Moraine Valley's International Student Affairs department has been helping international students since 1989 and is an excellent place to begin your studies in the United States.

At Moraine Valley Community College, students have opportunities to improve their English, succeed in degree and certificate programs, transfer to top universities, and pursue career pathways through local internships. Students enjoy a beautiful, tree-lined campus that is within easy access of Chicago by public transportation. Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States and is home to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. Moraine Valley students benefit from transfer agreements between the college and many renowned local universities

Experience comprehensive academic programs, small class sizes and access to our outstanding facilities, hi-tech classrooms, large diverse campus environment.

Milica Jovisic

Milica J.

Serbia

“I did some research and found Moraine Valley to be familiar with students from all over the world because it has an international student program. That’s what made me choose this college.”

SP '15 Alumni Testimonials Project - Sumin Oh

Sumin OH

South Korea

“Moraine Valley Community College changed my life. Not only was I able to start my education again, but I also had great experiences. […] It is a good starting point for international students because the school provides a great deal of information about universities that students can transfer to […] The school also has a good English program.”

On average

22 : 1

Student to faculty classroom ratio

More than

48

Countries represented on campus

Over

130

degree and certificate programs

Why Moraine Valley ?

International students can complete their first two years of study at Moraine Valley for virtually any bachelor’s degree program at a four-year college, or university. Each of the Moraine Valley’s associate degrees — Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), Associate in General Studies (A.G.S.), Associate in Engineering Science
(A.E.S.) and Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.)—are a combination of core general education courses and major-specific electives.

Ensure a Smooth Transfer to a Four-Year School
Students who know their intended transfer institution are advised to meet with an academic advisor each semester to create a detailed education plan that will make the transfer process simple and easy. 

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TRANSFER DEGREES

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ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

Explore over 130 different degrees and certificates

Life at Moraine Valley

Social and Cultural Activities

International Student Ambassadors

The International Ambassadors organization at Moraine Valley provides social and cultural activities, parties, trips and events. Some of the activities include:

  • Ski trips, hiking, nature trips
  • Leadership training
  • Tours of Chicago
  • Visits to museums
  • Restaurants and dinner outings
  • Sporting events
  • Picnics and parties on campus
  • Interactions with students from more than 40 countries

The Student Life Office at Moraine Valley provides the opportunity to participate in other Moraine Valley student clubs and organizations. There are more than 25 clubs to join, including:

  • Student Government
  • Engineering Club
  • Entertainment Club
  • Student Newspaper
  • Choir
  • Jazz Band
  • Sailing Club
  • Ecology club…and more

Athletics

Sports are also are offered at Moraine Valley and international students are encouraged to participate. Competitive athletics for men include basketball, baseball, soccer, track, and golf. Women’s sports include tennis, softball, soccer, track, and volleyball. Moraine Valley offers state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for student use. Students also enjoy the Health Fitness Center, which includes a dance studio, tennis courts, basketball courts, golf driving range, soccer field, and more.

Fine and Performing Arts

The Fine and Performing Arts Center offers professional artistic productions including art shows, theatrical performances, lectures, musical and dance recitals, comedic performances, and other enjoyable entertainment opportunities. In addition to hosting student performances, our 600-seat theater hosts nationally celebrated artists and musicians for community events.

Support Services

English Language Classes

Moraine Valley’s Intensive English Language Program provides full-time English language instruction:

  • Five days per week, Monday through Friday
  • Full-time instruction, 20 hours of classroom instruction weekly
  • Experienced instructors who care about your success
  • Three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced
  • Listening, speaking, grammar, writing, and reading skills taught at all levels
  • Free tutoring and extra practice
  • Comprehensive language laboratory

Moraine Valley does not require TOEFL for students who apply for the Intensive English Language Program. A comprehensive placement test is required upon arrival to determine the level of study that is appropriate.

Students whose test results show placement in Level 3 IELP (advanced-level courses) may be allowed, with the consent of the advisor, to enroll in one additional university-level course. Upon successful completion of Level 3 IELP, students make progress into regular academic courses without having to take a TOEFL exam.

Free Tutoring

At Moraine Valley, students receive personal attention to ensure academic success. In the college’s Academic Skills Center, students can obtain free tutoring and help in English, mathematics, physics, accounting, chemistry, and other subjects. The center is open five days a week for convenience.

Academic Advising and Cultural and Immigration Advising

The Office of International Student Affairs has specially trained staff members who are available to assist international students during the enrollment process. The ISA staff understands the challenges that international students experience while living and studying in a different culture. Students receive personal support with academic concerns, adjustment, immigration issues, housing, academic progress, and personal/ career concerns.

