). We encourage you to think of new ways to make your Albion experience unique.

What makes Albion stand out?

Albion's academic program blends the classic foundation of the liberal arts and sciences with innovative, pre-professional course work and internships. Our institutes, centers, and programs offer professional preparation and semester, yearlong, and summer internships all over the world. We're one of the leading colleges in the U.S. for undergraduate research.

Who attends Albion College?

Total enrollment at Albion is approximately 1,500 students. Our students come from  25 states and 20 foreign countries and represent the diversity of the United States. Find out more about student life.

How successful are Albion College graduates?

Very successful - we let our alumni speak for themselves. Find their success stories here.

How selective is Albion College? How are admissions decisions made?

Albion places a high value on a rigorous college preparatory curriculum within the holistic review of applications. Therefore, we place great weight on grade averages, difficulty of courses taken, and consistency in academic performance. We also consider what you have done outside of the classroom and the qualities that you will bring to the Albion community. Standardized test scores are used as a platform to normalize student performance at schools around the world and measure English proficiency. We have many more qualified international candidates than we are able to admit, and this makes scholarship consideration highly competitive.

Can I apply as a transfer student?

Yes. Official transcripts (certified and translated into English) are required from every college or university you have attended. Upon enrollment, an external evaluation by a NACES approved evaluation company may be required for universities outside of the US or as deemed necessary for evaluation by the Registrar.

I am a dual citizen of the USA and another country can I choose to apply as an international student?

You should apply as a U.S. Citizen and take advantage of financial aid awarded by the government that may not be available to international students. You would apply as a domestic student and follow the domestic procedures for admission, and are required by US law to enter on your US passport. Our Office of Student Financial Services can help you complete the FAFSA form that is required for federal aid.

Do you have an admissions counselor who works with Americans living abroad?

Yes, we have staff members dedicated to working with U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents with schooling overseas, for students living in off-shore U.S. territories and possessions, and for Americans living in other countries. If you have U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Permanent Residency, you should always apply as a domestic student.

How does Albion review exam-based academic records?

In most cases, a grade point average (GPA) is derived and weighed on a four-point scale based on a conversion from the host school's grading system. This is only part of the application review.

Are my grades the most important part of my application?

Yes, but not the only important part. We also look at the difficulty of classes you've taken, academic performance over time, performance on exams such as the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT and/or ACT, as well as engagement inside and outside of the classroom. Find application requirements here.

Can I apply with only my GCSE/IGCSE/O-Levels?

We accept applications from students who have completed their O-Level or GCSE exams and will complete 11-12 years of primary and secondary education. If you take your GCSE or O-levels in Year 10 you should apply while you are completing your A-levels in Year 12. Applicants who have only completed these exams should send internal marks sheets as well, and take the ACT or SAT.

How long do decisions take?

When you are admitted you will receive an email notification and request to confirm your mailing address, then we will send your official admission and financial award letter to this address. We should have a decision in 2 to 4 weeks as long as you have provided all of the requirements for admission. Please note that sometimes decisions may take longer due to staff availability. Please check your application status regularly to learn if we have asked for additional materials.

How do I receive my acceptance letter and I-20?

Once you have decided to enroll at Albion, you will pay a non-refundable Enrollment Deposit and complete several forms that gather the information we need to issue an I-20 on your behalf. Once we have issued this document, we will send the packet to you by courier.

Does Albion College offer full-tuition scholarships?

We do not provide full scholarship support. International students who demonstrate superior academic achievement and potential for success often receive substantial academic merit scholarships. Most students contribute $25,000-$35,000 per year toward their studies.

Will Albion help me with employment opportunities?

The Internship and Career Center assists students with employment both on and off campus. To be considered for student employment, students must have the appropriate visa to work in the United States, and complete additional federal documents once they have a job. Working on an F-1 visa involves many regulations; however, you should be able to work up to 20 hours per week on campus; off campus employment is restricted by immigration regulations, and you will work with the Center for International Education for clearance for any internships and employment after your degree. Learn more about student employment here.

