Frequently Asked Questions

The information (click on a question to see the answer) below will answer most of your questions about the Admissions Process for International Student as well as questions about the international student experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara. If you have a question not answered here, please contact the Office of Admissions for assistance.

International Admission Questions

Is the tuition for international students different from domestic students?

No. Whether a student is a domestic or international student, all students pay the same tuition. Please review the Tuition and Fees page to learn more about the cost of attendance.

Is there a separate admission application for international students?

Yes. International students use the same online application to apply for admission to all undergraduate and graduate programs, but also complete a supplemental International Student application. To review the admission criteria and process please click here.

What is the application fee and when do I have to submit my application?

The application fee is $60. Please visit this webpage for admission application deadlines.

I’ve submitted my application what happens next?

In addition to submitting the online application, it is important that you submit all other admission documents in a timely manner (i.e. admission essay, transcripts or approved transcript evaluation, Financial Statement, etc…).  Once your admission application is complete—meaning all required documents are in, your file will be reviewed by the Admission Review Committee.  For the graduate programs, you will be contacted to schedule either a phone, Skype, or in-person admission interview. You can anticipate receiving decision notification via e-mail or standard mail.  If you are offered admission to the program, your next steps will be communicated within your decision letter, which include:  Student-Intent-to-Register instructions, procedures for scheduling your enrollment advising appointment, New Student Orientation details, etc. . . If  you are denied admission, you are welcome to re-apply for admission after 6 months (for the BA program) or one year (for graduate-level programs).

Do I need to submit a TOEFL score?

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency through successful completion of the ETS-TOEFL, Kaplan’s TOEFL, CELSA or IELTS.  *See chart below for acceptable scores.




Kaplan’s TOEFL

Kaplan’s Advanced Level


79 (internet), 550 (paper), 213 (computer)


6.5 or higher



Can I study part-time?

No, international students cannot study part-time. U.S. immigration law requires that all international students on F-1 student visas maintain full-time enrollment. To be considered full-time, undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 quarter credits. Graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 9 quarter credits to be considered full-time.

Can international students apply for a second undergraduate degree?

Yes, international students can apply for a second undergraduate degree. Students who have already completed an undergraduate degree can apply to AUSB’s undergraduate program; however, any transfer credit toward the AUSB degree cannot be the same credit used to award the applicant’s first baccalaureate degree.

Are international students required to pay an advance tuition deposit?

No; however, all students must pay the $100 enrollment deposit by the specified due date on their offer of admission letter.

Can international students work on campus?

No. At this time there are no on-campus employment opportunities for international students.

Do I need to submit an immunization record?

No. You do not need to submit an immunization record.

Do I need health insurance?

International students are not required to have health insurance while enrolled at Antioch University Santa Barbara, but we strongly recommend having health insurance coverage while you are studying in the United States.

Effective January 2014, health insurance options for domestic and international students include applying for a private individual plan or applying for coverage through one of the Covered California Health Insurance Plans.


Can I defer my offer of admission?

Antioch University Santa Barbara admits students for a specific term; however, if you must postpone your enrollment you are able to do so until the next entrance quarter.  In order to proceed with your enrollment deferral, you must complete the electronic Student-Intent-to-Register survey embedded in your acceptance notification (e-mail) by selecting: I wish to Defer until the next entrance quarter.  You must also provide payment for the $100USD enrollment deposit.  The survey response and deposit will ensure a space for you in the next entrance quarter. 

*Please note:

  • You may also need to submit an updated Financial Statement to support the issuing of the I-20. 
  • Transfer students must begin their transfer program within 5 months of their end date at their prior institution in order to remain in F-1 status on the same visa.

I’ve been accepted to AUSB, what is next?

Congratulations!  Your next steps are:

1.  Review your acceptance notification and submit your response to the Student Intent-to-Register survey, along with payment for the $100USD enrollment deposit.