Moraine Valley counselors and advisors also provide individual appointments and special workshops related to educational advising and career planning. Advisors assist international students with selecting transfer universities that best suit their professional interests. After graduation, advisors and ISA staff help facilitate the transfer process.

Moraine Valley counselors and advisors also provide special workshops to help you succeed. They also are available to assist with your educational advising and career planning. They may help you to do research about your career interests and can assist you to choose a university if you want to transfer.

Life in Chicago

Location and Climate

Moraine Valley is located in Palos Hills, Illinois, which is approximately 20 kilometers from downtown Chicago, Illinois. Palos Hills is a pleasant, safe, and peaceful residential suburb with easy access to Chicago. The 294-acre campus is surrounded by scenic nature areas, forest preserves, and family-oriented communities. The surrounding suburbs have urban conveniences such as parks, libraries, restaurants, movie theatres, shopping malls, banks, and health facilities.

The communities around Moraine Valley also offer Christian churches, an Islamic mosque, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and a large variety of multicultural resources.  Moraine Valley has dining services available on campus and the local communities offer markets and restaurants with a wide variety of international options. A public transportation system serves Palos Hills and the numerous suburban communities surrounding the Chicago area.

Palos Hills offers a pleasant environment for students to focus on studies throughout the weekdays and opportunities to enjoy the city center on weekends, or during free time.

Spring

March - June

Temperature: 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21C)

Enjoy tennis, outdoor trails, biking, and outdoor theater.

Summer

June - September

Temperature: 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 32C)

Enjoy beach life, swimming, sailing, in-line skating, festivals, and concerts.

Fall

September - December

Temperature: 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 26C)

Enjoy nature trails, horseback riding, football, soccer, zoos, and hay rides.

Winter

December - March

Temperature: 0 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 to 7C)

Enjoy ice skating, cross-country skiing, toboggan sledding, and winter sports.

willis tower

20

kilometers from downtown Chicago

museum

30+

major cultural museums and institutions

wrigley

5

home to five professional sports teams

cta1

2nd

largest public transportation system

Admission and Travel

How to Apply

New International Applicants

To apply to Moraine Valley as a new international student, or an international student who is not currently on an F1 visa, students must submit a:

  • Completed International Student Application
  • Submit a High School Completion Certificate and Academic Records
    Students must provide official high school records verifying the completion of secondary education requirements. If documents are in a foreign language, and official English translation must be submitted.
  • Provide a copy of your passport
    Only the biographical page is needed. 
  • Submit proof of English Proficiency (Optional) 
    If students have a TOEFL score of 71 or higher, or an IELTS score of 5.5 or higher, they may be eligible for exemption from our English placement test. Students are encouraged to submit an official copy of English proficiency scores with their application.
  • Financial Documents
    The students’ Financial Sponsor must also submit a bank letter showing a minimum balance of $21,707. The financial documents must be in English and dated within 6 months of the beginning of the semester you are applying for.
    Visit our tuition fees information for more details.

Please make sure all required sections of the application are complete and any required documents are submitted. 

International Transfer Applicants in the United States

Transfer Students
If students are already studying in the US on an F1 visa and wish to transfer to Moraine Valley Community College, they must submit the following:

  • Completed International Student Application
  • Submit a High School Completion Certificate and Academic Records
    Students must provide official high school records verifying the completion of secondary education requirements. If documents are in a foreign language, and official English translation must be submitted.
  • Provide a copy of your passport
    Biographical page and visa pages are needed. 
  • University Transcripts
    Students must provide transcripts indicating their level of study and student status.
  • Submit proof of English Proficiency (Optional) 
    If students have a TOEFL score of 71 or higher, or an IELTS score of 5.5 or higher, they may be eligible for exemption from our English placement test. Students are encouraged to submit an official copy of English proficiency scores with their application.
    ** Transfer students with college-level coursework may be exempt as well.
  • Financial Documents
    The students’ Financial Sponsor must also submit a bank letter showing a minimum balance of $21,707. The financial documents must be in English and dated within 6 months of the beginning of the semester you are applying for.
    Visit our tuition fees information for more details.
  • Copies of I-20 Form(s)
    You must submit copies of your I-20 form(s) from your current school and any previous school you might have attended in the USA.

 

 

After You Are Admitted

New Students (Outside of the USA)

Student Visa and I-20 Form
Once issued an I-20 form from Moraine Valley, students will need to visit a U.S. Embassy, or Consulate, to obtain an F-1 student visa. This document is proof that a student has been officially admitted to a college or university and it is needed to obtain the correct non-immigrant visa.

