GGU Law invites qualified applicants from around the globe to expand and enhance their education in the heart of San Francisco.
Admissions: International Applicants
INTERNATIONAL (NON-US) APPLICANTS
Applicants to the JD Program who completed an undergraduate degree outside the U.S. or Canada must fulfill all GGU Law JD Program application requirements, including submitting transcripts and letters of recommendation to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and registering through LSAC for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Visit the LSAC website for more information about transcripts, letters of recommendation and the LSAT.
JD Program applicants who received undergraduate instruction in a language other than English must satisfy the Admissions Committee of the proficiency of their English language abilities. An official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to the appropriate program at GGU Law satisfies this requirement. Visit the TOEFL website.
- The TOEFL Institution Code for Golden Gate University is 4329
- The TOEFL Department Code for the School of Law is 03
- Application form, application fee, personal statement and transcripts in accordance with our LLM or SJD application requirements.
- Official TOEFL score report sent to GGU Law directly from the testing agency as detailed below or through LSAC.
- Official Certification of Finances form with bank seal and accompanying documents.
- Read more about the LLM admissions process on the LSAC website.
- Have a question? Read the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) here.
GGU Law requires a complete and detailed report, including course breakdown, grade evaluation, and degree equivalency. A report of basic equivalency is insufficient information.
We recommend that LLM and SJD applicants from other nations bring with them an extra copy of their official transcripts of undergraduate and law studies as well as any official documents they have received from the courts or bar associations of their home country indicating that they have been admitted to practice law in that country. These documents are not required for admission to the LLM and SJD programs but may prove useful in obtaining employment or applying to sit for a bar exam in one of several U.S. states. Students planning to prepare for a bar examination may need a transcript evaluation by an independent agency. This evaluation can be completed after students arrive to begin the LLM or SJD programs.
Applicants who received their degrees outside the United States must satisfy the Admissions Committee of the proficiency of their English language abilities. An official TOEFL score report sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to the appropriate program at GGU Law satisfies this requirement. Visit the TOEFL website.
- The TOEFL Institution Code for Golden Gate University is 4329
- The TOEFL Department Code for the School of Law is 03
Applicants must receive a minimum TOEFL score of 580 Paper-based test (PBT), or 92 Internet-based test (iBT) for the LLM (Master of Laws) Programs in U.S. Legal Studies, International Legal Studies, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Taxation, and the SJD (Doctorate) Program in International Legal Studies.
TOEFL Practice Online is a community for test takers preparing for the next generation TOEFL test, or anyone wishing to improve their academic English skills. This is the ONLY website that has official test material from the new TOEFL test that will assess these language skills: Listening, Writing, Reading, Speaking. By becoming a member you can access helpful information, discussion boards, sample responses from a speaking test, and purchase a practice test and practice questions. TOEFL Practice Online website.
GGU Law accepts International English Language Testing (IELTS) scores. Students need about Level 6.5 to be admitted to the LLM (Master of Laws) Programs and the SJD (Doctorate) Program in International Legal Studies.
HOW TO APPLY
You may submit your application to the LLM or SJD program through LSAC, which is the preferred method, or you may complete the paper application (LLM application | SJD application) and send it (signed and dated) to the following U.S. mailing address:
Golden Gate University School of Law
Graduate Law Programs
536 Mission Street, Suite 3300
San Francisco, CA, USA 94105-2968
To have a LLM or SJD application form mailed to you, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A J-1 visa authorizes a sponsored scholar from abroad to research through a qualified US law school. Golden Gate University School of Law is able to accommodate a limited number of visiting scholars each year to engage in significant independent legal research projects. Prospective scholars may apply to the program as Senior Visiting Scholars – professors, government officials, and law professionals.
Since 2003, sponsored SJD students have engaged in significant independent legal research projects at Golden Gate University School of Law, located in the financial district of the world’s most dynamic city, San Francisco, California, USA. These scholars have included students from many countries, including Iraq, Taiwan and Turkey; attorneys from the major law firm HanaLaw; prosecutors from the South Korean Ministry of Justice; and senior Judges and court officials from the Supreme Court of Korea.
Since the inception of our Center for Advanced International Legal Studies in 1990, Golden Gate University School of Law’s international legal studies program has expanded from the traditional notion of international law to encompass a broader range of international and comparative legal studies. GGU's rich offerings in international legal studies are enhanced by our diverse community of graduate law students from around the world, including experienced lawyers and professors of law who represent many of the world's major legal systems. The center stands in a unique position to provide opportunities for its students and graduates.
J-1 Visiting Scholars also are eligible to enroll in the ELS Language Center of San Francisco located near the campus of Golden Gate University. ELS Language Centers are an industry leader in advanced English language instruction for professionals. Their wide range of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are designed to help advance research, career and to improve advanced English: http://www.els.edu.
The visiting scholar application process consists of two parts: admission to GGU School of Law Graduate Law and approval of a J-1 Scholar visa.
LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION
Prospective visiting scholars must first submit an application to the School of Law using the LLM application form and checking the J-1 Visiting Scholar box. The completed application should include a one-page Research Statement with a description of the applicant's research plans and an explanation of the importance of conducting research at GGU School of Law. All applicants accepted into the visiting scholars program are considered “in residence” scholars and are expected to conduct their proposed research at GGU School of Law. Applications are reviewed for each applicant's academic background, research interests, scholarly achievements and English-language proficiency.
