Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs

 

What is Tallahassee like?

Tallahassee is a lot of things.  

  • It's the capital of Florida, so our town is the political and governmental hub for the state.  However, for being a state capital, it maintains a small-town vibe and strong community feel. 
  • It's a college town. There are two other major universities in town, Florida State University and Florida A&M University, making Tallahassee home to over 60,000 college students from across the United States and the world. Tallahassee caters to students and student life, with endless outdoor activities, entertainment, festivals, museums, parks, and restaurants.
  • It's a sports town. If you enjoy sports, you'll have no trouble tuning in to the heartbeat of this town.
  • It's beautiful.  It is in the panhandle of Florida and is known for its canopy roads, historic locations, and hiking and biking trails. Plus - if you enjoy the sand and surf, it's only a short drive to the ocean coast. Rolling hills, moss-draped oaks, fragrant magnolia trees and grand plantation homes cover the landscape. The Georgia line is just 14 miles to the north, while the Gulf of Mexico is 25 miles south. 

Click here to check out a short video about Tallahassee - it's like a tour from your computer!

Does TCC have dorms on campus?

TCC does not provide on-campus housing. It is the student's responsibility to find her/his own housing however there are many apartment complexes surrounding the campus and even more designed just for students all around Tallahassee. Click here to see Apartment Finder's listings of student housing.

Does Tallahassee have a public transportation system?

Yes. StarMetro is the City of Tallahassee’s official transit service. Click here for more information.

Should I do an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) program?

Well, that depends.  Do you plan to transfer to a four-year university to complete your bachelor's degree?  If so, you want to pursue your A.A. degree.  If you want to only study for two years and go directly into the workforce, then you should pursue one of our A.S. degree programs.

Many students get confused by the words "arts" in the A.A. degree title.  Regardless of if you want to study political science, art history, engineering, chemistry, or anything else, if you want to transfer to a four-year university in your third year to finish your bachelor's degree, you will get your A.A. It's also known as the "university transfer" degree.

I don't want to do an A.S. or A.A. Can I pursue an academic certificate program as an F-1 and receive an I-20?

Absolutely.  If you would like to pursue a more short-term certificate, you can do that as an F-1 student.

What is a transcript evaluation? Why is it needed?

In order to determine whether or not your academic transcript(s) and diploma(s) are equivalent to achieving the same level in the United States, your records must be evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (naces.org). Examples of such agencies include Josef Silny & Associates (www.jsilny.com) and World Education Services (www.wes.org).

Every country is different, so this is a necessary base line. 

My high school is accredited by SACS. Does my transcript need to be sent for evaluation?

No.  If you went to a high school that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), then your academic records are already equivalent to the United States and do not need to be evaluated for admissions purposes.

Can international students get a job?

Yes. After one semester at TCC, international students can apply for part-time jobs on campus. International students may not work off campus while on a student visa.  This would put you in violation of your visa. Click here for more information.

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months are permitted by the USCIS to work towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies. 

While there is some right to work under OPT while still in school (“pre-completion OPT”), the main use for OPT is the right to work for 12 months after completion of a degree (“post-completion OPT”).

One update to OPT is that students who have graduated from a US college or university with a specific degree in the STEM fields - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - can apply to extend their OPT for an additional 17 months, bringing their total post-graduation OPT available time up to 29 months.

Students must visit IS to determine if they are eligible for OPT and must have their SEVIS record (I-20) updated as part of the application process.

Requirements:

  • Students must be in status in order to apply.
  • Students must be in good academic standing and cannot be on any type of academic warning or probation.
  • Students must have completed a full course of study for one academic year before applying
  • Job offer is not a prerequisite for OPT.
  • Students are eligible for 12 months of OPT per academic level—associate, bachelor’s level, master’s and doctoral.
  • Students are not eligible for OPT if they complete a higher degree in the U.S. and then revert down to a lower-level degree.

 

Application Process:

  • Apply as early as 90 days prior to graduation date.
  • Make an appointment with ISS to determine eligibility.
  • If eligible, download the I-765 or OPT application instructions guide and complete the OPT application or I-765 Form and submit the required documents to ISS
  • SEVIS record (I-20) must be updated.
  • Application is sent to USCIS for approval.
  • Application can take up to 90 days for a decision.

What is Curriculum Practicum Training (CPT)?

CPT is off-campus employment authorization which allows students to engage in an internship related to their program of study. CPT is conducted during the program of study (or prior to graduation). Students must be enrolled in a full course of study for at least one semester in F-1 status at TCC prior to engaging in CPT.

Students must visit IS to determine if they are eligible for CPT and must be approved by IS prior to beginning your paid internship. As a part of the approval process, a student’s SEVIS record (I-20) must be updated in order to engage in CPT.

Please note that the full course of study requirements still apply while engaging in CPT.

What is the PERT test? Am I required to take it?

The PERT (Post-Secondary Readiness Test) is the placement exam that tests new students on their math, reading, and grammar skills.  If you have not taken the SAT or ACT, you must take the PERT before you will be able to register for classes.  Your PERT score will determine which math and English classes you are able to register for in your first semester.  It is offered every day on TCC's campus in the FPAC building, and no appointment is necessary.  Be sure to bring your TCC student ID number and photo identification.

See the PERT Study Guide here.

How many credit hours do I need to take to maintain my full-time status?

During fall and spring, you must complete at least 12 credits each semester. Summer term is optional, unless it is your first term at TCC.

How do I transfer to another school as an F-1 visa student?

  1. Apply to your desired school.
  2. Once accepted, please bring your acceptance letter and transfer form to International Services and an adviser will complete the transfer.

How do I transfer to another school as an J-1 visa student?

  1. Apply to your desired school.
  2. Once accepted, please bring your acceptance letter and transfer form to International Services and an adviser will complete the transfer.

Please note, that J-1 transfers must maintain the same degree type, or very similar field of study.

How do I print my I-94?

  1. Click here to fill out the required information. Have your passport ready.
  2. Bring your completed and printed  I-94 to International Services so that we may create a copy of your record.

What is the financial requirement?

The breakdown of the estimated costs (in USD) for one academic year are as follows:

Tuition: $11,200

Books and supplies: $1,000

Living expenses: $10,700

Health insurance (required): $950

Total: $23,850

Can I study at TCC with an F-2 visa?

Yes, F-2 spouses and children are able to enroll in less than a full course of study (i.e., part-time) at an SEVP-certified school. If interested in pursuing a full course of study, a change of status will be necessary.  Please contact the International Services to discuss this.

Can I study at TCC with a J-2 visa?

Yes, J-2 visa holders may study or work while in the United States.  A J-2 may enter the United States along with their J-1 spouse or parent or join the J-1 while participating in their exchange program in the United States.