2.  Be sure that you have submitted all the International Applicant materials:

  • English Language Proficiency (test score)
  • Financial Statement
  • Passport style photograph
  • Photocopy of your passport

Once all materials are received, you will be issued a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) Form.  Present the Form to the United States Embassy or Consulate in order to be issued your F-1 Student Visa.  For students already studying in the United States, please complete the International Student Transfer In Form.

3.  For the BA program, you will be contacted via e-mail to schedule your first Registration Advising Session.  This session will take place either by phone, e-mail, or Skype, and will allow you to register for your first quarter of classes with the assistance of an expert BA Academic Advisor.  For the graduate programs, your registration will be confirmed at New Student Orientation.

4.  Attend New Student Orientation.

I want to earn a bachelor’s degree; how do I qualify for admission to AUSB?

Antioch University Santa Barbara offers a Bachelor of Arts degree completion program.  All applicants to the BA program must have completed at least the equivalent of one year of full-time college credit prior to entering the program. Typically, that is 24 semester units or 36 quarter units.  Applicants coming to AUSB fulfill this requirement with:

  • College courses taken at a U.S. college or university (with a final grade of ‘C’ or better, or pass if taken as pass/no pass)
  • College Board Advanced Placement exams (a score of 3 or higher)
  • CLEP credit
  • International coursework (university, college, upper-secondary/gymnasium) that is assessed to be equivalent to college credit earned at a regionally accredited U.S. college/university (with a final grade of ‘C’ or better, or pass if taken as pass/no pass) by an external transcript evaluation agency.  For more information please click here.
  • AUSB guarantees 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of lower-division transfer credit for applicants who completed upper-secondary/gymnasium in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, or the Netherlands.  Applicants must provide an official transcript in English, from their school to be awarded this credit. This official transcript must indicate the graduation date.

*A combined minimum of one full-time year of college credit is required; however, AUSB will transfer up to the equivalent of three full-time years (80 semester units/120 quarter units).

If you have questions about the transferability of credits, or the overall admission process please contact: Sharisse Estomo, Assistant Director of Admissions at: or 805.962.8179 ext. 5113.

Who will support me through the admission process?

Admission Advisors are available through Skype, phone, and e-mail to assist you during any and all stages of admission including: Understanding the university, academic program, and admission requirements; completing the application; preliminary academic-planning, and steps-to-enrollment.

  • MBA and MEd Programs:  Sharisse Estomo, Director of Admissions,
  • Graduate Psychology Programs:  Laura Ericson, Assistant Director of Admissions,
  • BA Program: Molika Oum, Admission Advisor,
  • Questions pertaining to the F-1 visa: Julia Dubiel, Registrar & Director of Student Services/PDSO,


Who is considered a foreign or international student?

Any student who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the United States is considered an international student. International students usually need an F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the United States.

General Questions

What services are available to assist disabled students?

Antioch University Santa Barbara’s student population is diverse in gender, ethnicity, age, class, physical differences, learning styles, sexual orientation, professional backgrounds, and community experiences. To learn about the services available to assist students with specific needs please visit:

How can I get a copy of my transcript?

Students may view and print an unofficial credit history report from the Students Menu in myAntioch.  To order an official transcript, please visit the AUSB National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Ordering Center.

Where can I buy AUSB t-shirts, hats, etc…?

Our online store is open 24 hours/7 days-a-week!  Shop at:

How can I get information about events on campus?

For campus-wide events:

For events sponsored by the BA program related to current social justice and environmental issues:

For academic program Information Sessions:

How do I request a refund?

Please contact Paul Luciano in the Fiscal Office at or (805) 962.8179 ext. 5103 to inquire about your tuition refund.

How do I obtain a California Driver’s License or ID card?

International driver’s licenses are not accepted in California if you are an F-1 visa student. Police officers and highway patrol officers can give you a ticket for driving without a California driver’s license.

If you don’t plan on driving, you can apply for a California ID card to use as official ID while you’re in the U.S. Keep your passport in a safe place instead of carrying it around on a daily basis.

