Frequently Asked Questions about Studying in the United States

Experienced BridgePathways Advisors understand that choosing the right university in the U.S. is an important decision. You’ll start by filling out a pre-application to tell us more about your plans. Then a Bridge Advisor will help you research universities that fit your individual needs and goals, taking into account your chosen degree program, preferences for university location and size, and your budget.

Bridge currently has 7 university partners across the United States with 200+ undergraduate and graduate degrees offered! Whether you prefer a mid- to large-sized school in an urban center or a smaller campus in a quieter town, we have a university partner that matches your preferences and academic goals.

Browse degree programs and locations here.

Bridge assists prospective international students with the process of applying to a Bridge partner university in the U.S. at every step. Once you and your advisor have chosen the best-fit university for you, Bridge Admissions will:

  • Help you determine your eligibility for either direct or conditional admission (see next question for more info on conditional admission).
  • Explain the student visa application process to you.
  • Provide ongoing support by answering your questions throughout the process.

Read more about how Bridge can assist you!

Don’t worry—Bridge can help. Our Academic English program helps international students who need to improve their English gain acceptance into U.S. universities through what is called "conditional admission."

Conditional admission means you are accepted to a Bridge partner university on the condition that you successfully complete the Academic English program first. Once you complete the English program, you will be fully admitted to the university and you will not be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS English proficiency test prior to admission!

Read more about conditional admission.

This depends on your English level when you enter the program, but for most students the Academic English program is between 6 months and one year. Read more about Academic English.

Read more about Academic English.

To get a sense of your current English level, you can take a free assessment test online: Bridge Online Language Test (BOLT). This can help you understand your strengths and areas for development in comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and reading.

Yes! Bridge university partners offer many scholarships that are just for international undergraduate students. You can view all scholarships here.

Bridge partner universities offer a variety of housing options for students including on-campus, off-campus and host family accommodations.

On-campus housing

On campus housing is available at all Bridge partner universities. First-year students are encouraged to live on-campus with their classmates, since it’s a good way to get involved in university activities, meet new people, and practice English. Bridge partners offer a variety of on-campus living options, including student dormitories or “dorms” (shared by two students), larger suites, and apartment-style residences.

Off-campus housing

All of our university partners either offer their own off-campus housing or they can assist international students in securing independent, off-campus housing. Living off-campus is usually recommended for older, graduate-level students or for students with spouses and children. Living off campus usually requires taking public transportation to class.

Host family housing

In some cases, Bridge is able to secure host family accommodations for students. Students attending BridgeEnglish in Denver generally live with host families. Living with a host family can provide extra support and great cultural interactions, and encourages students to practice their English at all times.

If you plan to start university in the fall (August), you timeline should look something like this:

  • September – Contact a BridgePathways Advisor to begin the process of choosing which universities are right for you.
  • October to November – With your advisor’s guidance, gather required materials for the application, such as high school or college records, letters of recommendation, and English proficiency tests scores (if you are a Bridge student, you may be able to skip the TOEFL). You can also start writing your personal statement.

Get a more detailed application timeline here.

A credential evaluation is something you’ll probably be asked to provide if you are an international student applying to a U.S. university and you have previously enrolled in college-level courses in another country. This is nothing to fear! It is simply a review of your educational records by an independent organization. The reason for the review is that transcripts, diplomas and coursework are not standardized worldwide, resulting in variance from one country to the next. Credential evaluators are uniquely qualified to evaluate your foreign education credentials, and determine their equivalency to documents in the U.S.

Read more about credential evaluation.

Your BridgePathways Advisor will provide the information you’ll need to begin the student visa application process once you are accepted to a U.S. university (either via direct or conditional admission).

This is a general overview of the steps you’ll follow:

  1. The university to which you are accepted will provide you with a document called a Form I-20.
  2. After you have the Form I-20, you can pay the fees for your visa online through US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  3. Next, you will schedule an in-person interview at a US Embassy or US Consulate near you.
  4. Before your interview, you’ll need to ensure that you have all of the necessary visa application support documents.
  5. Once you have passed the interview, you’ll receive your visa by mail.

Read more about the F1 Visa here.

Yes, in most cases. On-campus jobs are permitted for F1 visa holders, who can work up to 20 hours per week. If you are interested in working off-campus, there two different classifications of work, but both must be related to your major of study. For more detailed information on working on an F1 visa, you can read this article or visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

At Bridge, we understand that studying abroad in the U.S. is a big step, and that you may have questions or concerns at different points in your academic career.

  • When you’re just starting out, we’ll provide you with lots of useful information to help you prepare for your time in the USA: packing tips, advice from other Bridge students, information about the campus and surrounding city, and more!
  • We can help you connect with other international students and provide tools to maintain those connections.
  • Bridge Advisors and Instructors also maintain an “open-door policy”, meaning you always have access to advice while you’re studying abroad.
  • Our orientation is comprehensive, meaning that you’ll be thoroughly introduced to your instructors, the campus, and the resources available to you as a student. We also host lots of extracurricular activities, so that you and your classmates can take advantage of opportunities to learn about American culture and customs, meet American and other international students, and practice your English outside of the classroom.


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