Southwestern enrolls both degree-seeking students as well as short-term exchange participants from countries around the world. These students benefit from the world-class education that Southwestern offers, and the University community in turn benefits greatly from the cultural diversity that each of these students brings to the campus.
The information that follows is primarily intended for those international students planning to enroll at Southwestern as degree-seeking candidates. For information on how to study at Southwestern University as a non-degree exchange student, please visit the page for our Intercultural Learning Office.
As a selective university, Southwestern looks for excellence in its applicants. International students must meet all of the following criteria to be considered for admission as degree-seeking candidates:
- Completion of a competitive secondary school curriculum with strong academic performance.
- Coursework including at least four years of English, four years of math, three years of science, three years of social science, two years of foreign language, and one additional academic elective.
- English proficiency. Southwestern does not offer courses in English as a second language (ESL). All International students must demonstrate mastery of written and oral English at the time of application.
- Students who do not speak English as a first language must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) and achieve an acceptable score. Southwestern considers a minimum of 88 (TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS) as proof of English proficiency.
- Students who speak English as a first language must take either the SAT (Scholastic Achievement Test) or the ACT.
How to Apply
To apply for admission, international students must submit all of the following:
- A completed Application for Admission
- Transcripts of secondary school coursework that list all courses taken and the grades received and/or results of post-secondary cumulative examinations such as G.C.E., I.B., S.P.M. and M.C.E.
- Transcripts and examination results must be in English and sent to Southwestern directly by the school, examination board or certified translator.
- A completed secondary school report or counselor recommendation submitted by the appropriate school official
- TOEFL and/or SAT results
- A completed Certification of Finances Form with supporting documents (e.g., bank statements) (Non-US Citizens/Permanent Residents only)
- A recommendation from a teacher (optional)
- Transfer students must submit official records of all college work completed or in progress.
- Transfer students must also have the College Official’s Report or Instructor’s Evaluation
International Costs & Financing
Costs for the current academic year can be found here
Southwestern’s primary financing option for international students is through merit-based scholarships. A student will be eligible for academic scholarship consideration upon completing an admission application. In order to be considered for admission, international students who are not US Citizens nor US Permanent Residents must submit a Certification of Finances Form and provide proof of funds to support four years of education at Southwestern. Southwestern has very limited need based financial aid funds for international students.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A STUDENT VISA?
When a student receives a letter of acceptance to Southwestern, the student must submit a US$500 enrollment deposit to reserve a place in the class and on-campus housing. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Form I-20 will be issued to the student by Southwestern after this deposit is received. The student must present this form and the acceptance letter, to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. The Consulate/Embassy then will issue the student an F-1 student visa. Southwestern will work individually with students who have other US visa types to ensure they maintain their status while enrolled.
IS HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIRED?
Yes. Southwestern automatically enrolls all international students in a health insurance plan providing quality coverage for medical expenses while enrolled. If an international student has existing health insurance with coverage extending to the US, the student may opt out of this coverage and waive the health insurance fee. Typically, however, non-US insurance plans rarely provide coverage within the US. As such, we generally recommend all international students participate in the university-provided health insurance option.
ARE BANKING SERVICES AVAILABLE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS?
Yes. Worldwide banking services are available in Georgetown, and students may have funds wired to Southwestern. For details on wiring funds, please call the Business Office at 512-863-1926. We also work with students who wish to establish an account at one of our local banks.
WHAT TYPE OF HOUSING IS AVAILABLE?
Southwestern is a residential college, and as such, we guarantee housing for all international students. Southwestern’s residence halls provide students with individual high-speed connection to the Internet and cable TV service. All residence halls, (mostly suite-style rooms), have central air conditioning and heating. For upper-level students, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are available on campus in addition to other options. Assistance is available for international students wishing to obtain housing during holidays and over the summer months. For more details about our residence halls, please visit the site of our Residence Life Office.
WHAT TYPE OF TRANSPORTATION/AIRPORT SERVICE IS AVAILABLE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS?
While Georgetown, TX does not offer any form of mass or public transportation, students living on campus do not usually find that an everyday problem. Southwestern’s campus is walkable, and the University does offer free weekly shuttles to the local shopping centers off campus. In addition, there are many students who own cars; we find international students often develop relationships with other students and will travel in Georgetown together. If necessary, there are taxis and shuttles available for hire. This is a helpful and common mode of transportation to the airport. Once in Austin, public bus services with a variety of routes are available through Capital Metro.
WHAT TYPE OF STUDENT ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS?
There are over 100 student organizations available, including departmental, religious, and special interest groups and national fraternities and sororities. As part of the liberal arts education, students celebrate and value diversity. This is reflected in the wide variety of organizations in which students choose to participate. Some organizations that lend an international perspective include the Coalition for Diversity and Social Justice, SU Buddist Meditation Group, EBONY, Latinos Unidos, Pan-Asian Association, German Club and Muslim Student Organization. Other popular activities among Southwestern students include community service and intramural sports. The Outdoor Recreation department also sponsors many fun trips and activities for students such as caving, hiking, sailing, and canoeing.
WHAT IS A LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES EDUCATION?
There are many different kinds of colleges and universities. At Southwestern, we strongly believe in the value of a liberal arts and sciences education. We offer a broad-based approach to education spanning many disciplines. It exposes the student poet to physics and technology and the young accountant to the history of art. It takes advantage of each subject’s potential for posing value questions and for presenting problems, facts, ideas, events and situations in their full context. A student’s field of study is pursued while allowing the student to become a broadly and highly educated person.
Whom can I contact if I have questions about the admission process?
The Director of Admission, Bob Baldwin, works with all students graduating from non-US high schools in the admission process and is always happy to help answer questions.