To get started on your application for a driver’s license or ID card, go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) web site for information, to find DMV office locations, and to make an appointment.

First time applicants must pass both a written exam and driving test. The basic steps to apply for a driver’s license are listed below. Refer to the DMV web site or make an appointment at the local DMV office for specific details and instructions.

1. Study the CA Driver’s Manual & sample tests

2.  Obtain the Social Security Ineligibility letter (visit the Social Security Administration office in the Paseo Nuevo shopping center with your I-20, visa and passport)

3. Make an appointment with the DMV

4. Take the written test

5. Take the driving test (not required if you have a driver’s license from another U.S. state)

The basic steps to apply for a California ID card are listed below. Refer to the DMV web site or make an appointment at the local DMV office for specific details and instructions.

1. Obtain a Social Security Ineligibility letter (visit the Social Security Administration office in the Paseo Nuevo shopping center with your I-20, visa and passport)

2. Make an appointment with the DMV

3. Fill out the application, give your thumbprint, have your picture taken, and pay the fee.

Where can I get medical service/treatment in Santa Barbara?

Local Urgent Care Centers include:

  • Sansum Clinic Urgent Care Center, 51 Hitchcock Way, 805.563.6100
  • The Med Center, 2954 State Street, 805.682.7411
  • The Med Center, 319 North Milpas Street, 805.965.3011
  • The Med Center, 2719 North Fairview, 805.681.7411

What should I know about partying in Isla Vista and Santa Barbara? What are my rights?

There are several resources available to help you educate yourself about drinking laws, your rights, how to party safely in Isla Vista and Santa Barbara. One of the most comprehensive websites on these topics is Life of the Party. Become their fan on Facebook to help you and your friends stay informed about current laws and city ordinances.

Santa Barbara City College’s Project Hope is another great resource with a wealth of information on partying, drinking laws, alcohol/drug awareness, and much more right here on our own campus. Check out their website: Project Hope.

Visa & Passport Questions

What should I do to get a student visa?

Most international students attending Antioch University Santa Barbara hold student (F-1) visas. Once you have been admitted and all supplemental international application materials are received (i.e. Financial Statement, passport style photograph, etc..) the AUSB Office of Admissions will provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form). In order to obtain a student visa, present the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form) to a United States embassy or consulate. The U.S. Department of State offers more information about obtaining a student visa. If you are attending a college or university in the United States, you must obtain a new Form I-20 from Antioch University Santa Barbara. Be sure to complete the International Student Transfer In form.  Your SEVIS record must be released from your former school to Antioch University Santa Barbara. If you have specific questions about student visas, please contact the Office of Admissions at

What do I do if my passport is going to expire?

All F-1 visa students must have a valid passport at all times. If your passport is going to expire or is expired, please refer to the list of Consulates in the United States. Find your consulate, contact their office, and begin the process of renewing your passport.

You will also need to supply Antioch University Santa Barbara’s Registrar/PDSO, Julia Dubiel, with any documentation the consulate gives you regarding your passport renewal.

How can I renew my visa?

If your visa is expired or about to expire and you are traveling out of the U.S., you will need to renew your visa. The items on this checklist are suggested preparations. These documents do not guarantee that you will be granted a visa. Check the website of the U.S. Embassy where you will apply for specific instructions.

STEP ONE: Before you return to your home country

  • Register full-time for next quarter.
  • Pay tuition fees in full, OR request a payment plan if you cannot pay in full at this time.
  • Request an official AUSB transcript by completing the Transcript Request form or request a verification of enrollment letter at the Registrar’s Office.
  • Request a travel signature from the Registrar/PDSO or Director of Admissions/DSO by completing the Travel Signature Request form.

STEP TWO: Check the U.S. Embassy website in your home country for specific instructions about the requirements and procedures to renew the F-1 visa. If you do not know the website, you can find it here.

STEP THREE: Complete the Online Visa Application Form (DS-160)

  • Link to the application here
  • Pay the visa application fee and attach your payment receipt to your DS-160 confirmation page

My I-20 is expiring soon, but I need more time to complete my studies. What should I do?

