Inbound Students

Inbound students interested in attending Nichols from all non-US locations will find details on applications, requirements, and travel below. We have a number of programs and services that support the unique academic and student life needs of the international student body at Nichols College.

  • International arrival services, including airport pick-up and orientation for first-time arrivals registration advising and academic support
  • Dedicated international advisor
  • Immigration services to help with visa guidance and federal regulations
  • Immediate check-in and move-in upon arrival
  • Transportation to banking and retail centers

Inbound Degree-Seeking students will need to submit the following by June 25th:

  • Application
  • Proof of English proficiency (see English Language Proficiency Requirements)
  • Official transcripts, translated and evaluated
  • Declaration of Finances or Notarized Affidavit of Support
  • Personal statement or essay
  • One academic letter of recommendation

Inbound Study Abroad (semester-only) students will need to submit the following by June 15th for the fall semester and by November 1st for the spring semester:

  • Application
  • Proof of English proficiency (see English Language Proficiency Requirements)
  • Declaration of Finances or Notarized Affidavit of Support
  • Nomination letter from home university sent to the Office for International

Bilateral Exchange Partner Students will need to submit the following by June 15 for the fall semester and by November 1 for the spring semester for semester-only students; submit the following by June 25th for degree-seeking students:

  • Nomination letter from home university sent to the Office for International
  • Declaration of Finances or Notarized Affidavit of Support

To demonstrate English proficiency, you must submit at least one of the following:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score of 72 (ibt)
  • Minimum IELTs Score of 6
  • Minimum of 49 on the Pearson Academic PTE
  • Minimum SAT Verbal/Critical Reading score of 350
  • Minimum score of 95 on Duolingo ESL
  • Minimum score of 14 on the ACT English and Reading sections
  • Interview with a credentialed ESL expert at Nichols College (remote allowed)
  • Graduation from an accredited, English speaking, non-distance learning secondary school with a college preparatory curriculum
  • Successful completion of an English Language Program

Additional Information:

  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires that all international students maintain full-time status. This means 12-19 credits per term in an undergraduate program or 6 credits in our graduate programs.
  • Massachusetts State law requires that students enrolled at a minimum of 3/4 full-time enrollment participate in a qualifying student health insurance program or in a health benefit plan with comparable coverage.
  • Letters of recommendation, essay, and transcripts must be submitted in English. You cannot apply for a student visa until you have been accepted. Before you can start that process, we will ask for documentation that states you are able to meet financial expenses.
  • If you are admitted, a $1,000.00 tuition deposit will be required along with an affidavit of financial support with official certification from your bank and a color copy of the identification page of your passport. Your Nichols College I-20 cannot be issued without these items.
  • This College is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students in F-1 status.

Academic Scholarship

International students may qualify for a merit scholarship based upon academic achievement at their current or previous secondary or post-secondary institution. Merit scholarships are fully renewable as long as students maintain satisfactory progress. Students must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and continue to be enrolled full-time while completing 12 credit hours or more per semester.

Residential FAQ

What’s the weather like—and what kind of clothes should I bring?

The weather in New England changes minute to minute, which means it’s best to dress in layers. That way, you can take off or add layers as the weather changes, and you’ll always be comfortable. And even though we have four seasons here, the weather doesn’t always obey them, so be prepared for any unseasonably cold (or warm) snaps. And don’t forget to bring warm, water-resistant jackets and footwear for rain or snow.

Where is campus, and what major cities are nearby?

Campus is located in central Massachusetts in the town of Dudley, with Rhode Island and Connecticut only minutes away. We’re one hour from Boston and Providence, and three hours from New York City. The major cities of Worcester, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut are also nearby.

Can I pick my roommates?

You may pick the person or people you would like to live with. Every effort will be made to house roommate requests together. You will notify us of your roommate choices by completing the online roommate match information that will be given out at Orientation.

What furniture is included in my room?

A single bed, mattress—extra long (36”x80”), closet/wardrobe, desk, chair, shades/blinds, and a shower curtain.

Are there stores nearby where I can pick up anything I’ve forgotten?

We have a few on-campus markets for picking up day-to-day essentials, plus there are local stores a short distance away. For bigger shopping trips, the Nichols College “Bison” Shuttle offers a free ride to shopping centers locally and around Massachusetts, including to retailers and grocery stores.


We provide our international students with a number of services that assist their arrival to campus and their daily life. Nichols College offers all first-time international students the following guaranteed services:

  • Airport pick-up (first time arrivals)
  • Immediate check-in/move-in
  • Orientation including Familiarity Tour (first time arrivals)
  • Banking appointments
  • Shuttles to retail centers
  • Baggage storage over summer break

Reach out to our office directly to coordinate pick-up and drop-off services.


Before you buy your ticket, ask yourself…

When is the first day of classes?

Check our academic calendar so you can be here by the first day of classes.

When is move in day for your class?

Students on I-20s with F-1 Visas may arrive in the US up to 30 days before the beginning of the academic program, but Nichols cannot open your housing until move-in day. Special early requests of a few days may be possible with advanced planning.

Before you leave for the airport, ask yourself…

Who do I send my itinerary and F-1 Visa copy to at Nichols if I would like to request airport pick-up?