How much money will I be able to earn annually?

Student wages vary depending on the kind of job you get and how many hours you work per week. On-campus jobs typically pay between $7.40 to $9.00 per hour. During the academic year, full-time students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. When school is not in session, you can work up to 40 hours a week on campus. You can expect to earn $1,500-$2,000 per year as a student employee, and positions must meet immigration regulations.

What kind of services are available for international students at Albion?

A wide variety of services are available for international students in particular and all Albion students.

What are my housing and meal options?

All students are required to live in campus housing for their entire degree. All first-year students are housed in either Wesley Hall or Seaton Hall. This allows you to become familiar with Albion and to make friends quickly. More information can be found at the Office of Residential Life.

All of our students love Albion Dining Services. There are several facilities that you have access to in your meal plan, and older students may live in apartments (for an increased fee) that allows them to cook some meals on their own. The on-campus food is so good, though, you’ll probably eat in Baldwin Dining Hall with your friends – and see quite a few staff, too!

Will I be able to stay on campus during school holidays?

Yes, international students may obtain approval to stay on campus during school breaks if they do not have another option. We'll help you make arrangements. Our dining hall is not open during holidays, so students will need to prepare their own meals. Students may stay on campus over the summer if they have campus employment.

How do Albion students spend their free time?

Our students are active. They do everything. See for yourself.

Are there student organizations at Albion that promote internationalism and multiculturalism?

Yes. Albion has more than 100 student organizations, and there are several groups devoted to diversity and awareness, including our International Student Union.

Will my religious faith be welcomed on campus?

Yes. At Albion, we value all faiths and individual spiritual development. The Office of the Chaplain supports programs that promote innovative thought on ethics, religion, and social responsibility from all perspectives and the Office of Intercultural Affairs supports underrepresented students by promoting awareness of multicultural issues among all students, staff, and faculty.

Can you place me in communication with current students and faculty?

Absolutely, whenever possible, qualified applicants can be connected with current students and faculty upon request. We just ask that you take advantage of the opportunity to ask them good questions. In fact, our Albion Global Ambassadors are waiting to talk to you!

How do I obtain a visa to study at Albion College?

After you meet all the admission criteria, the Office of Admission will issue you a Form 1-20 which will allow you to apply for a visa at your local United States Consulate. Learn more at

If I am on a B visitor visa, can I seek a change of I-20?

Students approved for a change of status I-20 must complete the change of status before entering the US and commencing at Albion College.

What can I do to prepare for my departure?

We encourage you to attend an EducationUSA pre-departure session. It's not mandatory for incoming international students, but we feel these sessions are very valuable. We have excellent relationships with EducationUSA officers throughout the world. Please visit EducationUSA for more information and locations.

Albion College will be sending you a lot of information in the months before your arrive. Please watch these locations carefully: Your Briton Bound account, your personal email, and your Albion College email. Ask Admissions if you have any questions!

What should I bring from home to the United States?

You will have chances to buy essentials when you arrive, and should bring the clothes, supplies, electronics, and mementos from home that you want. If you will arrive for spring semester in January you should wear warm shoes and bring a coat with you on the plane.

Albion has opened my mind to things that I would not have learned otherwise; from the city of Albion to the homemade solar panels in Israel and everything in between. With every class and extracurricular activity that I do, I find myself expanding my horizons. Roohia, Pakistan, Sociology, 2018

The academics are rigorous, yet fun. My professors challenge me, but also understand that have other things going on in my life. I have gotten a lot of help looking for summer opportunities from various people at Albion – and this summer I’ll be doing research on campus! Matt, USA, Biology, 2019

I enjoy any opportunity to interact with professors in real life, like watching Dr. Harris perform blues at Washington Gardner, playing soccer with Dr. Streu, or listening to the jazz ensemble with Dr. Metz. Those are my favorite interactions. Liliya, Russia, Chemistry and Mathematics, 2019