Letter from the Chair
Information for International Students
The History Department welcomes international students, who do much to enliven and enrich the intellectual community at UIUC. Prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 10 months prior to their intended semester of entry due to federal and state processing of INS status. Please note that in order for us to complete paperwork for the I-20 form needed for your visa, we will usually need financial documentation (bank statements etc.) indicating that you or a sponsor are able to cover whatever gap may exist between our financial aid packages and the total funds deemed necessary by the University’s Office of International Student Affairs for an international student to be admitted. This figure can range between $1500 and $3000 depending on the financial package we are able to offer.
To be appointed as Teaching Assistants International Students must pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a score of 50 or better, or they can take the SPEAK test administered by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence. They must also attend International TA Orientation in addition to the History Department’s own TA Orientation.
International students should immediately consult the Graduate College, which provides up-to-date information regarding transcripts, language proficiency, visas, and health requirements for international applicants. The Office of International Student Affairs provides additional resources for prospective and current students. OISA provides pre-arrival information and instructions for students including information of the academic system, transportation to/from UIUC, and directions on how to secure housing, a bank account and a Social Security Number (SSN).
A Social Security Number is required for all students to receive US identification. Many landlords, banks, and all state and federal government agencies require the use of the SSN on official paperwork. OISA will meet with all incoming international students to aid them in the application process. Please meet with OISA as soon as you arrive at UIUC —and consult with them before then—as processing of paperwork can be delayed due to high volume. Prior to receiving your SSN, you will need to carry your passport or other authorized identification to complete many tasks.
International applicants should note that additional expenses are normally due prior to the first disbursement of financial aid. These costs can include start-up costs (first and last months’ rent, utilities, and groceries) and university fees. We recommend all students be prepared for additional out of pocket expenses, as the first paycheck usually does not arrive until mid to late September. Students should consider these expenses when figuring the costs of admission.