The Office for International Engagement (OIE) and International Admissions coordinate airport runs for students.

How can I guarantee airport pick-up?

To guarantee pick-up, arriving within pick-up windows may require wait times at Logan airport. Contact International Admissions or the Office for International Engagement (OIE) for schedules.

Whose phone number should I have in case my flight is delayed?

International Admissions or the Office for International Engagement (OIE) will provide you with a phone contact when you make pick-up arrangements.

What official documents should I bring in my carryon?

All pages of your I-20—don’t forget to sign it; your passport with F-1 Visa; your acceptance letter from Nichols; your proof of finances affidavit.

What do students forget to bring?

Universal charges for electronic devices; bedding and pillow for the mattress we provide; soap, shampoo and towels.

What if I forget things?

Nichols runs a shuttle to retail establishments for your convenience, but you may need to be prepared for your first few days on campus before a shuttle is available. Nichols offers a bedding ordering service. Residence Life staff can send you the link. That way, your bedding will be delivered right to Nichols and you do not have to pack it.

What should I do when I arrive?

Keep your plane ticket, your signed I-20, and your passport handy when you travel. If you are given a declarations form to fill out on the plane, fill it out and keep it with you. When you arrive at Logan, you will print off an arrival document at a kiosk in the arrival terminal and proceed to the border guard. They will ask for all your documents. After passing through CBP, go to the baggage claim. After the baggage claim you will go through one more checkpoint, so keep your documents available. Upon exiting the international arrivals area, you will exit into the terminal reception area. Look for the Nichols College representative holding a Nichols College sign.

I-20 and F-1 Visas

Nichols College is approved by the US Government to accept international students for study at Nichols.

Check out the US Government’s official Study in the States website for detailed information specifically for international students.

What immigration documents will I need?

  • Your valid passport
  • A US I-20 from Nichols College
  • An F-1 Visa from an American Consulate

What is an I-20 and how do I get an I-20?

The I-20 is a multi-purpose document issued by a US government-approved educational institution certifying that a student has been admitted to a full-time study program and that the student has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to stay in the US The I-20 is officially titled the “Certificate of Eligibility” because it allows an individual to apply for an F-1 Student Visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad.

If you are a new student outside of the US, upon acceptance to Nichols College, you will provide proof of finances, fill out an I-20 request form when requested by Nichols International Admissions, provide a color copy of the picture page of your passport, and pay your Nichols College tuition deposit. Once the Nichols DSO (Designated School Official) has this information, we enter your name and biographic information into a US government database called SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). The SEVIS database processes your information for a unique number (SEVIS number) and I-20 document. The DSO prints and signs the I-20 and then delivers it to you by mail.

If you are a transfer student already in the United States, you will ask the DSO at your current school to process your “Transfer Out” request in SEVIS. Often they will have a form for you to fill out. You will need to show them our Nichols Acceptance Letter. You must plan to enroll in the next possible semester at Nichols in order to remain in compliance with the terms of your I-20.

SEVIS is the database and information system of the Student Exchange Visitor Program which holds all your official visa status information, authorizing you to study full time in the United States.

What is an F-1 student visa and how do I get one?

All non-immigrant visitors are required to have a valid visa (except Canadians) in their passport to be allowed entry into the U.S. For general information, see the U.S. Department of State website.

An appointment for a visa interview at a US embassy or consulate abroad may be required.

Visas cannot be issued inside the US unless you are eligible for a Change of Status.

Use the SEVIS number we send to you to get an appointment at the US Consulate in your country.

Check the current wait times for visa appointments and issuance in your city.

Pay the SEVIS Fee, if applicable.

Make a visa appointment and go to an interview at a US embassy or consulate.

Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a visa to enter the US as an F-1, but must still pay the SEVIS Fee and present their I-20 at the US port of entry. However, if the visitor has “Landed Immigrant” status in Canada, a US Visa is required to enter the US.

Visa Appointments

Read the U.S. Department of State website for more information about the visa application process and Temporary Visitors to the U.S.

Visa Wait Times

Since visa appointments are limited and visa processing times can be lengthy, make the appointment as early as possible. Consulates will generally accept appointments up to 120 days prior to the start of studies. There may be long waiting periods for appointments, especially May through August. However, consulates may give priority to F-1 student applicants, if requested.

Visa Interviews

When going to the visa interview, bring:

  • Passport (valid at least six months into the future)
  • Certificate of Eligibility I-20 (F-1)
  • Proof of admission (or proof enrollment for current students)
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Visa application forms and fees
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt (F-1)
  • Students on OPT or STEM OPT must also bring an unexpired EAD card and a job offer letter or employment verification letter

Some consulates may require additional documentation, so check the consulate website for visa application instructions. Visa application forms and fees can be found on the consulate website.

Once you have a scanned copy of your SEVIS number, most often you will be able to make an appointment at an American consulate.

Once we have a local address for you, we will send your original I-20 through the mail.

You will need the original I-20 at the visa interview at the consulate.

Check the consulate website to make sure you have all the documents they require for your visa application.

Pay the visa application fee and keep the receipt.

We want to talk to you!

We’re here to help—so if you have questions about Nichols or our application process, contact us at or call 508-213-2480.