International Student Admissions

Look forward to being welcomed into a supportive community where you’ll adjust to life as a Bethel University student. We celebrate diversity, and we are excited to walk with you on this journey of academic and spiritual growth as you live out your calling.

Bethel is a Christian college affiliated with the Missionary Church, located in Mishawaka, Indiana. The area, approximately 145 kilometers east of Chicago, Illinois, is served by the South Bend International Airport and Amtrak Train Service.

student soccer

International students who wish to apply for an international scholarship must apply and have all supporting documents in by the Feb. 1 deadline. Students are welcome to apply for admission after Feb. 1, but will only be eligible to receive merit- and talent-based awards.

Download a PDF of the International Student Information, which is also listed below.
If you’re unable to visit campus in person, get a preview with our virtual campus tour.

Application Process

All international students are welcome to apply online for free. The application for admission will be reviewed by the International Committee only after all the items below have been received by the Office of Admission. All students must show ability to meet financial costs to travel to the United States, complete their education and return home. Financial assistance, which includes scholarships, will not be awarded until after a student has been accepted to the university.

Applicants who are not United States citizens or United States permanent residents must submit the following:

  • Application: Apply online
  • Official transcripts and/or certificates from all secondary and post-secondary schools. Students must complete the secondary level (equivalent to high school in the United States) prior to beginning classes at Bethel and must submit an official transcript of their courses.** (Official means that they must be sent directly from the student’s school to Bethel University. The school can email the transcripts to
  • Affidavit of Support: This form is required for the first year of entry to the college and does not need to be renewed each year. The Affidavit of Support is designed to provide financial information to Bethel University so that we may better assess your financial needs. Visa paperwork will not be issued until the Affidavit of Support is received, fully completed, and signed by the student and parent.
  • Official Score Report from the SAT, ACT, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Classic Learning Test (CLT) and/or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Duolingo and PTE Academic and PTE Online (at-home test), should be sent directly to Bethel University. Only one of the tests is required.
  • Transfer Students Only: The International Admission Counselor can send you additional information about transfer application requirements after applying.

**Note: All academic transcripts must be submitted in their original language along with official certified translations in English. Bethel University recommends using InCred International Credential Evaluations for transcript translations.

I-20 Form

The I-20 form for obtaining an F-1 Student Visa will not be issued to an admitted international student until the student has submitted their initial deposit to Bethel University. The full enrollment deposit is equal to any remaining balance on your account for both fall and spring semesters after all Bethel financial assistance has been applied. If the initial balance is not paid, an I-20 will not be issued. All but $300 of this deposit may be refunded after an I-20 has been issued if a student cancels or has their visa denied before they enroll at Bethel.

Procedures for Visa Application

For incoming international students, Bethel will issue the I-20 form and pay the SEVIS fee from the student’s funds. The I-20 and receipt of payment will be mailed to the student. Once those documents have been received, the F-1 student visa application process can begin. Detailed visa application procedures can be found online at Students must complete an online visa application (DS-160) and make an appointment with the US Embassy or Consulate. Students are required to take several pieces of documentation to this interview (valid passport, visa application fee in cash, confirmation sheet of application form DS-160, self-addressed SMART envelope for return of passport, photograph, I-20, fee receipt, and proof of funds). Once the visa has been received, a student can enter the United States no sooner than 30 days prior to the start date listed in the I-20.

Transfer of Academic Credits

Transfer Students Only: Students must submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended. International students transferring course work from institutions outside the United States must have their transcript evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or by a Bethel approved accredited agency. If you are a recruited athlete, you will need to go through InCred for a transcript evaluation. A comprehensive course-by-course evaluation is required. Upon receipt of the evaluation, the Bethel registrar will determine the transfer of credit to Bethel University.

College Academic Year Calendar

Fall semester – 16 weeks (August – December)
Spring semester – 16 weeks (January – May)
Summer session – 6 weeks (May – July)

Academic Calendar

Estimated Costs

Find Direct Costs and Tuition and Fees in our latest Academic Catalog.

