International Applicants

Students, faculty, and staff from other countries contribute greatly to the diversity of our community at Montserrat and provide domestic students the opportunity to see art influenced and shaped by other cultures and value systems.

Application Materials

A complete international application includes:

  • A complete application submitted through the Common App or through our application
  • $50.00 non-refundable application fee (or fee waiver)
  • Portfolio featuring 12 to 15 pieces of recent artwork, including two pieces from direct observation
  • Official high school (secondary school) translated transcript(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • College essay
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency 

You are not required to submit everything at once. Scroll down for more details about each item.

Proof of English Language Proficiency

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English.

Minimum scores must be achieved for admission to the college, as listed below:
Written TOEFL Test: Minimum test score of 520 is required
Computer TOEFL Test: Minimum test score of 190 is required
Internet TOEFL Test: Minimum test score of 79 is required
IELTS: Minimum band score of a 6 is required
Duolingo: Minimum total score of a 100 is required

If this is your first time studying in the U.S., we encourage you to contact us for information about opportunities to study English during the summer prior to enrolling at Montserrat.
Once enrolled, international students can enhance their English language skills in Montserrat’s English Language Program (ELP). ELP courses develop art-related vocabulary and conversation, writing, and reading skills.

The ELP course is strongly encouraged for all international students who have not achieved a minimum TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo score, or who may be recommended to the course following the English diagnostic exam administered in English Composition I.

Official English Translations

All documents submitted to Montserrat must be in English; therefore, official translations are required. The original copy of the transcript (or a certified copy of the original) must be submitted along with the translation. If original transcripts or academic certificates are not available, certified copies must be presented. Photocopies are not accepted.

Montserrat is identified for the TOEFL with the code 3575. The TOEFL may be waived for international students who have completed university-level English Composition I with a grade of C or better at an institution where English is the language of instruction.

How to get an I-20 Form

In order to qualify for the I-20 Form, you must be accepted to Montserrat. Upon acceptance, international students must submit supporting documents demonstrating that funding is available to support one year (nine months) of study in the United States.

Once you have been issued the I-20 Form, you must then use it to apply for a student visa through a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Although the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) requires proof of funds for only one year of study, at a time, Montserrat encourages international students to plan funds for each year of study.

The I-20 visa process alone can take a considerable amount of time; sometimes up to three months. It is to your advantage to submit your application for admission early, but not more than one year in advance of the semester you wish to enter in order to allow time for slower mail delivery and complete I-20 processing.

Scholarships for International Students

International students applying for admission are considered for Montserrat’s merit-based scholarships as part of the application process. Financial assistance based on need is not available for international students.

Important Visa Information

You will need an I-20 Form from Montserrat in order to apply for an F-1 Student Visa at a US Consulate or Embassy. Please read the following steps carefully!


  1. Acceptance
    • You must be fully accepted into Montserrat’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program. 
  2. Financial Documentation
    • All documentation must be in English.
    • You must provide proof of financial support for a nine-month period of study in the US.
    • Documentation should include the following:
    • Montserrat I-20 Request Form which is provided after you have been fully accepted to the college and have paid your tuition deposit.
    • Bank statement from you, a parent or sponsor showing proof of funds (in U.S. dollars) to cover your expenses for a nine-month period of study.
    • Letter of support from any parents or sponsors who will be supporting you and have submitted bank statements.
    • You will need to provide proof of support for all sources of funding (if you are receiving support from your government or a private sponsor, please include a copy of your award letter).
    • All sources of funding should be listed on your Statement of Financial Responsibility Form, which is enclosed in the acceptance packet.
  3. Tuition Deposit
    • The $250 tuition deposit is refundable and transferable as long as the college is notified by the May 1 deadline (for the fall semester) or November 1 deadline (for the spring semester).
    • The tuition deposit is not required for I-20 visa processing.
  4. To avoid delays please send the required financial documentation by the following deadlines:
    • Fall (September) entry – May 1
    • Spring (January) entry – November 1


It takes three to six weeks for an I-20 Form to be processed and delivered to most countries. Please submit your documentation early if mail delivery is slow in your country.
Faxed documentation is processed along with our regular mail. All mail is processed in the order it is received.
I-20 Forms cannot be faxed or emailed!

Student Visas

You may apply for an F-1 Student Visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country. Make sure to bring the following:
1. Letter of Acceptance to Montserrat College of Art
2. I-20 Form from Montserrat College of Art
3. Documentation showing sources of funding
4. Valid passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of your travel)
5. Proof that you intend to return to your own country after completing your studies

You will be interviewed during this process in order to confirm your ability to speak and understand English and to confirm your intentions to study at Montserrat College of Art. If you are approved by the Embassy or Consulate, you will receive a stamp in your passport. This stamp is your student visa.


Estimate of Expenses

See the Tuition and Fees area of this website for an up-to-date estimate for attending Montserrat College of Art. Please note that the amounts listed do not include the cost of transportation to and from the U.S. or vacation related travel. The following factors may also increase your expected expenses:


Because the U.S. does not have a National Health Care System, medical costs can be very expensive. Massachusetts State Law requires all students to be covered by health insurance. With your bill for tuition and fees, you receive information about Montserrat’s’ student health insurance plan. It is important that you read this information very carefully. If you are already covered by an insurance plan that provides coverage in the U.S., you may be able to waive this fee upon proof of coverage.


If you are married and your spouse is coming with you to the U.S. add $5,800 per academic year to your living expenses total. If you have children, add $3,800 per year, per child. Spouses and children cannot live in the residence halls.


If you are staying in the U.S. during summer vacation and you are not attending school, add $3,500 to your living expenses total. This figure includes estimated costs of rent, utilities, and food for a three-month period. If you are planning to stay during the summer accompanied by a spouse or children this figure will increase.

Employment Regulations

It is illegal for international students to work in the U.S. while on a Student Visa. In order to receive an I-20 Form, you must prove that you have funds available to finance your studies and living expenses while at Montserrat. Since proof of funds is given, it is assumed you will not need to work while you are studying in the U.S.

There is no off-campus employment available to international students. On-campus employment may be possible and students can apply for these positions once school has started through the Human Resources Office.

Funds earned through student employment cannot be used to pay for tuition as you must be paid in full prior to beginning your classes at Montserrat.