International Students: Admission

Bethel College is a four-year Christian college of the arts and sciences affiliated with the Missionary Church. Campus is located in Mishawaka, Ind., approximately 145 kilometers east of Chicago, Ill., and is served by the South Bend Regional Airport and Amtrak Train Services. Located in a suburban setting, the campus spans approximately 75 wooded acres. Restaurants, entertainment and shopping venues border the college. The area population is estimated at 300,000. In addition to Bethel College activities, other colleges and universities in the area offer cultural, recreational and academic opportunities.

Application Process Affidavit of Support
I-20 Form Procedures for Visa Application
Transfer of Academic Credits Estimated Costs
College Academic Year Calendar International Student Scholarships
Campus Employment Academic Policies
Student Life on Campus Regional Climate
Transportation International Students’ Coordinator

Application Process for International Students

Application deadlines

Fall semester: Feb. 1

Spring semester: Oct. 1

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 college.

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

Application: Apply online at

  • Personal statement of faith, in English.
  • 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.
    • Note: All academic transcripts must be submitted in their original language along with official certified translations in English. Official certification and a comprehensive course-by-course evaluation must be completed by an approved accredited agency. Bethel College recommends using World Education Service,, 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 College. 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

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. A comprehensive course-by-course evaluation is required. Upon receipt of the WES evaluation, the Bethel registrar will determine the transfer of credit to Bethel College. Visit the WES website for more information.

College Academic Year Calendar

Fall semester – 16 weeks (August – December)

Spring semester – 16 weeks (January – May)

Summer session – 6 weeks (May – July)

Estimated Costs

Costs shown are based upon 2014-2015 fall and spring semesters only.

Tuition (based on 12–17 credit hours per semester) $25,480
Room and board (2 semesters/20 meals per week) 7,780.00
Medical insurance (required) 1,600
Other miscellaneous expenses (estimated) 1,520
Services Assessment 350
International student deposit (one time) 1,000
Total (for both fall and spring semesters) $37,730 USD


These costs are for a single, undergraduate student enrolled in a traditional academic program. Living expenses for married students will be higher. Extra costs are possible, depending on tuition charges, course registration, class fees, housing and meal plan options, etc. Based upon recent trends, students and parents should plan and estimate that the total cost will increase about 4-6 percent each year.

International Student Scholarships

Bethel College 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 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. International student scholarships are awarded after February 1 by the International Admission and Scholarship Committee 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 enrollment.

Campus Employment

International students are permitted to apply for campus jobs, and may do so once at Bethel College. 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.

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.

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 College offers engaging activities for everyone.

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 College students.


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 College, 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 students 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 students’ coordinator. A mandatory international student orientation will be scheduled for all new students prior to the first day of classes. 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 students’ coordinator at

Affidavit of Support

What is the Affidavit of Support?

The Affidavit of Support is an application provided by Bethel College 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. 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 February 1.