International

Southeastern University is a diverse and global community. We have students on campus from more than 20 countries and every continent (except for Antarctica, unfortunately). The transition from another country can be daunting, but we are proud of our reputation at SEU as a welcoming college to students from any background. Our admission counselor for international students can answer any specific questions about the admission process, and our director of international students will be a resource for you once you’re enrolled. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter if you have questions, or call us at 800.500.8760.

Frequently Asked Questions for International Admission

This information is specific to international students who are seeking to earn a bachelor’s degree as a traditional, campus-based student at Southeastern. It does not necessarily apply to graduate students or students pursuing an online program from their home countries.

If you have additional questions that are not covered here, click here to complete the “Request for Information” in order to contact the international admission counselor who can answer your questions and guide you through the admission process. Also, if you are interested in learning more about the options available for graduate or online programs of study, please complete the form, and the appropriate individual will contact you with specifics regarding those areas.

An international student is one who attends Southeastern on a non-immigrant F-1 visa. Students who have legal permanent residency (“green card”) status through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or who are U.S. citizens by birth but have grown up overseas may be culturally and socially “international,” but for purposes of the application, enrollment and financial aid eligibility, they should follow all procedures for U.S. citizens.

Admission Requirements

Completion and submission of the following documents are required for admission to SEU:

  • Application: http://www.seu.edu/apply/
  • Biographical essay (1–2 pages, typed and double-spaced): Describe the beginning and present growth of your relationship with God and how you see yourself as a good match for Southeastern’s academic and spiritual environment.
  • Christian character assessment form: This is a recommendation form that must be completed by a spiritual mentor such as a pastor, youth leader, Bible study teacher or another person who has guided you in your faith; it cannot be completed by a relative.
  • Official high school transcripts or final completion documents
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of any U.S. visa you may have currently
  • SAT, ACT or TOEFL scores: (Exception: If you’re from an English-speaking country, high school or university and have a “C” or higher in your English classes, then you’re not required to submit any of these tests. If you do not meet this exception, you will be required to take the TOEFL test or the SAT/ACT.)
  • College/university transcripts (if you have attended another college/university): If your transcripts are from a foreign university, please submit a “course-by-course” transcript evaluation as offered by www.jsilny.com, www.wes.org or www.ece.org. This evaluation will indicate to Southeastern whether or not your college credits can transfer to Southeastern; the evaluation also allows the admission office to determine if you qualify for transfer academic scholarships.

Only students who profess to be Christian (per our application and the required essay) are admitted to Southeastern. Our mission is to mentor and disciple students to grow and mature in their faith, learn how to make it their own and determine how to successfully integrate that faith into their chosen career or calling.

If you are from an English-speaking country/university and have a “C” or higher in your English courses, then you do not need to take the TOEFL, SAT or ACT unless the admission office makes a special request after reviewing your situation.

If possible, we recommend that you take the SAT or ACT since these can help you avoid college preparatory classes. Otherwise, you will be automatically assigned to take college preparatory math and English courses. To avoid those, you can also take the COMPASS test and pass it with a certain score.

Nearly every country offers access to the SAT or ACT. Refer to their websites for testing dates and locations: SAT – www.collegeboard.com; ACT – http://www.actstudent.org.

SAT school code for sending scores: 5621 (Scores can take around four weeks to arrive in the mail.)
ACT school code for sending scores: 0754 (Scores can take around four weeks to arrive in the mail.)

Students who wish to be considered for the Honors Program (a more rigorous academic load and higher academic scholarship) must submit the SAT or ACT test and score at a very high level. Click here to learn about the requirements for acceptance into our Honors Program.

Format Score
Paper-based test (PBT) 540–543
Computer-based test (CBT) 207
Internet-based test (IBT) 76

Yes, we accept the IELTS test as a replacement for the TOEFL. The minimum accepted score is a 6.

