An international student studies on a non-immigrant visa. At Erie Community College International Student Services, we are here to help our international students every step of the way and extend a warm welcome to you. As a student, you will receive information and advice on the application process, U.S. immigration regulations, cultural adjustment, and academic and personal support.
As a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) family of institutions, ECC is part of the largest public university system in the USA. Students can discover a field of study from among over 100 educational programs options at the college.
In addition, Buffalo has been rated #1 on housing affordability by Forbes.com and great food by Travel and Leisure magazine. Most recently, according to TrendingBuffalo.com, Buffalo has earned the top spot on a list of U.S. cities with the best weather. This area offers year-round activities with our lakefront beaches, winter sports and cultural events.
Start today with no application fee. Here is what you need to know to apply:
English Proficiency Exam: Prior to an international student’s acceptance at the college, the applicant must demonstrate English proficiency by taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and scoring a minimum of 48 internet-based (460 paper-based or 140 computer-based). An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 5.5 is also acceptable.
Required English Classes: All students with a TOEFL score less than 80 internet-based (550 paper-based or 213 computer-based) or IELTS score less than 6.5 are mandated to take EN132 Reading/Writing III and EN142 Oral/Aural III during the first semester at ECC.
Matriculation: All F-1 international students must be admitted into an academic degree or certificate program.
Full-time Enrollment: All F-1 international students must maintain enrollment of at least 12
credit hours continuously throughout each entire semester. At least 9
credit hours must be in regular seated courses (not internet, hybrid, or
distance learning courses). It is the student’s responsibility to abide by these regulations which must be treated seriously. Students not matriculated and maintaining full-time enrollment will be reported to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) as out of status.
Tuition and Fees: The international student can expect to pay approximately $5,300 - $5,500 per semester for tuition and fees, plus books and insurance. International students must come prepared to pay the total fees by the date on their registration bill, prior to the start of classes. International students are not eligible for the Tuition Installment Plan (TIP).
Mandatory Health Insurance: All F-1 international students will be billed separately for health/repatriation insurance offered through the college. The approximate cost is based on age and is billed per semester in September for the Fall semester (5 months of coverage) and in early February for the Spring semester (7 months of coverage) as follows:
Adequate Finances: International students must demonstrate that they can adequately finance their stay in the United States without working. Financial sponsor documentation in the amount of $18,800 or more is required with the ECC application and for the U.S. Embassy when applying for an F-1 student visa. Additional funding is required for students with dependents. Financial aid is not available for international students.
Employment – International students should budget their stay in the United States without employment, as employment opportunities are limited for F-1 international students, and are not guaranteed. The following types of employment are permitted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for qualified students:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) - Curricular Practical Training is employment that is directly related to and an integral part of the established curriculum. The employment must be required for degree completion. The internship employment must be part of an official internship course in the curriculum that the student is currently enrolled in and for which there will be a grade issued. Not all internships are paid internships. To be eligible for CPT, the following conditions must be met:
CPT is strictly regulated and enforced by the USCIS.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) - Optional Practical Training is employment directly related to the student’s curriculum that provides the student with practical training in the enrolled degree program field of study. To be eligible for OPT, the following conditions must be met:
OPT is strictly regulated and enforced by the USCIS.
On-campus Employment - On-campus employment is not available the first semester, is extremely limited, and requires the successful completion of EN132 and EN142 (or placement into EN110). Employment is limited to departments on campus.
Student Housing: Erie Community College does not have on-campus student housing. International Student Services can assist you with locating housing options or you may obtain options through an internet search.
Transportation: Students receive a free bus pass to assist with transportation. For more information on student transportation visit https://www.ecc.edu/parking-transportation/.
How Do I Apply?
What Do I Need?
You will need to submit the following documents to International Student Services:
Transfer Students – You must also include:
Canadian Students - If you live within 75 mi (120 km) of the border, you may commute and attend part time. The amount on the Proof of Financial Responsibility bank letter should be at least $10,600 USD. Canadian citizens attending an English language high school do not require TOEFL or IELTS but will be required to take ECC’s English placement test. Official SAT scores may waive you from the English or math portion of the Placement Test. Be sure to include this when sending your documents.
Where Do I Send My Documents?
All documents must be in English or accompanied by a notarized translation. Please send documentation and any translations by postal mail, courier service, or in person. Copies, faxes, and computer downloads are not acceptable and will delay application processing. Erie Community College, North Campus International Student Office 6205 Main Street, Room G-155 Williamsville, New York 14221-7095 USA
Application Deadline: To allow sufficient time for
verification, processing, and issuing the I-20 Certificate of
Eligibility, the following are the preferred deadlines:
These deadlines allow applicants who are out of the United States
additional time for the delivery of the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility
and time to make an appointment at the US Embassy if they do not have a
valid F-1 visa. Applications received after the preferred deadline
will be processed as time allows. Applicants who are in the United
States and have a valid F-1 visa may not need as much processing
time. All applications are treated equally according to order of
receipt. Applications received after the preferred deadline may not
have sufficient processing time for the preferred semester.
*Some academic programs such as Health Sciences (Dental Hygiene,
Nursing, etc.) require advance submission of completed application.
These programs are competitive, have limited enrollments, and may
require pre-requisites. Acceptance is based on criteria such as grades
and courses already taken. International Student Services does
not guarantee acceptance into these programs. It is important to
understand the conditions, dates, deadlines, and additional
requirements for competitive, limited enrollment programs. For more
information, visit Degrees and Certificates.
For more information, please visit Homeland Security - Study in the States.
Why is Brenda smiling? A native of The Republic of Cameroon, West Africa, Ms. L. Brenda Mbiabo won the SUNY Chancellor’s award for Student Excellence and is the first international student to win the SUNY Erie President’s medal. A member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and a student in the honors program graduating on the Dean’s list in the Liberal Arts and Science program, Brenda is a true SUNY Erie success story! She will be furthering her education with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology.