Currently, Tulsa Community College has 112 foreign students who came to the United States on non-immigrant visas to study at the college. Over 70 of them have F1 student visa status. Other foreign-born students hold immigrant visas. Both groups represent over 70 different countries, such as Vietnam, China, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Angola, and others. This small group of students contributes up to $1 million to the TCC’s budget yearly.
Gary Young-Allen, director of International Student Services (ISS) at TCC, explains that in order to start the enrollment process with TCC, a foreigner should fill out the college application on TCC’s website and submit the Form I-20 application.
A foreign student has to provide several documents to TCC to be accepted, such as copies of the passport, high school, and college transcripts; copies of the scores from TOEFL or IELTS exams; a financial statement from the bank showing that the student or a sponsor has over $20,000 in a bank account.
After submitting all documents and receiving a confirmation from TCC, a student is ready to set up an appointment at the United States Embassy or Consulate to obtain an F1 Visa.
“If a student just wants to come for the summer to take some English language classes, they usually come on a tourist visa, which allows them to take no more than two language classes,” says Young-Allen.
“These cannot be classes that count towards a degree, and it is best if they are done through English as a Second Language (ESL) and TCC Continuing Education,” he adds.
The director of International Student Services stresses that ISS “supports any student that is not a U.S. citizen.”
“At this time, that is 304 foreign students in credit classes on various visas and those who are undocumented, as well as over 100 more students enrolled in ESL continuing education,” says Young-Allen.
“For all of these students, we maintain an up-to-date knowledge of all immigration laws, and federal court decisions, including the Supreme Court, so that we can protect and aid our foreign students as much as possible,” he continues.
“We monitor world events so that we can help students who may need help due to catastrophic events or war,” Young-Allen describes. “Because of COVID, the ISS office has also maintained a constant knowledge of travel issues, no-fly zones, embassy/consulate closures, and abnormal flight delays.”
“In addition, we also provide a 24-hour emergency contact for students having trouble in any of three
areas: medical, police, or immigration,” the ISS director adds. “We provide activities to help them meet fellow internationals/immigrants and interested U.S. citizens.”
“We also provide housing information so that students can know which apartment complexes are international friendly,” Young-Allen says. “By this, we mean which apartments do not require a Social Security number, or prior rental experience in the U.S., as well as which apartments are on main bus routes.”
“We also can help students trying to change visa status, obtain foreign academic credentials, and translation services, and many other aids to foreign students,” Young-Allen concludes.
For more information about International Student Services, contact Gary Young-Allen, director of International Student Services, Tulsa Community College, 3727 E. Apache, SU110, Tulsa, OK 74115-3151. Office phone: (918) 595-7509, cell phone: (918) 934-3448.