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International Students

Lake Michigan College welcomes international students. Currently, nearly 300 students from 55 different countries are enrolled at LMC. LMC is viewed as a source of education, a cultural center, a regional economic partner and a leader in diversity and innovation.

Who is an International Student?
Any individual who is not a US citizen is classified as an international student at Lake Michigan College. This broad definition includes two different groups: 1) those admitted to the United States in a temporary, non-resident (visa) status and 2) individuals who have immigrant or resident alien (green card) status. Only individuals who are a member of the first group (visa holders) are required to follow the admission requirements for International Students.

How to Apply for Admission
Submit a completed Application for Admission.

You must download, complete and send all forms to:

Lake Michigan College
International Student Office
2755 E. Napier Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

The following items must be attached to the application form:

1. Academic Requirements: Submit original or certified true copies of all certificates and grade reports received upon completion of secondary work. These credentials must include: a list of the subjects studies, the minimum passing grade and maximum possible grade in each subject, and the grade was earned in each subject on examination. Credentials not in English must be accompanied by English translations. A list of evaluation service providers is available in the international office.

2. Language Proficiency: Proficiency in the English language is required. The applicant must submit proof of ONE of the following: 

  • TOEFL Test with a minimum score of 500 on the paper-based test, 173 on the computer-based test or 59-60 TOEFL iBT for academic admission.
  • Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP): a minimum score of 75 is required.
  • Transferable English Composition Course: must b completed at a US college or university with a minimum grade of "C".
  • Native English Speaker: documented by high school Transcript/Certificate/ Reports.

3. Financial Verification: Applicants must be financially self-supporting while studying in the U.S. Students must provide both: 

  • Proof of having U.S. dollars to meet the "Lake Michigan College Minimum Cost of Living Estimate". This must be documented on the "Declaration of Finances Form". The sponsor of the student must provide a bank statement which testifies to the sponsor's willingness and ability of supporting the student while he/she attends Lake Michigan College.
  • A $6,500 deposit is collected before International Student is admitted to the College for the first time. This is a one-time deposit which is required and must be paid in the form of cash, credit card, cashier's check, money order or wire.  The deposit is held exclusively for tuition and fees. When the International Student leaves or transfers to another school, the Business Office will refund any remaining balance to the student.  Students who leave the College and want to re-enroll will follow regular payment procedures.

4. Visa Information:
Upon completion of the steps listed, international student applicants will receive a letter of acceptance, an I-20, and copies of the Declaration of Finances. The letter of acceptance, I-20, a valid passport, and Declaration of Finances must be presented to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad to apply for an F-1 student visa.

International Student Deposit Policy
Before an I-20 can be issued to an international student, the student must make a deposit equal to the first year cost of tuition and fees. The deposit must be in the form of cash, credit card, money order, or cashier’s check. This deposit is held exclusively for tuition and fees.
If an international student decides to leave or transfer to another school, the Business Office will refund any remaining balance to the student.

Application Deadlines
International students seeking admission to Lake Michigan College must apply by July 1 for the Fall semester, November 1 for the Spring semester, and March for the Summer term to issue the necessary documents required to apply for a student visa.

Medical Insurance
Health services and practices in the United States are perhaps different from those in other countries. Health care is expensive in the U.S. and must be paid for by the student. Most treatment is obtained through private-practice physicians. There is no Federal government facility open to the general population. Students may want to seek a personal physician or dentist for routine attention. Because hospitalization is very expensive, international students are urged to have hospitalization insurance. LMC does not maintain coverage for students and is not responsible for any medical, hospital, evacuation, or repatriation expenses, which you may incur.

Student housing is available on the Napier Avenue Campus. Apartments and rooms are available for rent to students in the area. Students are responsible for arranging their own housing accommodations.

Benton Harbor, Niles, and South Haven do not have an international airport. The nearest international airport is O'Hare Airport in Chicago. Arriving students could make arrangements for a connecting flight from O'Hare to South Bend,Indiana. Land travel is possible from South Bend to any of our campuses.

Public transportation is very limited. Most students rely on a private automobile as a means of conveyance between their residence and the College. Some students are able arrange rides with friends.

Employment opportunities for international students are very limited. The single source of employment initially is restricted to on-campus employment. There are very few jobs available on-campus. You can not work off-campus in any capacity without specific authorization from the International Student Advisor and Department of Homeland Security. This permission is withheld until you have completed your first year of college work. Applicants cannot assume that monies from employment will be available to them in the US. Working without approval means immediately the student is "out-of- status" with no opportunity for reinstatement. You will be ineligible for any other benefits of your status.

Transfer Credit from Foreign Colleges and Universities
Lake Michigan College does not evaluate post-secondary international transcripts. Individuals who wish to transfer credit from colleges and universities outside of the United States must have their foreign transcripts and credentials evaluated by an independent international credential evaluation service. There is a fee for this service. Contact the International Services Office for contact information and application forms.

A diverse student body of more than 5,000 credit students and 2,500 non-credit and continuing education students creates a rich atmosphere of growth and challenging goals. Those who come to Lake Michigan College do so for a variety of reasons including:

  • Earning an associate's degree or occupational certificate
  • Gaining the first two years of a bachelor's degree
  • Learning new skills to start a new career
  • Improving job skills for career advancement
  • Personal interest

The College offers associate degrees and certificates in more than 75 transfer and career education areas of study and programs. Courses are available at four sites operated by the College and through a number of off-campus locations throughout Berrien and Van Buren counties. More than 400 faculty and staff are employed by the College including more than 200 part-time faculty members.

Additional information and validation of required documents may be obtained from the International Student Advisor, at (269) 927-6181.

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