Students must make an appointment with the closest U.S. Embassy, or Consulate, for an F-1 STUDENT VISA. There may be special fees, interview procedures, and processing times. Students should contact the U.S. Embassy, or Consulate, in the most convenient location. Students may find locations for student visa issuance at the U.S. Department of State website.

Prepare for an interview at the US Embassy

  • Students must be able to prove to the US Embassy or Consular officials that they can afford education in the USA. Students should be prepared to bring current financial support documents to prove that they, their family, or sponsor has enough money to support them during their studies. Consular officials may ask for information related to a student’s academic background to determine if the student has adequate preparation for an academic program in the USA.
  • Students may be asked to provide information about their family, parents’ occupation, employer, property ownership, or other evidence of family connections to a home country. Information that might demonstrate opportunities after degree completion could be helpful in such situations. Student applicants may be asked to demonstrate ties to their home country and why they plan to return.
  • All students should be prepared to discuss the reasons for choosing Moraine Valley and their academic goals. Visa officials may wish to discuss the decision process to ensure that the student is prepared for an academic program in the USA. It is recommended that student applicants be prepared, honest, and friendly.

After receiving a student visa, students are allowed to enter the United States up to 30 days before the beginning of the semester. However, Moraine Valley may not be able to assist new students with overseas arrivals or housing if before specified arrival dates. Students who choose to arrive early must make their own arrangements for arrival and housing. We are prepared to assist students with arrival and housing ONLY on the scheduled arrival dates.

Students are required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service to report to the college by the date shown on the I-20 form. This date is usually the first date of the required International Student Orientation Program.

Transfer Students (Inside of the USA)

After receiving acceptance into a program at Moraine Valley, students must submit the following documents to the Designated School Official (DSO) at their current institution:

  • Acceptance Letter
    Present a copy to the DSO of the current institution with the International Student SEVIS Transfer Form.
  • International Student SEVIS Transfer form
    ISA staff will issue a transfer form with the acceptance letter. Both must be submitted to the DSO.

Once both of these forms are submitted and the record is transferred to ISA staff, the new I-20 can be picked up at Moraine Valley, or mailed to the student's current address.

Change of Status Students

NOTE: Changing of visa status within the U.S. is currently under review by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Students may wish to consider traveling home to obtain the F-1 student visa prior to studying. Applications to change status typically take 4-12 months to process. The following is for your general advice and information only. You may wish to consult an experienced immigration attorney as well.

As of April 12, 2002, applicants in the U.S. on the tourist/business visa B1/B2 may NOT enroll in school until AFTER the application to change to student visa status is approved and received back from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Other visa holders (J, H, M, etc.) may be allowed to enroll after submitting the application and must be aware of and comply with all student visa regulations while the application is pending. Please consult the Moraine Valley Office of International Student Affairs regarding your specific requirements.

  • Students who are already in the United States and wish to become a student must have a current legal passport (not expired), and must provide the college with photocopies of the passport data pages, visa, and the white I-94 card issued at entry to verify current legal status.
  • Students who will not travel outside the U.S. prior to enrollment, and who have a B visa, J visa, H visa or other legal status, and have been issued the Form I-20 by Moraine Valley, should process a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change visa status with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in a timely way to maintain legal standing.
  • The Form I-539 can be downloaded from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services website. The current fee is $290 to submit this application.
  • Applicants who are attempting to change status in the U.S. are advised to file their applications within the 45-day period prior to the current status expiration date as shown on your I-94 card.
  • The timing of change-of-status applications to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is crucial. Do not overstay your current visa status without traveling outside the U.S. or submitting an application for an extension or change to the appropriate office while your current visa status is still valid. This is absolutely crucial; applicants who overstay the current visa status are ineligible for a change.

Please feel free to contact the international student services specialist to discuss this matter or for more information regarding this procedure if you are currently in the U.S.

 

 

Cost

Students should review costs carefully and be prepared for the expense of living and studying in the USA. The estimated costs presented to students represent the minimum estimate of expenses for an academic year from August through May. This estimate does not include the summer semester or other expenses such as additional coursework, entertainment, travel, clothing, medicine, automobiles, special recreation, and leisure activities. Actual tuition and other expenses could be higher and are subject to change. ISA staff continually update costs as up-to-date information becomes available.  

Estimate of Expenses

Tuition Payment
Tuition may be paid with cash, credit card, traveler’s check, certified international bank check, U.S. bank personal checks, or wire transfers. For new students, tuition is paid during the week of arrival as part of the orientation process. Students must have full access to their financial accounts and have funds available upon arrival to the USA. To make a pre-payment of estimated tuition and fees before arrival, please see the Wire Transfer Form **(hyperlink)** on our webpage. The actual cost of tuition and fees may be affected by the amount/ type of courses selected. Tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other expenses are due one semester at a time. Living expenses are not paid to the college.