International Student Scholarships

Bethel University financial assistance for international students is limited. Therefore, each student is responsible for finding his/her own source of funds. Seeking sponsorship is highly encouraged, as international student awards vary and apply only to tuition. International students are eligible to receive merit awards (ranging from $4,000-$16,000 a year) as well as international student scholarships. Merit awards may vary based on academic abilities, athletic abilities as assessed by coaches, or music/theatre/art talents as assessed by faculty. Students should connect with someone in their area of interest for additional information. Merit awards and the international student scholarship do not require additional applications.

The International Scholarship Committee awards international student scholarships based on academic achievement, test scores and leadership qualities. Students receiving the award must live on campus and are subject to scholarship rules in place at the time of enrollment. The application for admission and all supporting documentation must be submitted by February 1 for scholarship consideration. Scholarships will be awarded after the February 1 deadline.

Affidavit of Support

What is the Affidavit of Support?

The Affidavit of Support is an application provided by Bethel University and is used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial assistance. It utilizes an in-depth needs analysis basing your family’s contribution to your college fees on three years of income. The form is available for download (PDF). You can also request a copy of the form by emailing

You and/or your parents will need these documents to complete the Affidavit of Support:

  • Tax returns
  • Wage statements
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Current bank statements
  • Current mortgage information
  • Business and farm records
  • Records of stock, bonds and other investments
  • Benefits and retirement plan information

When should I complete the Affidavit of Support?

The deadline for the Affidavit of Support and additional documentation is Feb. 1, if you would like to be considered for the international scholarship.

Campus Employment

International students are permitted to apply for campus jobs, and may do so once at Bethel University. International students are restricted from off-campus employment by the regulations affiliated with their F-1 student visa status and are limited to 20 hours of on-campus employment per week while classes are in session.

Check our job board.

Academic Policies

Grading Scale: 4.0 – A 3.0 – B 2.0 – C 1.0 – D

In order for undergraduate international students to maintain their F-1 student visa status with the United States government, they must enroll for at least 12 credit hours of classes each semester (fall and spring). Students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale to be considered academically qualified to continue studies. A cumulative grade point average below 2.0 is classified as academic probation, and students have one semester to re-establish good academic standing before dismissal from the college and loss of their F-1 student visa status.

Regional Climate

Four seasons are experienced each year in northern Indiana. Winter (December – February) is very snowy and cold. The average high in January is 2 degrees Celsius and average annual snowfall is 1.8 meters, so students should be prepared for temperatures of freezing, or below. Students should have a very warm coat, boots and gloves for this season, which may be purchased locally as seasons change. The summer months (June – August) bring the average high temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius. Moderate to cool temperatures and rain are experienced in the spring (March – May) and fall (September – November). The various seasons offer a variety of outdoor activities for Bethel University students.

Student Life on Campus

Bethel is an evangelical Christian college and is committed to the highest ethical and spiritual values. All students are required to attend chapel services on campus three times a week during the fall and spring semesters, and to abstain from the use of tobacco, illicit drugs and alcoholic beverages, on or off campus. Bethel also follows the Biblical precepts regarding sexual purity. Students living in campus housing have curfew hours each day: Sunday – Thursday, 12:30 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 2 a.m. With a variety of clubs and student organizations, Bethel University offers engaging activities for everyone.

Study in the States: Info from the U.S. Homeland Security office

Study in the States


Public forms of transportation are available via airlines, trains and buses. Intercity bus and taxi service is available near Bethel’s campus. Students arriving via air can choose to fly into the South Bend Regional Airport, which is about 13 kilometers from Bethel University, or they can fly into Chicago O’Hare or Midway Airports and take a bus to the South Bend Regional Airport.

International Students Coordinator

The International Student Coordinator is the person who counsels international students concerning their needs while on campus. Matters such as housing needs, immigration law, visas, OPT/CPT, etc., are handled through the International Student Coordinator. Orientation/Welcome Week is mandatory for all new Bethel students as well as a mandatory international student orientation for all new Bethel international students. This orientation includes information on F-1 rules and regulations, campus employment, a meeting with the Wellness Center staff, and other events designed to help new international students adjust to the regional culture and meet new people. You can contact the International Student Coordinator, Sue Matteson.


  • International Student Orientation: January 11
  • New Student Registration Day: January 12
  • Classes begin: January 13


  • International Student Orientation: August 11
  • New Student Registration Day: August 12
  • Orientation/Welcome Week: August 13-17
  • Classes begin: August 18

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