International Students

The Cairn community is enriched by international students from dozens of countries, whose global perspective enhances the entire student body’s experience.  Cairn’s International Office helps students navigate the application and F-1 visa process, and continues to support them throughout their University experience.

To contact the International Office, email intl-office@cairn.edu or call:
Internationally: +1.215.702.4244
Toll-Free (in US only): 800.366.0049

Note:  U.S. citizens living abroad are not considered International Students and should follow the application guidelines for traditional undergraduate, degree completion, or graduate students.

Student Visa Information

In order to study at Cairn, international students must apply for the F-1 student visa.  In order to obtain your student visa, accepted international applicants must first receive a Form I-20 from Cairn University.

APPLYING FOR FORM I-20

The Form I-20 certifies that an international applicant is academically and financially qualified to pursue a course of full-time study in the United States. This form is required by U.S. embassies from international applicants who are applying for a visa to enter the U.S. as full-time students. In addition, students must present the Form I-20 to the INS officer upon entry into the U.S.

Cairn University issues a Form I-20 to international applicants who have been academically accepted and have submitted all required admissions documents and deposits. Please note that accepted applicants are not allowed to enter the U.S. later than the reporting date on Line 5 of the Form I-20.

Instructions regarding the application process for the Form I-20, including financial requirements and deadlines, can be found in our Application for Form I-20.

For more information about coming to the U.S. as an F-1 student, please visit the Study in the States website.

APPLYING FOR THE F-1 STUDENT VISA

After receiving a Form I-20 from Cairn University, accepted international applicants may apply for a F-1 visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy located in their home country.  The applicant should present to the U.S. Consulate official the following items:

  • An acceptance letter from Cairn University
  • Certification of financial support for the entire length of proposed studies in the U.S.
  • Proof of plans to return home after course of study

Note: Citizens of certain countries (such as Canada) are not required to have a U.S. visa in order to enter the U.S.  However, these students should be prepared to present the INS officer or U.S. Consulate official at the port of entry with all of the above items (except the visa), as well as the following:

  • An original birth certificate or passport
  • A correctly filled out Form I-94

For more information regarding U.S. Embassy policies,
visit the U.S. State Department website.

Financial Aid Information

International students are not eligible for U.S. Federal and State financial aid. The International Office recommends that international applicants complete the following:

In addition to need-based aid, international students also qualify for many of the same merit-based and other scholarships offered by the University.

Although not permitted to work off-campus, students holding F-1 visa status are also eligible for on-campus employment.   Students may work part-time during academic semesters (20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters), as well as full-time during winter and summer breaks (40 hours per week).

If tuition costs remain, international students are eligible to make monthly payments through Cairn University’s payment plans.

Admission Requirements

International Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate international students must meet the Undergraduate Admissions Requirements of the University and any program-specific requirements.  An international student is any student attending Cairn University on an F-1 student visa.  U.S. citizens living abroad should follow the application guidelines for traditional first-time or transfer undergraduate students.

Application

Submit the Undergraduate Application for Admission (either online or print), along with a $25 non-refundable application fee.
Start online application  |  Download print application

Transcripts and Test Scores

Submit official academic transcript(s) and standardized test scores.
Learn more about acceptable international transcripts and TOEFL score requirement/waivers below.

Visa

F-1 Student Visa applicants must submit the application for Form I-20. Note: Citizens of certain countries (such as Canada) are not required to have a U.S. visa in order to enter the U.S.
Download the Form I-20 Application

All materials must be received by the application deadline:

  • May 31 for students entering in the fall semester (August)
  • September 30 for students entering in the spring semester (January)
International Graduate Students

Graduate international students must meet the following requirements, as well as any program-specific requirements.  An international student is any student attending Cairn University on an F-1 student visa.  U.S. citizens living abroad should follow the application guidelines for graduate students.

Application

Submit the Graduate Application for Admission (either online or print), along with a $25 non-refundable application fee.
Start online application  |  Download print application

Program-Specific Requirements

Submit program-specific essays and references.

Transcripts and Test Scores

Submit official academic transcript(s) and standardized test scores.
Learn more about acceptable international transcripts and TOEFL score requirement/waivers below.