Most foreign visiting scholars will need to obtain a J-1 visa to pursue their research at GGU School of Law. J-1 visas are obtained by the issuance of a DS-2019 document. Applicants who obtain law school approval will receive a DS-2019 form along with the GGU School of Law J-1 Visiting Scholar invitation letter. DS-2019 applications are processed after an applicant is admitted to GGU as a J-1 scholar. Processing of the DS-2019 application takes from 1-2 weeks.
Upon payment of the GGU School of Law fees and the receipt of a campus GGU ID card, visiting scholars have access to research services through the GGU School of Law. Most important, they have full use of the law library's extensive collection of legal material, which includes US and other common law jurisdictions as well as the law of more than 50+ jurisdictions of the world, and a collection of international, comparative and human rights law. Visiting scholars may use the library any time the Golden Gate University Law Library is open. They may borrow any regularly circulating material from the law library and from most other campus libraries as well. In addition, visiting scholars obtain passwords to both Lexis and Westlaw, the two most important legal research databases in the United States. With these passwords visiting scholars will have access to extensive collections of US primary legal materials, journals and reviews, treatises and practice material, as well as to international law, newspapers, and other periodicals.
Due to space and budget restrictions, the law school cannot provide offices or library carrels for visiting scholars. Visiting scholars may be able to consult with law school faculty members in their specialized field of study, and they may audit law school classes with the professor's permission. Academic credit is not given for audited courses.
COMPUTING AND OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES
Wireless access is available throughout the law school, including the law library. Once visiting scholars have their GGU4YOU ID card, they may use their laptop computers anywhere in the law school and in many locations throughout the GGU campus. In addition, the law library has a number of computers that can be used to gain access to all databases licensed by the campus, as well as to .edu .gov and .org websites. A commercial, fee-based, copying service is available in the law library.
Living expenses/costs for an individual scholar are at a minimum $2,200 per month. A married couple should expect to incur expenses of at least $2,500 per month, plus $200 per child. Proof of source funding, based on these amounts, are required for GGU Graduate Law and J-1 visa approval.
Please address all administrative questions regarding the GGU Law J-1 Visiting Scholars Program to the GGU J-1 Responsible Officer – John Pluebell: Jpluebell@ggu.edu
Telephone: +1(415) 442-6501
Fax: +1(415) 495-6756
International applicants must comply with US immigration laws and regulations. It is the law student's responsibility to obtain any required visas. All new international students must meet with their assigned SEVIS Designated School Official (DSO) upon arrival to complete the requirements established by US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or US Department of State (DOS).
Arriving in the United States should be a smooth experience if you have the required documentary evidence below.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE US PORT OF ENTRY (POE) with US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP)
The Form I-94, "Arrival/Departure Record" is a critical record. It shows that you have been legally admitted to the United States, the class of admission, and the authorized period of stay. It is very important that the information on the record is correct. Inconsistencies between the information on the Form I-94 and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) records can reduce the chances of a successful systems interface. In particular, this can cause issues with status verification for Social Security numbers and/or (California) Department of Motor Vehicles DMV ID Card and/or Drivers Permit.
Exception to the Cal DMV SSN requirement: If you are legally present in the US, but ineligible for an SSN, you are exempt from SSN requirements. However, you must still provide an acceptable birth date/legal presence document for any DL/ID card application OR provide a valid SSN.
If you arrive at the port of entry by air or sea, an automated Form I-94 record will automatically be generated for you by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. CBP will provide you with an admission stamp on your passport that is annotated with date of admission, class of admission and admitted-until date. The electronic arrival/departure record can be obtained at www.cbp.gov/I94.
Secondary Inspection: If the CBP officer at the port of entry cannot verify your information, or if you do not have all of the required documentation, a CBP officer may direct you to an interview area known as secondary inspection.
REPORTING TO US LAW SCHOOL: You have 30 days to enter the country before your official program start date (start of law school orientation), which is recorded in SEVIS. You must report to your school by the program start date listed on the Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status" you received. This is one of the rules you agree to when you received your student or exchange visitor status. If you do not follow this rule, you are not maintaining your status.
It is best to contact your law school school immediately after entering the country so that there is no question of your arrival.
If you cannot enter the United States for the term listed on your Form I-20 or if you will be late by a few days, immediately contact your designated school officials so that they can accurately enter this information in your SEVIS record.
Travel & Reentry at the US Port of Entry (POE)
When to Arrive: When making travel plans, please be aware that F-1 and J-1 visa holders entering the US for a NEW academic program at Golden Gate University School of Law, may not enter the US earlier than 30 days before the begin date of their I-20 Form (F-1) or DS-2019 Form (J-1) documents.
Students or visiting researchers/faculty who are either continuing an on-going academic program at GGU School of Law or transferring from another US school to GGU Law are NOT subject to the 30-day arrival limit.
When you travel internationally and seek reentry at the US Port, be sure to ALWAYS carry your immigration travel documents (Passport and I-20 or DS-2019 Form) with you; do NOT check them in your baggage! If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will not be able to show the necessary evidentiary documents and, as a result, may not be able to enter the United States.