GPA is your “grade-point average” and should be reported on your transcript. It is the average of all your grades over your secondary education years, weighted accordingly as designated by your school or educational system. In the U.S., we use a 4.0 grading scale, meaning 4.0 is the highest grade of “A,” and the lowest passing grade is 1.0, or “D.” It would be most helpful if your secondary school would provide a grade comparison scale for us to use in calculating your GPA on the 4.0 scale; if this is not available, we will research an equivalency scale and approximate your GPA on the 4.0 scale.

The application deadline for the fall semester (August start date) is May 1; for the spring semester (January start date), it’s December 1. Exceptions may be made to these dates. However, because of the additional steps required for international students to obtain or transfer their visa status, we highly recommend you begin the application process well before these deadline dates.

Southeastern is on the semester system, with a fall semester starting in August and a spring semester starting in January. The school year runs roughly from mid-August through early May. Click here to view a detailed calendar that shows the various breaks and exam periods.

Southeastern’s residence halls and dining services are closed to students during the Christmas / New Year’s break between semesters and during the summer vacation (early May to mid-August). Please plan accordingly to vacate the campus during these times. (NOTE: Students who have summer campus jobs or who enroll in summer classes may make arrangements to stay on campus at an additional cost.)

Please note that international students will be required to arrive on campus a few days ahead of the rest of the new students for a special orientation. Details about this will be provided well in advance by the international student office when you receive your initial student visa documentation.

You can send your documents by scanning and emailing them to your admission counselor or to the admission office at admission@seu.edu. You can also mail your documents to Southeastern University’s address: 1000 Longfellow Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33801. Please label your envelope with “Attn: Admission.” We recommend emailing your documents instead of mailing them.

 Financial Aid & Scholarships

Yes, the international academic scholarships follow the same criteria as the U.S. citizen’s academic scholarships. However, the SAT or ACT is not required for internationals to receive an academic scholarship. The admission office will convert your grades from your high school transcript or final completion document to the U.S. GPA scale.

The international scholarship is the same thing as the academic scholarships, so you cannot receive both. The international scholarship is the academic scholarship available to international students.

International students can qualify for any merit-based scholarships including academic, athletic, music, theater and film. For a complete list of available scholarships, click here to visit the financial aid page of our website. Please make sure to pay attention to the scholarship deadlines as some of them are very early in the year. Please note that scholarships described as “need-based” or based on the FAFSA are not available to international students.

Endowed scholarships are a diverse assortment of privately funded scholarships awarded annually in the spring for the following academic year. These are one-time awards that range in amount from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars. Students may apply for these scholarships through the SEU website beginning February 1; the deadline is April 1. Several of the endowed scholarships are specifically for international students, and students may apply for up to five on the list. They are only available to students who have attended Southeastern for at least one semester, so incoming students do not qualify for those during the admission process.

Only U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents may file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to possibly qualify for federal aid. Students attending college in the U.S. on an F-1 or other type of non-immigrant visa do not qualify for these benefits and should not file the FAFSA.

International students who attend Southeastern on an F-1 visa may work on campus only and are limited to 20 hours of work per week (if a student works more than one campus job, the total number of hours worked cannot exceed 20). They are welcome to apply for any of the many campus jobs available. If a student receives a job offer, he or she will need to contact the international student office for assistance in obtaining a U.S. Social Security number. Once the student receives a SSN card, he or she can begin employment. NOTE: Jobs are competitive, and the SSN process can take a week or longer for processing of the new card. International students are cautioned that campus work will only supply a portion of the funds needed to attend Southeastern. Projected income from plans to apply for a campus job cannot be considered as part of your school funding on your affidavit of support.

For details about the application process, click here to visit the Social Security website.

Click here to view the tuition and room and board costs.

You have two options of payment:

  1. Pay for the entire first semester at least one month before the semester begins. For the fall semester, payment is due by August 1. For the spring semester, payment is due by December 1.
  2. Pay a 30% deposit at least one month before the semester begins, and set up a monthly payment plan from then on to cover the remaining balance. For the fall semester, payment is due by August 1. For the spring semester, payment is due by December 1.

