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International Students

International Applicants

Zaytuna College accepts applications from international students. International students admitted to the  College must then apply for an F-1 student visa.

Although applying for an F-1 visa is not difficult, it can take a few weeks or months to obtain the visa. For this reason, it is recommended that students begin the visa application process as soon after admission as possible to ensure all the necessary steps are completed before the beginning of classes.

Arabic Language Proficiency Requirement

Students admitted to the BA program are required to take an Arabic proficiency exam. 

Normally, students who do not pass the exam, are required to attend and pass the Summer Arabic Intensive prior to the start of the freshman year. However, due to student visa restrictions, the Summer Arabic Intensive is not currently open to F1 international students. 

Accordingly, we require that all international students seeking to attend Zaytuna as an F1 visa holder, pass our Arabic Proficiency Exam before being admitted to Zaytuna College.

There are two phases for international F1 applicants: phase one will review admissibility, and the second phase will test Arabic proficiency. We will administer the Arabic exam only to those applicants who pass the first phase of admissions. 

We advise all F1 applicants to acquire the requisite Arabic proficiency prior to applying to the College. Our Arabic Proficiency Exam covers material from the first 12 chapters of Al-Kitaab, Part 1 (Georgetown University Press, 2nd Ed.).

Getting an I-20 from Zaytuna College

To apply for an F-1 student visa, applicants must first obtain a Declaration and Certification of Financial Resources Form I-20 from Zaytuna College.

The I-20 documents, among other things, financial ability to cover the cost of attendance for the first academic year at Zaytuna College. Applicants must have a letter of admission, an I-20, and proof of financial resources in order to apply for the F-1 visa.

Required Documents for an I-20:
  • Copy of current valid passport
  • Completed Certificate of Financial Resources
  • Financial documents
    • Bank statement or letter from the bank
    • Scholarship information, if applicable
    • Educational loan information, if applicable
  • Address exactly as printed on a FedEx label

All documentation must be provided to the primary designated school officer (PDSO) or designated school officer (DSO) at Zaytuna College at [email protected] The College then creates and sends the I-20 to the applicant to apply for a visa. Applicants must inform the Registrar upon receipt of their visa.

After international students have received the I-20, they need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee (see https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2013/01/whatis-the-i-901-sevis-fee). Students need the I-20 and proof of fee payment for their visa appointment at a U.S. consulate. When students have received their visa and travel to the United States, all documents must likewise be presented at the port of entry, no more than thirty days before the program start date listed on the I-20.

Additional Resources

The Registrar’s Office provides resources and support to international students regarding their application for F-1 visa status to ensure compliance with U.S. federal regulations. The Registrar’s Office can be reached at [email protected] or +1 510-900-3134. The College also refers applicants to www.studyinthestates.dhs.gov.

Questions Answers
Q: What are the steps to apply as an international student?

A: The process isThe process is the same as it is for U.S. students. In addition to all regular admissions requirements, international applicants who are non-native English speakers must also submit TOEFL, IELTS, CEFR level, or Duolingo English Test scores.the same as it is for U.S. students. In addition to all regular admissions requirements, international applicants must also submit TOEFL scores or IELTS scores. In lieu of the SAT, ACT, or CLT, we may also accept national exams common to your country (such as the A-Levels in the United Kingdom). Please contact us to verify if the exam you are considering will qualify you for admissions to Zaytuna College.

Q: Does my foreign diploma qualify me for undergraduate studies?

A: Zaytuna College assesses transcripts based on the educational system of your country and the level of studies.

Q: My transcripts are not in English. What do I do?

A: All transcripts in a language other than English must be translated by your school or a professional translating service. Transcripts that are not translated will not be accepted.

Q: When do I submit a financial verification form or proof that I am able to pay for my studies?

A: Financial verification is requested after you are admitted to Zaytuna College or when you apply to financial aid.

Q: Can international students apply to the MA program?

A: Yes, the MA program is now open to international students.