Visa

F-1 Student Visa applicants must submit the application for Form I-20. Note: Citizens of certain countries (such as Canada) are not required to have a U.S. visa in order to enter the U.S.
Download the Form I-20 Application

All materials must be received by the application deadline:

  • February 15 for summer admission
  • May 15 for fall admission
  • September 15 for spring admission
International Degree Completion Students

Degree Completion international students must meet the following requirements, as well as any program-specific requirements.  An international student is any student attending Cairn University on an F-1 student visa.  U.S. citizens living abroad should follow the application guidelines for Degree Completion students.

Application

Submit the Degree Completion Program Application (either online or print), along with a $25 non-refundable application fee.
Start online application  |  Download print application

Transcripts and Test Scores

Submit official academic transcript(s) from all previous colleges/universities, and any applicable standardized test scores.
Learn more about acceptable international transcripts and TOEFL score requirement/waivers below.

References

Submit one Personal Reference and one Pastoral Reference.

Visa

F-1 Student Visa applicants must submit the application for Form I-20. Note: Citizens of certain countries (such as Canada) are not required to have a U.S. visa in order to enter the U.S.
Download the Form I-20 Application

All materials must be received by the application deadline:

  • May 31 for students entering in the fall semester (August)
  • September 30 for students entering in the spring semester (January)

Transcripts
Transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.  Students may be required to have non-US transcripts evaluated by an academic transcript evaluating agency, such as World Education Services (WES). Undergrad Students: Official secondary school transcripts must demonstrate the equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma, a minimum of 12 years of primary and second school training.  Transfer students with 30 or more college credits are only required to submit transcripts from each college or university attended. Graduate Students: Transcripts must demonstrate equivalency to an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution. Official transcript evaluations must be sent directly to Cairn’s graduate admissions office.  All fees and arrangements for document evaluations are the responsibility of the applicant.

Test Scores
For applicants whose native language is not English, English proficiency must be demonstrated by taking the TOEFL exam administered by the Education Testing Service (ETS). International students who pass TOEFL don’t have to submit SAT or ACT scores.

  • Undergrad and Degree Completion Students: English proficiency is demonstrated by TOEFL scores of at least 520 on the paper-based test, 190  on the computer-based test, or 68 on the internet-based test.
  • Graduate Students: English proficiency is demonstrated by TOEFL scores of at least 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 79 on the internet-based test.
  • All scores must be submitted directly from ETS and may not be more than 2 years old.  The Cairn TOEFL School Code is 2661.

TOEFL waivers may be granted under the following conditions:

  • Applicant meets the minimum SAT or ACT requirement
  • Applicant has completed alternative English proficiency exams with comparable passing scores (e.g., IELT8)
  • Applicant has successfully completed at least 60 credits at an approved college or university in the United States or certain Commonwealth countries.  Coursework must have been completed within 2 years of applying to Cairn and earned a minimum grade of “C.”
  • TOEFL test waivers are effective only if approved by Cairn University.

Getting Involved

At Cairn University, we know that the entire University benefits when international students get involved.  The International Office and Office of Student Life are eager to assist international students as they transition to life in America, seeking to plug into the community.

On Campus

Several student groups make a point of inviting international students to their events, including the Culture & Arts Association (CAA), Mu Kappa (Missionary Kids organization), and the Student Missionary Fellowship.

However, international students are encouraged to get involved in all aspects of campus life at Cairn, ranging from student groups, to athletics, to music and art, to leadership through Resident Life.

Around the Area

Students from Cairn University get involved in the local community in a variety of ways.  The University Ministry Center helps students connect with local ministries, empowering students to serve the local Bucks County and Philadelphia communities in diverse ways—ranging from tutoring, to leading worship, to discipling the homeless.  The UMC also encourages students to “plug into” a local church.

The University’s location in Bucks County is also ideal for exploring the region.  With 3 bus routes and a train station within walking distance of campus, students have convenient access to attractions in the Bucks County and Philadelphia areas.  In addition, students can easily take day trips to New York City (2 hours away), Baltimore (2 hours away), and Washington, D.C. (3 hours away).

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