Man walking across the Trustee Plaza with shadows in the foreground
Have questions about TCC?
It’s a big decision to leave home and attend college in a different country. Here
are commonly asked questions and answers to help ensure a smooth transition.
TCC International Student Program
We are located in Tacoma, Washington, a large, beautiful city in the Pacific Northwest,
just 35 minutes south of Seattle. Tacoma is a safe and friendly place to live and
TCC was established in 1965 and is fully accredited by the Northwest Association of
Schools and Colleges as a two-year public college.
Total enrollment: 13,000
International students: Nearly 450, from over 40 different countries
University Transfer Programs: More than 50
1-and 2-Year Certificate Programs: Nearly 30
Levels of EAP (English Language) Classes: 5
Universities with Guaranteed Transfer Agreements: More than 20
Campus Clubs: More than 20
Once we receive a complete application, your materials will be reviewed and processed.
You will be issued an I-20 which will be mailed to you in your admissions package.
You present your admissions package at the American consulate or embassy nearest your
home to obtain your student visa.
Through the International Housing Program, students can choose an American homestay
or an off-campus apartment. See the Housinginformation page for more details.
Classes are held quarterly, which means you can begin your studies in September (Fall),
January (Winter), March (Spring), or June (Summer). To see an up-to-date schedule,
see the Dates & Deadlinespage.
A TCC representative is available to meet students upon their arrival. If you wish
to have this service, send your flight information as soon as your plans have been
finalized. Airport pickup is included in the Housing Application Fee for students
participating in the homestay program. If you don't participate in the housing program,
this service can be provided for $75. Please make sure to book your flight to Seattle/Tacoma (airport code: SEA),notWashington, DC (airport code: IAD or DCA)!
An advisor will help you with class selection and registration during orientation
before your first quarter begins. After that, you can make an appointment with your
advisor during the quarter or any time you have questions.
New international students must enroll for at least 12 credits per quarter. This means
you will have 12 hours of instruction each week. A typical course load is 15 credits
per quarter, and you may take up to 19 credits without special permission.
No, we have an English for Academic Purposes Program (EAP) which allows TCC to admit
students without a TOEFL score. All international students without a qualifying TOEFL
or IELTS score must take an English language placement exam upon arrival. Please see
the English Language Program (EAP)page for more information. If you do have an official and valid TOEFL score that meets
the minimum score for direct placement into English 101, bring proof of this with
you on the first day of orientation.
Tuition is paid after you register for classes. Please see the Dates & Deadlinespage for details.
Yes, all international students are required to purchase medical insurance through
the college. Please see the Medical Insuranceinformation page for detailed information.
International students are allowed to work on campus 16 hours per week if they are
in good academic standing and if there is a position available. New international
students must attend TCC for at least one quarter before beginning on-campus work. Off-campus work is not allowedunless US Immigration gives special permission. After you graduate from TCC you may
stay in the US and work full-time in your chosen career field through a special program
called Optional Practical Training (OPT). Please seeJames Newmanfor more information.
No. Some students buy cars, but it is not necessary to do so. There is a bus system
in Tacoma. In fact, TCC has its own transit center, so it is very easy to go anywhere
in town, or even to Seattle, from the college. All of the major buses in Tacoma stop
The first two years of classes at a community college are the same as the first two
years at a university. You can choose to complete the first two years of a bachelor's
degree at either type of school because the curriculum is the same. Community colleges
have less-expensive tuition, classes are smaller and students receive more personalized
instruction from teachers.
After completing your two-year associate degree, you can transfer and complete 2 more
years at a university in order to complete a bachelor's degree. A special transfer
advisor will help you with the process of choosing a university and submitting an
WORLD EDUCATION SERVICES, INC. PO Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York NY 10274-5087 Phone: 212-966-6311 email Web site: www.wes.org
FOUNDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL SERVICES, INC. 505 5th Ave. South, Suite 101 Edmonds WA 98020 Phone: 425-248-2255 email Web site: www.fis-web.com
ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS EVALUATION INSTITUTE, INC. PO Box 6908 Beverly Hills CA 90212 Phone: 310-275-3530 Web site: www.acei1.com