To apply for an extension of your I-20, gather and complete the list of required documents listed here and make an appointment with the Registrar/PDSO. I-20 extensions must be completed before your I-20 expires!

To make an appointment with Julia Dubiel, Registrar/PDSO, please email her at: or call, 805.962.8179 ext. 5105.

If my visa is damaged, do I have to apply for a new one?

If your visa is damaged in some way, such as water damage, it is automatically considered invalid by U.S. port-of-entry officials even if your data and picture are still legible. You must apply for a new visa the next time you travel outside of the U.S. if you are planning to come back to continue your studies.

I am renewing my visa. How can I show my AUSB grades and/or enrollment status?

If you need to apply for or renew your visa the next time you travel to your home country, you will need to show the visa official proof of your student status.

If you are in your first quarter at AUSB and you are traveling during the break, you can prove your enrollment status by following these instructions:

  • Register in a full-time course load for the upcoming quarter.
  • Print a copy of your “My Class Schedule” from myAntioch.
  • Request a statement of account from Paul Luciano in the Fiscal Office.
  • Once you are back in your home country, print your unofficial transcript from myAntioch or request an official transcript once your credits are posted by visiting the National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Ordering page.  Take it with you to apply for your visa if any of your grades are posted.

If you are a continuing student or if it is your first quarter and you are traveling in the summer you need to order an official AUSB transcript:

  • Register in a full-time course load for the upcoming quarter
  • Request an official transcript by visiting the National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Ordering page.
  • Transcript requests are typically processed within 3-5 business days, so you may need to provide a self-addressed envelope with your home country address.

Travel Questions

The term has already started, but I need to go back to my home country. What do I do?

It’s important to notify your Academic Advisor and the Registrar/PDSO of your intention to return to your home country right away! If you do not inform your Academic Advisor and the Registrar/PDSO, your SEVIS record may be terminated for a violation of your visa. This may cause you problems obtaining any type of visa for the U.S. in the future. It is also important to note that you must depart the U.S. within 15 days after you drop your classes. You will also need to follow these important steps:

  • Give a copy of your departure flight reservation to Julia Dubiel, Registrar/PDSO. You can bring a copy in to the Registrar’s Office, fax it Attention to: Julia Dubiel, to: 805.962.4786, or email it to
  • If the refund deadline has not passed, you can contact Paul Luciano in the Fiscal Office at or 805.962-8179 ext. 5103 regarding a tuition refund.

I am a student. What do I need to do if I want to travel?

Any F-1 student who plans to travel outside of the U.S. and then return back to AUSB will need to complete the following steps:

  • Fill out the Travel Signature Request form.
  • Bring the completed Travel Signature Request form AND your I-20 to the Registrar’s Office, at least 1 week prior to your departure.
  • If your I-20 cannot be signed when you drop it off to the Registrar’s Office, you will be contacted via phone and your email account when you can come back and pick up your I-20.  The I-20 should be signed on the last page, authorizing your return to the U.S. to continue your studies at AUSB. We will contact you if we notice any issues or missing documentation that might prevent U.S. from signing your I-20.

Make sure to carry all appropriate immigration paperwork with you when you travel:

  • I-20 with travel signature
  • Valid F-1 visa
  • Passport – valid for more than 6 months after your US return date
  • Proof of enrollment
  • Evidence of financial funding

OPT Eligibility Questions

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

OPT allows F-1 students to apply knowledge gained in their degree program to off-campus work in their major field. OPT is authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS. OPT employment can be used prior to completion of studies (pre-completion OPT), during a leave term, or after completion of degree (post-completion OPT).

Who is eligible for an OPT?

Students are eligible for Optional Practical Training if they

  •   Have been enrolled full-time at a SEVIS-approved school for one academic year;
  •   Are currently enrolled full-time with a valid F-1 status; and
  •   Secure employment directly related to your major field of study.

Does my job need to be in California?