Advance Preparation Prior to Entry: Careful planning and preparation by students and exchange visitors can ensure that the delay based established procedure is minimal. If you are a non-immigrant student or exchange visitor, here are some things you should do:
- Before leaving your country, confirm that your passport and nonimmigrant visa are still valid for entry into the United States. The passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay.
- Check to see that your visa accurately reflects your correct visa classification.
- If the visa states the name of the institution you will attend or identifies the exchange program in which you are participating, verify that this information is accurate as well. If your review indicates any discrepancies or potential problems, visit the US Embassy or Consulate to obtain a new visa.
- Students and exchange visitors entering the United States for the first time under their respective nonimmigrant visa classification may only be admitted up to 30-days prior to the program start date.
- When you receive your US nonimmigrant visa at the Embassy or Consulate in your country, the consular officer will seal your immigration documents in an envelope and attach it to your passport. You should not open this envelope! The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the US port–of-entry will open the envelope.
- When you travel, you should carry some specific documents on your person. Do not check them in your baggage! If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will not be able to show the documents to the Customs and Border Protection Officer and, as a result, may not be able to enter the United States.
Documents you should ALWAYS carry on your person:
- Passport (including attached envelope of immigration documents) with nonimmigrant visa;
- Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) Form I-20 for F-1 students, or Form DS-2019 for J-1 exchange visitors;
- Visa exempt nationals presenting a SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued on or after September 1, 2004, who are entering the United States for the first time should have a Form I-797, Receipt Notice or Internet Receipt verifying SEVIS Fee payment. For additional SEVP/SEVIS Program Information, refer to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. (www.ice.gov/sevis/)
- Evidence of financial resources, in addition, it is recommended that you also carry
the following documents:
- Evidence of Student/Exchange Visitor status (recent tuition receipts, transcripts);
- Name and contact information for Designated School Official (DSO) or Responsible Officer (RO) at your intended school or program;
- Writing instrument (blue pen).
If you are traveling by aircraft, the flight attendants on board will distribute CF-6059 Customs Declaration Forms and Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record for immigration, before you land at your initial point-of-entry in the US Complete these forms while you are on the aircraft and submit them to the appropriate Customs and Border Protection Officer upon your arrival. If you do not understand a form, ask the flight attendant for assistance.
Upon arrival at the port-of- entry, proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers for inspection. As you approach the inspection station, ensure that you have: passport, SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019; completed Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record; and, CF-6059 Customs Declaration Form available for presentation to the CBP Officer. The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will reside (not the address of the school or program sponsor).
If you are entering through a land or designated seaport, the Customs and Border Protection Officer will provide the necessary CF-6059, Customs Declaration Form and Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record at the port-of-entry. If you do not understand a form, ask the CBP Officer for assistance.
Like all entering visitors, you will be asked to state the reason you wish to enter the United States. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student or exchange visitor. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school or exchange visitor program where you will enroll/participate.
If you are authorized post-completion F-1 student 12-month optional practical training (OPT), this should be reflected on page 3 of your SEVIS Form.
Note: As of August 10, 2012, USCBP no longer stamps your SEVIS Form (except in rare cases).
Once your inspection is complete, the inspecting officer will return the SEVIS Form for your student visa immigration compliance records.
Continuing International (F-1 and J-1) Students and Scholars: Continuing students who are going to travel outside of the United States must see their foreign student advisor and obtain an endorsement from the DSO or RO. The endorsement will be made on page 3 of the SEVIS Form I-20 or page 1 of the DS-2019. When returning to the United States, a continuing student/exchange visitor must present a valid SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 with the DSO or RO signature showing that the student is active and in good standing with the school or program.
Required US Evidentiary IMMIGRATION (TRAVEL) Documents
Be prepared to present the following documents to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer:
- Passport with a valid (unexpired) nonimmigrant visa stamp
- Original form I-20 Form(F-1 Students) or DS-2019 Form (J-1 Exchange Visitors) - "Certificate of Eligibility"
- All F-1 students, J-1 exchange visitors, AND Visa exempt foreign nationals (such as Canadians) should have a Form I-797, Receipt Notice or Internet Receipt verifying SEVIS I-901 Fee payment
- Evidence of financial resources (i.e. certification of finances) issued within the last year
If you are traveling by aircraft, the flight attendants on board will distribute CF-6059 Customs Declaration Forms for immigration, before you land at your initial point-of-entry in the US. You will be required to complete this form while you are on the aircraft and submit them to the appropriate US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) Officer upon your arrival at the US Port. If you do not understand a form or instructions, ask the flight attendant for assistance.
I-94 FORM UPDATE: AUTOMATION OF ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE RECORD
The I-94 automation will remove the need of the paper-based I-94 and instead will create an electronic record of the individual's entry and departure information: www.cbp.gov/I94.
You can now prove legal F-1 or J-1 status without the paper I-94 card. Your passport will now be stamped with the date of admission to the US and the visa status in which you have been admitted and this serves as proof of your legal status along with your passport and I-20/DS-2019 Form.
ALL travelers are advised to get a copy of their electronic I-94 (record of admission) for verification of alien registration (California Department of Motor Vehicles DMV ID Card), immigration status (Social Security Number SSN processing) and/or post-completion employment authorization (US Citizenship & Immigration Services USCIS). I-94 admission information can now be obtained from the official US Customs and Border Protection website: www.cbp.gov/I94.
