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:  US 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 US embassies and consulates for international applicants who are applying for a visa to enter the US as full-time students. In addition, students must present the Form I-20 to the CBP 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 financial documents and deposits. Please note that accepted applicants are not allowed to enter the U.S. later than the program start date listed on 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 US 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 US consulate or embassy located in their home country.  The applicant should present to the consul the following items:

  • An acceptance letter from Cairn University
  • Certification of financial support for the entire length of proposed studies in the US
  • Proof of SEVIS fee payment
  • Proof of plans to return home after course of study

Note: Citizens of certain countries (such as Canada) are not required to have a US visa in order to enter the US. However, these students should be prepared to present the CBP officer at the port of entry with all of the above items (except the visa), as well as proof of Canadian citizenship.

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

Financial Aid Information

International students are not eligible for US federal and state financial aid. The International Office recommends that international applicants complete Cairn’s International Student Financial Aid Application.

In addition to need-based aid, international students may 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 status are 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.  US 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. 

  • Transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.  Students are required to have non-US transcripts evaluated by an academic transcript evaluating agency, such as World Education Services (WES).  All fees and arrangements for document evaluations are the responsibility of the applicant. Official secondary school transcripts must demonstrate the equivalent to a US high school diploma, a minimum of 12 years of primary and secondary school training.  Transfer students with 30 or more college credits are only required to submit transcripts from each college or university attended.   
  • All applicants must submit SAT, ACT, or TOEFL scores.  For applicants whose first language is not English, the TOEFL exam is required. The minimum acceptable score is 68 on the internet-based test or 520 on the paper-based test.  Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly from the testing company to the University and must not be more than two years old.  Please note that we recommend submitting SAT or ACT scores as well to ensure that you receive the highest merit scholarship you are eligible for. If you have an admissible score on the SAT or ACT, the TOEFL requirement may be waived.  If you have a score of 27 or higher on the SAT Reading test or 20 or higher on the ACT English test, the TOEFL requirement may be waived.

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 US visa in order to enter the US.
Download the Form I-20 Application

All materials must be received by the application deadline:

  • May 1 for students entering in the fall semester (August)
  • September 1 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.  US 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.

  • Transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.  Students are required to have non-US transcripts evaluated by an academic transcript evaluating agency, such as World Education Services (WES).  Transcripts must demonstrate equivalency to an undergraduate degree from an accredited US 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.
  • For applicants whose first language is not English, the TOEFL or IELTS exam is required. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 79 on the internet-based test or 550 on the paper-based test.  The minimum acceptable score on the IELTS exam is 6.5.  Official scores must be sent directly from the testing company to the University and must not be more than two years old. 

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 US visa in order to enter the US.
Download the Form I-20 Application

All materials must be received by the application deadline:

  • January 15 for summer admission
  • May 1 for fall admission
  • September 1 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.  US 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.

  • Transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.  Students are required to have non-US college or university transcripts evaluated by an academic transcript evaluating agency, such as World Education Services (WES).   All fees and arrangements for document evaluations are the responsibility of the applicant.    
  • For applicants whose first language is not English, the TOEFL exam is required. The minimum acceptable score is 68 on the internet-based test or 520 on the paper-based test.  Official scores must be sent directly from the testing company to the University and must not be more than two years old.

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 US visa in order to enter the US.
Download the Form I-20 Application

All materials must be received by the application deadline:

  • May 1 for students entering in the fall semester (August)
  • September 1 for students entering in the spring semester (January)

Test Scores

English language proficiency requirement waivers may be granted under the following conditions:

  • Applicant meets the minimum SAT or ACT requirement (undergraduate students only).
  • Applicant has completed alternative English proficiency exams with comparable passing scores (e.g., IELTS)
  • 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 two years of applying to Cairn and earned a minimum grade of “C.

Please submit all application documents, including application essays and transcripts/transcript evaluations, in order to be considered for a waiver of the English proficiency exam requirement. 

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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