International Student Life
International students in our community represent more than 30 countries. They bring their perspectives into the classroom and daily life, enriching the experience for everyone in the community. Traditions and cultures are shared and celebrated among the entire school community.
Families choose Cheshire Academy because of our reputation as one of the top internationally-minded college preparatory schools in the United States and our tradition of enrolling international students since our founding 1850.
Cheshire Academy provides a comprehensive learning environment and support system for students and their families that includes the following programs:
- ELL classes (also known as ESL)
- A private TOEFL testing site
- A dedicated International Student Office
- SEVIS/F-1 Visa and I-20 Support
- A Peer Counselor Program for new students
- Monthly orientation meetings for new students
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Guide
Most of Cheshire Academy’s international students, who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States, will be issued an F-1 (non-immigrant) student visa. If you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda, you do not need a visa, but you will need to obtain a Form I-20. If you or your family has another type of visa, or if you are transferring from another U.S. school, please contact the International Student Coordinator for further information. Cheshire Academy is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), administrated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to issue the Form I-20 which is the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. Please note that you must apply to, be admitted to, and agree to enroll at Cheshire Academy (including the submission of your enrollment agreement and appropriate deposit paid) before we may issue the Form I-20. After CA issues the Form I-20, you should schedule the “Initial Entry Visa Interview” with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please check with your U.S. Embassy or Consulate to determine their policies and procedures. You can check the U.S. Department of State website and select your city, then click the link for visa information. Wait times for student visa appointments at embassies and consulates worldwide can be found at www.Travel.State.Gov.
Visa interviews generally require the following documentation:
- Your Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
- Your acceptance letter from Cheshire Academy
- SEVIS I-901 receipt
- Passport which must be valid for 6 months after entry into the US
- Transcripts or diplomas from current or previous institutions
- Program of study description
- Accommodation information
- Evidence of funds to cover tuition and living expenses for one academic year
Once you receive your F-1 visa, it might be time to pack your bags for Cheshire Academy! Keep in mind that you can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before your program start date. Upon arrival at a United States Port of Entry you must present:
- Your form I-20, with signatures
- I-94 Card
Your Form I-94 will be updated each time you arrive to or depart the U.S. and can be obtained by visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
Global Student Union
The Global Student Union (GSU) is a group of students who work with the International Student Coordinator to organize trips and activities that highlight our diverse Global community.
Two unique events are our One World Different Cultures Day in the fall and our International Festival Weekend in the winter. OWDCD takes place during International Education Week in November each year. IEW is an opportunity to celebrate international education and travel worldwide and to learn more about the different cultures represented in our school community. During our International Festival Weekend, students, their families and our faculty and staff come together to represent their respective cultures and celebrate their traditions. This exciting annual event is full of traditional food, music, and performances.
The Global Student Union is also a space for students to engage in discussion about different events happening in the world to help educate our community.