GGU School of Law International Student & Scholar Services recommends that you print your I-94 documentation from the official CBP website after each arrival in the US and retain for your immigration compliance records. The US government printout will serve as your official I-94 record which can be used for I-9 (employment eligibility verification) compliance as well as for other government agencies (e.g. DHS, Cal DMV, SSA).
All the previous rules and procedures related to the paper I-94 card still apply until your next entry to the US creates an electronic I-94 record. To see what the new I-94 document looks like see the following US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) FACT SHEET.
Effective April 2, 2013: US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) automated the I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) process for ALL travelers applying for admission at US ports of entry. Air and sea travelers no longer need to complete paper Form I-94. USCBP I-94 Automation Fact Sheet.
In the event you need to complete this form at a US land port, be sure to write your name and other information exactly the same as it appears on your passport. Inconsistency in your name and information can create defects in your evidentiary documentation and could cause delay and/or secondary inspection in your arrival at the US land port.
Effective August 16, 2012: USCBP Officers will (in most instances) NO LONGER stamp I-20 and DS-2019 Forms at the US Ports of Entry as part of the launch of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Electronic Information System (ELIS) -- online paperless environment: USCIS ELIS Fact Sheet
US CBP Officers are expected to stamp valid passports (adjacent to student visa stamp) and make an official notation of the type of status you are being given as well as the expiration date. For F-1 and J-1 students, you will be given an expiration notation called "D/S" (Duration of Status).
If you have any problems during your entry at the US Port, please notify GGU Law International Student and Scholar Services (ISS) as soon as you arrive in San Francisco, California.
UPDATING YOUR CURRENT US MAILING ADDRESS WITH US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS)
To fulfill your address notification requirement and report or update your local US mailing address use the links and resources below.
All F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors are required to report and maintain a local US address with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 10 days of arrival for new students and within 10 days of ANY address change. This must be your local residential address complete with room or apartment number. US Post Office (P.O.) Boxes and foreign addresses are NOT acceptable for this mandatory US immigration compliance purpose.
CURRENT GGU LAW STUDENTS
Report or update your local US mailing address within 10 days of address change through GGU4YOU and to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) via Online Change of Address Form AR-11: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=coa
GGU LAW STUDENTS ON STANDARD 12 MONTH POST-COMPLETION F-1 OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT)
Email your GGU Law (ISS) advisor and report within 10 days any changes to the following information:
- Name (Passport name unless officially changed after marrying a US citizen)
- Residential US mailing address
- US Phone number and email address
- US Employer name
- US Employer address
- US Employment status
The information you submit to GGU Law (ISS) is used only for reporting to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), as mandated by Section 265 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1305).
Students who fail to report this information as required will be in violation of their F-1 or J-1 status and may endanger their opportunities for future travel and employment benefits in the United States.
If you are an F student, you have the option of working in the U.S. by engaging in practical training during your program or after it ends. Practical training can provide valuable work experience by sharpening and adding to the skills you are learning in school. There are two types of practical training available for F-1 students: curricular practical training (CPT) and optional practical training (OPT): http://www.ice.gov/sevis/practical-training/
F-1 STUDENT Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
This information is designed for students in the United States on F-1 temporary/non-immigrant status. This web page will provide you with information on a type of employment opportunity, which is known as "curricular practical training." Please also attend a Practical Training workshop or make an appointment for F-1 immigration advising at GGU Law International Student & Scholar Services (ISS) in the 536 Mission Street - Academic Building (Room 3301) in downtown San Francisco, California, USA.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Definition
CPT is an authorized period of paid employment that is an integral or important part of a student's curriculum. At GGU Law, there are two scenarios which qualify students for CPT:
In cases in which the employment must be a requirement of the Law Degree, as in the LLM U.S. Legal Studies Program. In this case, you may or may not receive academic credit. The CPT endorsement must be issued by GGU Law during the same semester or term as the internship period.
In cases in which the practical internship is not a requirement of the program, the GGU law program must offer a CPT course for which the student receives academic credit. The CPT course must be offered during the same semester or term as the internship period. Failure to enroll in and complete the class will result in immediate violation of your legal status. It is the law student's responsibility to fulfill all requirements of CPT.
F-1 Student CPT Eligibility Conditions
- The student must be maintaining valid F-1 Duration of Status (D/S).
- The student must have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year. Graduate students are exempt from this requirement if their Degree program requires immediate participation in CPT.
- The employment must clearly be related to the student's field of study (law).
- Part-time employment may not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. Full-time employment (more than 20 hours a week) during official school breaks is permitted. Students need separate endorsements for part-time and full-time employment even if the employment is in the same term or semester.
- There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in CPT, but if you participate for twelve months or more of full-time CPT, you will not be eligible for any type of optional (including post-completion) practical training.
- Students who have already completed all course/unit requirements for their degree are not eligible for CPT except when employment is required to complete the thesis. CPT can either be part-time or full-time based upon approval of the academic advisor and authorization by GGU Law International Student Services (ISS).
- Students who have already completed all course/unit requirements for their degree are not eligible for curricular practical training. CPT may not be used for a reason for delaying graduation.