Visa, Classes and Arrival Information

After your admission counselor has received all the necessary documents for admission, you will need to send the enrollment confirmation form with your $200 deposit and the affidavit of support with supporting financial documents (like bank statements, salary employer letter or real estate holdings). These forms will be provided to you after you have been accepted for admission. After you submit the required documents, your file will pass to our international students coordinator who will contact you directly and create your I-20 form. She will also advise you regarding the next steps you’ll need to take to obtain your visa, the required documentation for that process, your arrival details and the required international orientation. The international student coordinator will also be your main contact and adviser on immigration matters once you’ve arrived on campus as well as throughout your time at Southeastern.

No more than five months may pass between finishing one school term and beginning another. Upon finishing your secondary or high school program (as indicated as the program end date on your high school I-20), you have 60 days to receive a new I-20 form from the international students coordinator. Once your plans are finalized to attend Southeastern, put your high school international adviser (DSO) in contact with Southeastern’s international students coordinator to arrange for the release of your SEVIS record.

Yes, proof of health insurance that meets requirements established by the state of Florida for F-1 students is required. Plans issued in your home country will not comply.

If you need to purchase a plan, we recommend the following provider as they offer competitive rates and specialize in international student policies: http://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/schools/southeastern-university.php (calling from the U.S.: 1.888.247.1387 / calling from outside the U.S.: 001.904.247.1387); enroll through their website and call for assistance, if needed.

Click here for a complete list of our available programs. Please make sure to select only “undergraduate” and “day” options as those are the only ones available for traditional, campus-based international students seeking a bachelor’s degree. You must indicate your intended program of study in order to create your I-20 form (you can change the program at a later date if you wish).

No, students hoping to enroll at Southeastern must come with a level of English proficiency sufficient for study at the university level (as measured by the TOEFL or SAT/ACT scores).

Your class schedule will be provided to you by the university before you arrive for your first semester. Once you arrive, you will be able to fill out a form to declare your major (program of study) and make any changes to your class schedule that you wish to make. You will work with an academic adviser according to your academic major of interest. Your academic adviser will make sure you’re on track toward the degree you’re seeking. He or she will consult with you about the courses you should take and any extra programs you want to pursue, pray with you for guidance for your future and be a mentor and guide to you during your time at Southeastern.

Before you come to campus as a Southeastern student, you must have been accepted for admission, obtained your F-1 visa or necessary documents to study in the U.S. and have made payment to Southeastern through one of the semester payment options. After those steps are completed, you will receive information regarding the mandatory international orientation at the beginning of the semester and other important arrival information including what airports serve our area and how to find transportation to Southeastern. We will do our best to provide transportation for you from the airport for your first arrival only (we regret we can offer this service to students only — not to family members).

Your main contact will be our international students coordinator, Jan Hurndon. At the international orientation, Jan will give you the information and tips you need to adjust to American culture and other guidelines specifically geared toward international students to help you enjoy a great semester.

There will be many other people who will help answer your questions, as well. Each residence hall has a resident director and resident assistants who are available at all times to help make your experience at Southeastern comfortable and enjoyable.

Southeastern also has a unique program called the First Year Experience, which helps every first-year student integrate into the culture of Southeastern — a culture that is deeply committed to the academic achievement, social development and spiritual growth of each student. In addition to a weekly class meeting, First Year Experience students meet in smaller groups to participate in discussions led by faculty and staff.

Students under the age of 22 must live on campus unless they have immediate family members or close relatives in the area with whom they can live. Living on campus is considered the best way for students — especially international students who are new to American culture — to adapt quickly to life as Southeastern students.

It is the policy of the university to not provide on-campus housing for nontraditional students who are 24 years of age or older, married students or students with children. Exceptions for age may be granted through an appeals process. The Department of Student Services will review requests, and exemptions may be made based on housing availability and individual circumstances.