No.  Your job may be anywhere in the U.S. 

Can I change jobs during my OPT?

Yes.  You must notify the PDSO or DSO at Antioch University Santa Barbara of any employment changes, including periods of unemployment.

Does participation in pre-completion OPT affect my eligibility for post-completion OPT?

Yes. Pre-completion OPT is deducted from your 12 month cumulative allotment of OPT. Part-time OPT is deducted at a half time rate, so if you use 6 months of part-time pre-completion OPT, you have 9 months of post-completion OPT remaining.


OPT Application Questions

When should I apply for OPT?

Pre-completion OPT: up to 90 days prior to the planned start date of employment.
Post-completion OPT: up to 90 days prior to your program completion date or within 60 days after your program completion date.

Please note that is can take 2-3 months for USCIS to review & process your OPT application materials.

How do I apply for OPT?

Complete the following items and then schedule an appointment with the PDSO or DSO to review your application materials:

  •    OPT Application Packet
  •    OPT Status Responsibilities Form
  •    Advisor Approval Form (Post-Completion OPT only)
  •    I-765 form and supporting documents (see OPT Application Packet for more information)

Why do I have to meet with the PDSO or DSO during the OPT application process?

The PDSO or DSO will review your application materials to confirm that all necessary documents are present.  Once verified, the PDSO or DSO will need to issue your recommendation for OPT, which is reflected on a new I-20.  The new I-20 is required to complete your OPT application materials.

How do I choose my OPT start date?

For post-completion OPT, your start date must fall within 60 days after your program completion date. You can choose any date within that 60 day window.

What is my program completion date?

The program completion date is the last day of the final term of enrollment. For MEd thesis and PsyD students, the program completion date can be the last day of the final term of enrollment OR the defense date. The defense date must be within the final term of required enrollment.

Can I change my start date while my OPT application is pending?

No. The start date is decided before your new I-20 is issued and can only be changed up until you mail the application to USCIS.

Can I change my mailing address while my OPT application is pending?

You can, but it can (and often does) result in a delay of receipt of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.  Please use a mailing address you know will be valid for at least 3 months on your application, so that your EAD card will be delivered on time.

When can I start working on OPT?

As soon as you receive your Employment Authorization Document card and the start date has passed.

Can I begin working before I complete or graduate from my degree program under post-completion OPT?

Non-thesis/undergraduate students who apply for post-completion OPT may NOT begin working until after their program end date.  Thesis/PsyD students who apply for post-completion OPT may NOT work until they have completed all course requirements.

After my post-completion OPT ends, do I have a grace period?

Yes, you have a grace period of 60 days.

Do I need a U.S. Social Security Number?

You will need to apply for a Social Security Number upon approval of OPT employment.  Once the new I-20 endorsing OPT employment is received, you can apply for a Social Security Number through the Social Security Office.

Do I have to pay U.S. taxes on my salary?

Usually F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for five years or less are exempt from social security taxes.  Please inform your employer of your F-1 status because many employers are not familiar with this provision of the tax laws.  F-1 students are subject to all other applicable taxes (e.g. federal, state, and local).

Maintaining Status on OPT Questions

What is my status while I am on OPT?

You are in lawful F-1 status if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are employed for more than 20 hours per week in your field of study (for post-completin OPT) or you are employed for less than 20 hours per week in your field of student (for pre-completion OPT);
  • You have not been unemployed for more than 90 days during your post-completion OPT;
  • You report to AUSB any changes of address within 10 days; and
  • You report to AUSB any changes in visa status.

How do I let AUSB know if I have changed my immigration status?

Please provide a copy of your approval notice confirming your new immigration status to the PDSO or DSO so your F-1 immigration record can be closed.

What types of employment am I allowed to do on OPT?