- Students may enroll in one CPT class per semester (to receive one or two units of credit as advised).
- Students who have applied for Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training may not apply for CPT for the same period requested on their Pre-OPT application. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could interpret this sort of "double processing" as facilitating inappropriate employment and possibly illegal (unauthorized) authorization of practical training.
- Students must obtain a separate I-20 Form endorsement (work permit) for each CPT employer.
F-1 Student Application and Authorization Procedures
- CPT is authorized by GGU School of Law International Student Services (ISS). You can submit your application as soon as you have received the CPT offer letter but no later than 10 working days prior to the start date of employment. A new I-20 Form authorizing the requested employment period will be issued after your academic advisor reviews your CPT offer letter.
- Students applying for CPT must also meet any additional requirements set by departments concerning the minimum number of units they are required to take during the semester or term they are enrolled in the CPT course.
- For CPT during Fall and Spring semesters, when students are required to be enrolled full-time and can work part-time under CPT, the proposed start and end dates of CPT closely follow the academic calendar.
The allowable CPT employment dates for the GGU School of Law academic year are:
- Start no earlier than August 1, end no later than December 31
- Start no earlier than January 1, end no later than May 31
- Start no earlier than June 1, end no later than July 31
PRACTICAL TRAINING RESOURCES
- A Lawyer's Guide to Networking: This hands-on workbook is an invaluable tool for lawyers at all stages of their professional life, from law students to high-level professionals transitioning careers. Filled with practical advice, folk wisdom, academic theory, and tips from some leading members of the bar, this book covers networking from the basics of an "elevator pitch" to the role it plays in business development, internal relations, job searches and leadership in the profession and in the community.
- LLM Roadmap: This hands-on guide provides objective information about US Master of Laws (LLM) programs and important pre-completion and post-graduation issues such as practical training.
- GGU Law ranked among TOP 20 BEST US law schools for practical training (The National Jurist - March 2014).
If you have already attended a practical training workshop and still have administrative questions you may want to send an email to the primary GGU School of Law F-1 Student Designated School Official (DSO): jpluebell @ ggu.edu
US TAXATION (CALENDAR YEAR 2013): Who Must File (IRS) Form 8843?
All nonresident (temporary) aliens present in the US under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status must file Form 8843 "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition"—even if they received NO income during CALENDAR YEAR 2012. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:
- Present in the US during 2012 (Preceding calendar year)
- A nonresident (temporary) alien (non-citizen under Immigration and Nationality Act)
- Present in the US under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status
If an individual meets ALL three qualifications above, the individual must file Form 8843, regardless of the individual's age and even if the individual is not required to file a US income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ).
WHAT IS (IRS) US TAX FORM 8843?
Form 8843 is not an income tax return. Form 8843 is merely an informational statement required by the US government for certain nonresident aliens (including the spouses or dependents of nonresident aliens) studying or conducting research in the US.
DO I NEED A US SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN) OR INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER ID NUMBER (ITIN) TO FILE FORM 8843
Generally, no. Nonresident aliens who are not required to file an income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ), but who are required to file Form 8843, need not apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If, however, an SSN/ITIN has been assigned, the number must be included on Form 8843.
An exception to this rule is for individuals who are eligible to be claimed as dependents on a US income tax return. Such individuals must have an SSN/ITIN. Only nonresident aliens from a very limited number of countries may claim an exemption for their dependents on their US income tax return (Form 1040NR). In such a case, any dependent who is claimed must have a SSN/ITIN. An exemption for spouse and/or dependents is only applicable if the country of tax residence is: American Samoa, Canada, Korea, Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, India (applicable only to F-1 and J-1 students.
HOW DO I SUBMIT US (IRS) TAX FORM 8843?
- If you are required to file an income tax return (Form 1040NR/1040NR-EZ), attach Form 8843 to the back of the tax return.
- If Form 8843 is for a spouse or dependent eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a federal tax return, Form 8843 must be attached to the back of the tax return on which they are claimed.
- If Form 8843 is not filed in connection with a federal tax return, the form must be sent to the following address: US Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX 73301-0215 and is due by June 15, 2013. Please note that each individual who files Form 8843 must send the form separately from any other form or anyone else's forms.
- Make a photocopy of Form 8843 for your permanent records.
All individuals in the United States who have income must file a US tax return if their income is more than the personal exemption ($3800 for tax year 2012, $3900 for tax year 2013, $3950 for tax year 2014)
Disclaimer: Although the information above should be adequate to assist most international F-1 students and J-1 scholars, it is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a qualified tax professional. If your US visa status has changed in the past year, or you believe you have complicated tax issues, please consult the Internal Revenue Service or a qualified tax professional.
The US Government's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires the university to certify the financial resources of all international applicants who will be applying for the F-1 and J-1 visas. Admission to GGU Law is not dependent on your finances. However, GGU Law is unable to issue your Student Visa Request Form without financial certification.
Tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year (August-May) is estimated to be approximately $1600 per unit. GGU Law does not make any distinction made between domestic and international students. All law students are required to pay administrative fees. See GGU Law Registrar to view tuition and fee schedule: tuition and fee schedule.