Credit Hours and Course Registration
International students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester to maintain legal full-time status according to U.S. government regulations. The exact schedule of classes and costs are determined after students complete placement testing and select classes.  Intensive English level 1 requires 13 credit hours of enrollment, so the tuition estimate is calculated at 25 minimum credit hours for an academic year.

Orientation

International Student Orientation

All new students are required to attend the International Student Orientation Program. This week-long program provides international students with information to help with the transition to Moraine Valley. Students are provided with information about living in the community, the American academic system, academic programs available at Moraine Valley, and class registration requirements.

During the International Student Orientation, international students are comprehensively tested in areas ranging from language ability to math and science. After the tests are completed, students are given individual appointments with advisors to discuss test results and class placement. Students who do not meet university-level English language requirements are placed in the Intensive English Language Program. Students who do meet English language requirements are assisted with registration for regular academic coursework. Orientation also includes social activities and sightseeing opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get an I-20?
When an application is received, it must be reviewed by a professional admissions staff member and documents are checked for accuracy and eligibility criteria. The application is usually reviewed within one week after it is received in our office.

After the review, applicants are notified by letter of the admissions decision. If you are an overseas applicant, you should expect to receive your answer from us within two weeks. Local applicants within the United States will usually be notified sooner.

The use of e-mail has reduced the length of time applicants may have to wait to hear from us. However, it is important to understand that verification of foreign documents requires a more complicated process and applicants need to plan ahead to schedule their admissions and start date accordingly.

If you are approved for admission, you will receive the Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility to attend Moraine Valley Community College. If you are not approved, you will be notified of the reason. Contact an international student services specialist for information.

Can I submit some documents now and some later?
Students who submit incomplete applications and are expecting a partial review of these documents cannot be accommodated with a document-by-document evaluation. The requirements for application are clear, and students must comply with these. When a complete application is submitted, you can expect a more timely review and response. If an incomplete application is submitted, you will be notified of this determination and your admission will be delayed. It is recommended that you submit all your required documents together to ensure a timely and efficient processing of your application.

Will you notify me if there is a problem?
Yes, a notification email will be sent out and will inform you if there is a missing or incomplete document. You can expect to receive this email within two weeks of submitting your application packet to us.

Will you e-mail me about my application?
We will not e-mail you immediately, but we are happy to respond to your questions by e-mail. However, please do not e-mail us about the status of your application until we have time to review your documents. After the two-week review period, you may wish to contact us to request an update on the status of your application. For questions about your application, contact us at international-admissions@morainevalley.edu.

Can I arrive early before my classes begin?
You are allowed to arrive up to 30 days before classes begin. However, we do not provide airport pick up service or host home placements until the week before International Student Orientation begins. The Arrival Dates recommended for each semester will be included in your acceptance letter.

I am already in the country and I want to register. What should I do?
If you are in the United States, and you have your own housing already, or you will be assisted in your housing by a local relative, we may invite you to come in and take your required English tests before the International Student Orientation. Contact an international student services specialist to notify them of your early arrival in the area and they will schedule an early test and advising appointment.

Airport Arrival

Moraine Valley provides assistance to all international students arriving in the community. For all students arriving directly from an overseas location, ISA offers free airport pick-up service. For students that arrive during the times specified, an ISA staff member, or associate of the college, will meet them at the airport and transport them directly to their housing accommodation or host home.

Housing Assistance

Housing Assistance
International Student Affairs offers housing assistance to international students. To meet student needs, the Host Home Program allows students to rent a room in the home of a local community member. Many new students take advantage of the Host Home Program to help during the adjustment period of studying in the United States. ISA also provides assistance in locating apartments for students who prefer to live more independently. In either case, the International Student Housing Specialist provides support with locating accommodations. Newly admitted students must send a housing deposit to assure housing accommodation upon arrival.

 

Host Home Program
Living with a host family allows students to experience life with an American family and develop lasting relationships. A host family provides a supportive, friendly atmosphere to help international students adjust to the community. Students who request the benefits of the Host Home Program enjoy the conveniences of a furnished home, private bedroom, laundry facilities, television, and other appliances. Moraine Valley hosts live in communities near the college and students use the public bus system to travel to the college.

Apartments
Many apartments are within walking distance of the college, or along local bus routes. Apartment price ranges vary with the level of accommodation. Moraine Valley’s International Student Housing Specialist provides roommate referral services for students looking to share living expenses. New students who wish to rent an apartment are provided with housing assistance and ongoing support, but apartment complexes do not have college affiliation.

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