Employment must be related to the student’s field of study. Employment options during OPT may include:

  • Paid. Students may work part-time (at least 20 hours per week when on post-completion OPT) or full-time.
  • Unpaid. Students may work as volunteers or unpaid interns, where this practice does not violate any labor laws. The work should be at least 20 hours per week for students on post-completion OPT. A student should be able to provide evidence, acquired from the student’s employer, to verify that he or she worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of employment.
  • Multiple employers. Students may work for more than one employer, but all employment must be related to the student’s field of study.
  • Short-term multiple employers (performing artists). Students, such as musicians and other performing artists, may work for multiple short term employers (gigs). The student should maintain a list of all gigs, the dates and duration.
  • Work for hire. This is also commonly referred to as 1099 employment where an individual performs a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. If requested by DHS, students should be prepared to provide evidence showing the duration of the contract periods and the name and address of the contracting company.
  • Self-employed business owner. Students on OPT may start a business and be self-employed. The student should be able to prove that he or she has the proper business licenses and is actively engaged in a business related to his or her degree program.
  • Employment through an agency or consulting firm. Students on post-completion OPT should be able to provide evidence showing they worked an average of at least 20 hours per week while employed by the agency.

Can I study while I am on OPT?

You are allowed to take classes as long as they are related to your employment. You may not start another degree program while on OPT – if you do, your OPT will be canceled.

How long can I stay in the U.S. after my post-completion OPT end date?

You may remain in the U.S. up to 60 days after your OPT end date.  Exceptions to this grace period include:

  • Extending your F-1 status by starting a new degree program.  You must be accepted to the new degree program within the 60 day grace period and the new program must begin within 5 months of your OPT end date.
  • Being under application to change your immigration status.

OPT Travel Questions

Can I travel while my OPT application is pending?

AUSB does not recommend that you travel while your OPT application is pending.

If my OPT is approved and I am employed, can I travel?

Yes. When traveling, make sure you have the following documentation:

  • Passport (valid 6 months into the future)
  • Valid F-1 visa
  • I-20 (recently signed by the PDSO or DSO)
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card
  • Proof of employment

Can I travel while I am on OPT, but do not yet have a job?

USCIS recommends that individuals should have proof of employment upon re-entry to the U.S. when on OPT status. If you have to travel, bring the following documentation with you:

  • Evidence that you have been actively looking for a job
  • Evidence of job interviews (if applicable) upon your return to the U.S.

Curricular Practical Training Questions

What’s the difference between Curricular Practial Training and Optional Practical Training?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) both allow F-1 students to work while they are studying in the US. CPT allows work that is an essential part of the curriculum and graduation requirements, while OPT allows students to gain work experience in their major that is not required as part of their degree.

Who is eligible for CPT?

Students are eligible for Curricular Practical Training if they

  • Have been enrolled full-time at a SEVIS-approved school for one academic year;
  • Are currently enrolled full-time with a valid F-1 status; and
  • Register for a course requiring an internship/practicum to fulfill a degree requirement.

How much CPT can I use while I’m a student?

There is no limit to the amount of part-time CPT a student can receive.  A student may receive up to and up to 12 months of full-time CPT. However, once a student uses more than 364 days of full-time CPT, they are no longer eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Can I work during the school year on CPT?

Students can work part-time (less than 20 hours/week) during the term and full-time (more than 20 hours/week) during school breaks.

Do I need a U.S. Social Security Number for CPT?

Students will need to apply for a Social Security Number upon approval of CPT employment.  Once the new I-20 endorsing CPT employment is received, a student can apply for a Social Security Number through the Social Security Office.

Can I work for different employers during a CPT?

No. You cannot change employers while on CPT. If you must change your employer to meet the requirements of the course, you must reapply for CPT.

Can I extend my CPT Employment?

Yes, but only if the extension is necessary for your program of study.

Do I have to be registered while on CPT?

You must be registered in an approved internship/practicum course while on CPT.  The internship/practicum course must count toward a degree requirement.  You must maintain full-time enrollment while on CPT.

What proof of employment authorization can I give my employer for CPT?

You should bring your I-20 form with CPT endorsement, passport, and I-94 card to your employer so they can complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form. Employers are required to complete an I-9 form for every employee.