Living expenses, including shared housing, food, utilities, local transportation, books and supplies, are estimated based on a nine month academic calendar (August-May). These figures do not include travel within the United States or the cost of international airfare. Nor do they include the costs of owning and operating an automobile or the tuition costs of attending the university during the summer session (late May - July).
You MUST submit the completed Certification of Finances with bank seal with your application, or you may submit an original letter from your sponsor's bank indicating the total amount of money that is currently on deposit.
- Download and print out the 2014-15 Certification of Finances.
- Complete the form and mail it to the following US mailing address:
Golden Gate University School of Law
Graduate Law Programs
536 Mission Street, Suite 3300
San Francisco, California, USA 94105-2968
To have a GGU Law Certification of Finances form sent to you, please email email@example.com
GGU students may use PeerTransfer GGU to make tuition payments via electronic bank transfer to reduce bank fees and get lower exchange rates in addition to fund tracking and immediate assistance - PeerTransfer GGU.
The last day to fulfill GGU School of Law tuition payment obligation for the Fall (August-December) and Spring (January - May) semester is the end of the second week of classes (Friday).
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES
*Funding for US Study Onlineis an extensive database of scholarships, fellowships and grants organized and maintained by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Funding for US Study includes all types of funding programs, for all levels of post-secondary study, across the full range of academic areas: http://www.fundingusstudy.org/
* Appendix II of LL.M. Roadmaplists 288 scholarship, fellowship and grant resources
One of the most commonly asked questions is: "Where do most students attending Golden Gate University School of Law live"? Students tend to live in whichever community best accommodates their living and commute needs. There are many communities inhabited by students attending other universities in the area. The San Francisco (SF) Bay Area Neighborhood information below includes some of the areas most lived-in by students.
TIP: Reserving a hotel, hostel or temporary residence BEFORE your arrival in San Francisco to provide yourself with a home base!
- Guides on the SF bay area airlines, concessions, general services, ground transport and shopping can be found online: www.flysfo.com
- 511 is your one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute transportation information. FREE and available online 24/7: http://511.org
- San Francisco Neighborhoods: http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods
HOTELS IN SAN FRANCISCO
- Frommers.com - Discounted San Francisco hotel rooms: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/sanfrancisco/29_indacc.html
- Halcyon Hotel SF - Budget-friendly value - Lonely Planet: http://www.halcyonsf.com/
- The King George boutique hotel in San Francisco located in the center of Union Square: http://www.kinggeorge.com/
HOSTELS IN SAN FRANCISCO
Hostels are for those students who are in need of a place for just a few days (maximum stay is typically 3 nights).
Be sure to call far in advance for reservations http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/stay/
RESIDENCE CLUBS IN SAN FRANCISCO
Local listings for Residences in downtown San Francisco:
- San Francisco Residence Club http://851resclub.com/
- Club Monroe Residence Club http://www.monroeresidenceclub.com/
- Vantaggio Suites http://www.vantaggiosuites.com/
- Kenmore Residence http://www.kenmorehotelsf.com/
- Soma Residences http://www.somaresidences.com/
HOMESTAY IN SAN FRANCISCO
(Open to international students only) Homestay is affordable housing for international students and international interns. It is an opportunity to live in a friendly home with an American family and practice your English skills. It is safe and clean accommodation. Homestay provides international students with: A private or shared bedroom, A private or shared bathroom, Cleaning of linens and towels, Meals (continental breakfast and dinner)
Tips to Help You Avoid Real Estate Phishing Scams
1. Develop a Renter's Portfolio
- Generic Renter's Resume & Application
- List income sources
- List English-speaking references (preferably former landlords) and their contact info
- List Addresses where you've lived, what you paid in the past for rent, and length of stay
- List a co-signer (such as a parent) who can guarantee your rent payment if you have one
- Do NOT list any bank account numbers or social security numbers
- Do NOT list any political or religious affiliations
- US Credit Report (IF APPLICABLE)
- Get your paperwork together in advance since most landlords will ask for it. Competing apartment seekers will get the jump on properties ahead of you, if you take 3 days to get a credit report. It is normal for a landlord to ask you for an application fee, so they can run a credit report themselves.
- Acceptance Letter to GGU School of Law
- Financial Aid Award Statement (IF APPLICABLE)
2. Be Prepared with a Security Deposit
- Have enough money in the bank to cover 3 times the monthly rent, as landlords may ask for first month's rent, last month's rent, and security deposit equal to a month's rent (additional deposits for pets).
3. Be Presentable at Your Interview
- This is an INTERVIEW. Be sure to act, smell and present yourself professionally. There is competition out there for student housing and landlords are very selective.
4. Dos and Don'ts
- Do emphasize you are a serious graduate law student at GGU versus a young undergraduate student living outside their home for the first time
- Do not show up smelling like smoke, heavy perfume or cologne, or covered in dog or cat hair.
- Do not bring the dog (pet), no matter how cute he/she is.
- Do be optimistic and positive, always a winning combination.
- Do not take rejection personally; it is a numbers and sometimes "luck" game. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get that renter's resume ready to gain housing!
- Do not hesitate to take an apartment if you get an offer on an adequate space, even if it is not your dream housing. There is a lot of competition out there and landlords will not wait for you to shop around, comparing options.
