In my past life as a visa coordinator, I gathered some information that international students may find useful. With the application season fully upon us, I wanted to take a moment to share some tips for your application and (looking ahead) the visa process. Here goes:
- Certified English Translation: You may be asking yourself, “What does this mean? I can speak, read, and write English, so why do I need someone else to do it for me?” The short answer is that your translation needs to be done by someone with an official stamp and/or contract, so that we know the translation is accurate. Certified translators, like notaries public, have passed an exam to keep their standing, and will offer you the most comprehensive and accurate translation. The best way to find a certified translator in your area is to do a search online, or ask a local bank, post office, or attorney’s office, as they will often utilize translation services. When submitting documents that have been translated, please make sure to send us both the original and the translation!
- Notarized Documents: For your transcript, if you do not have access to the official document (because many schools will not issue more than one), please make sure to have a copy made and notarized. Notarizing your documents provides verification that the information is accurate and official. Finding a notary now will also save you concerns during the visa process, when you will be required to submit notarized documents. As with certified translation, do a search online, or ask a local bank, post office, or attorney’s office.
- Financial Aid vs. Proof of Funds: I have received quite a few questions about the difference between the Fletcher Financial Aid Application and the proof of funds process. The main difference is that the Financial Aid Application provides Fletcher with general information about your current financial standing so that we can make scholarship awards, which we base on both merit and need. Proof of Funds is for the visa process, which requires accurate and official information on your finances. Although some universities request a Proof of Funds form as part of the application process, Fletcher does not follow that procedure. More information about Proof of Funds and the visa process will be sent to admitted students from Fletcher’s International Student Advisor.
- Time: While this may seem obvious, make sure that you leave enough time to mail any needed documents to us. To avoid the worry and expense of overnight shipping, put your materials in the mail extra early. Look online for average mail times, or check with FedEx/DHL for estimated arrival dates.
As always, feel free to call the Admissions Office or email us with specific questions. Best of luck with your application!
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