Rent Control in San Francisco
San Francisco observes rent control, which limits the amount of rent increase that your landlord can impose. The city establishes the maximum percentage of increase on rental properties to one raise per year (usually on your move-in anniversary date). It is very important that you understand that rent control only applies to multi-unit rental buildings that were built before 1979. If you are in a single-unit building or if your building was built after 1979, you are not under rent control. An apartment in a building built prior to 1979 will prevent big rent fluctuations, allowing you to have a relatively stable budget, especially helpful if you are living on loans or a student budget.
San Francisco Tenant Union Rent Control website: http://www.sftu.org/rentcontrol.html
APARTMENTS & RENTALS IN SAN FRANCISCO
Additional (long-term) law student and scholar housing information for the San Francisco Bay Area:
- Want to get to know The City of San Francisco better? Learn more about San Francisco neighborhoods by using this guide: http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/
- MyApartmentMap lets you search for rental apartments by plotting listings on a map: http://www.myapartmentmap.com/
- Find off campus apartment near Golden Gate University. Use this university apartment finder to search apartments in the SF Bay Area for rent: http://www.mynewplace.com/student-housing/off-campus-golden-gate-university-apartments
- Apartment List is a free service that includes a mapping feature and photos of properties for rent: http://www.apartmentlist.com
- Live Lovely is a free apartment search engine featuring photos and mapping features of available local apartments: http://livelovely.com/
- Hot Pads is a free, map-based apartment search engine: http://hotpads.com/
- Zillow is a home and real estate marketplace dedicated to helping homeowners, renters, real estate agents, landlords and property managers find and share vital information about real estate: http://zillow.com.
- Golden Gate University Housing Service: http://www.forrent.com/search-apartments-near-colleges/CA/Golden-Gate-University.php
Whether your commute is from within San Francisco or from one of the many surrounding Bay Area communities, there are living options to accommodate your interest and budget. Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law students must find housing off-campus. GGU School of Law is accessible by Public transportation from communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Finding housing that is suitable to your needs, interests and studies is very important. San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area communities offer an interesting and rewarding living experience.
It is important to start early with a plan of action. Whether you are a first-time renter or a veteran apartment dweller, it is worth taking the time to decide what is most important to you in where want you live and to plan your search strategy accordingly. Compare and consider all the possibilities.
With that in mind, here are some things to consider: Do a Budget Analysis to determine which Bay Area community will best meet your needs and is within your cost of living expenses limits. See Estimated Living Expenses chart below for the 2013-14 Academic Year:
Total Living Expenses Approximately $19,000 (USD) for 24 unit LLM (Master of Laws) Programs as follows:
- Books and supplies $1150
- Housing [Shared] & Utilities $12,300
- Food $3000
- Personal Expenses $1200
- Transportation $800
- Gifts/Miscellaneous $550
The advantage of living in San Francisco (The Best City in The US)(World's Most Dynamic City) is proximity to GGU School of Law and easy transportation; the disadvantage is higher rent costs. The advantage of living in other Bay Area communities, especially the East Bay region, is lower rent; the disadvantage is time and money spent on transportation. In some instances, commuting from the nearby East Bay is comparable to commute time from some locations in San Francisco. Compare and consider all of the possibilities. You will need a map to help plan your search!
The Housing Search Strategy
You can start your search for housing before you leave for San Francisco, but be aware that rentals go quickly and are usually not available much in advance. Finding housing in San Francisco can actually be done in a weekend if you are not too particular, but the better approach would allow several days after arrival. Here are some suggestions for starting your search:
Become Familiar with Housing Vocabulary
A helpful list can be found here: http://eap.ucop.edu/Documents/ReciprocalExchanges/HousingVocabTerms.pdf
Develop a Housing Wish ListList the things that are important to you, and then try to order them by importance. Do you need laundry? Do you need to live on the top floor? Do you want to walk to work/school, or is public transportation okay? Do you need a parking spot? Can you deal with carpets or do you need hardwood floors? These are all important questions to decide on before you start your search.
Prepare All Necessary Paperwork
Most landlords require a record of credit history and rental history references. Their applications might also ask for a social security number or a driver's license number. Since you are an international student or scholar, you may not have any of these documents. Instead, you may want to request a recommendation letter from your immigration advisor to give to the landlord. It also helps to mention that you are a visiting scholar or student at GGU and that you have one or more law degree(s) (LLB, LLM, SJD).
Become Familiar with the Names of Neighborhoods
You will want to look for housing in a neighborhood near the GGU campus where you will be working or studying, or along public transportation lines to make your commute more convenient since parking is difficult to find. For a detailed description of the neighborhoods in San Francisco, go to the following informative website for details: http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/, http://www.7x7.com/arts/7-best-neighborhoods-san-francisco, http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/neighborhood/
Check bulletin boards at GGU
Many ads are for roommates. The most popular ones are located at 536 Mission Street in the Academic Building outside the Law Library on the first floor (536 Mission Street - Academic Building) and outside the GGU Business School International Admissions & Advising (IAA) Office on the third floor (40 Jessie Street - Student Center/Bookstore).
Visit San Francisco Neighborhoods
After you have researched directions and a mode of transportation to GGU School of Law; one of the best ways to find housing is to select and visit the neighborhoods. Walk or drive through areas where you may be interested in living, look for "For Rent" signs or a moving van being loaded. Walking the streets of San Francisco is enjoyable and entertaining. A quick walk around a neighborhood will let you know if the area is suitable to your needs. Visit the area both day and night to get a feel for the character of the neighborhood.
Consider a walking tour of San Francisco, if time allows. This would be a good way to become familiar with San Francisco and learn the locations of the neighborhoods. The links below are guides to some of the San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area communities. The GGU bookstore (located at 40 Jessie Street in the GGU Student Center) sells maps and guide books for walking in San Francisco: www.ggu.bkstr.com
Make Appointment for Viewing
After compiling a list of places that you are interested in, call to make appointments for viewing. It might be a good idea to borrow or lease a cell phone from a telephone or electronics store (see TELEPHONE SERVICE section). You may also want to prepare a script when leaving telephone messages for the landlord, mentioning that you are a new visiting scholar or student at GGU School of Law and that you are looking forward to seeing the rental property. Remember to slowly and clearly state your name and telephone number where you may be reached.
When you find an apartment that you like, do not hesitate to let the landlord know immediately that you are interested. Suitable accommodations that satisfy your unique needs are hard to find in San Francisco. Make sure you have a blank check ready to make a deposit.
Appropriate questions to ask your landlord might include what utilities are included in the rent (water, gas, electricity); when the apartment will be available; deposit amounts; safety of neighborhood; parking availability and costs; acceptability of pets (be aware that few landlords permit pets, especially dogs).
If you are looking for a roommate, it is perfectly acceptable to meet with the person for an interview. You would not want to move in with someone that might not be suitable for you. In fact, because the cost of housing is high in San Francisco, it is common that people will live with several roommates to help share the cost of rent. Do not be surprised if you are asked for an interview yourself from everyone in the house.
Longer Term Student Housing Opportunities
- Berkeley Student Cooperative Association (BSCA): This is a private, non-profit housing alternative for students featuring multiple residences owned by its members. Contact BSCA: www.bsc.coop
- Treasure Island: Man-made island in San Francisco Bay located between Oakland and San Francisco. Treasure Island Housing overview is available at The Villages at Treasure Island: http://www.thevillagesattreasureisland.com/
- The Presidio: Presently a national park, is a former military base dating back to 1776. The John Stewart Company manages the units; The Presidio Residences: http://www.presidio.gov/lease/Pages/default.aspx
Student Housing Information at Other San Francisco Universities
- San Francisco State University: http://www.sfsu.edu/~housing/offcampus/
- University of California, San Francisco: http://www.campuslifeservices.ucsf.edu/housing/off_campus/
Newspapers FOR SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
- San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/rentals/
- San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/Homes/Page
- Contra Costa Times (East Bay): http://www.contracostatimes.com
- East Bay Express: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/
- Oakland Tribune (East Bay): http://www.insidebayarea.com/
There are many sites that provide rental information and assist new residents with sightseeing, entertainment, dining, shopping and maps. The following list covers only a few of the websites available:
East Bay Neighborhoods & Communities
Many apartment buildings in "the City" offer views of both San Francisco and the East Bay. San Francisco is apartment oriented; two out of every three housing structures have multiple units. Like most great cities, San Francisco is comprised of small neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. It is a vibrant city with a population from all cultures and walks of life. The East Bay communities offer a variety of apartments, houses and condominiums.
Many of the East Bay neighborhoods are undergoing a revival and have increased the number of multiplex units that are near to the BART stations and AC Transit. The East Bay is home to the beautiful Rose Garden. Visiting the renovated Paramount and Fox Theaters is worth a trip from anywhere in the Bay Area. Downtown Oakland offers a variety of newly built apartments adding to the character of the area's restoration. Going through Piedmont to the Rockridge area, you will find vintage clothing, furniture shops, and streets lined with coffee houses and fine restaurants.
Chambers of Commerce IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
While searching for housing, get a brief description of the neighborhoods and an overview of the apartment rental averages from the following Chamber of Commerce websites:
- San Francisco Chamber of Commerce: http://www.sfchamber.com/
- Oakland Chamber of Commerce: http://www.oaklandchamber.com/
- Berkeley Chamber of Commerce: http://www.berkeleychamber.com/
- Alameda Chamber of Commerce: http://www.alamedachamber.com/
Rental/Roommate Referral Agencies
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of having a roommate to share the cost. Before you decide on a roommate, discuss life-styles. Be honest with each other. Habits discovered later could cause problems not easily settled. Check out your schedules and personal habits. Agree on a financial plan. If you enter into a roommate agreement with everything up front, your experience should be a good one. More information on roommate selection and agreements is available online at Easy Roommate and other online sites. There are several agencies in San Francisco and the East Bay that link people looking for housing with people who have space available. It is important to be specific about what you need and to carefully interview potential landlords and/or roommates.
- Bay4Rent, Metro Rentals, Roommate Express, Roommates.com
- Craig's List, Kijiji
- CityLeases.com, Apartment Guide, Archstone Apartments
- Apartment List - Roommate Referrals
Getting Settled in the San Francisco Bay Area
There are many things to consider when preparing to move. Consider creating a Moving Checklist to help guide you through this stressful time. This site gives comprehensive moving tips (intended for US residents) to prepare before leaving for San Francisco and help getting settled in your new location: http://www.upack.com/moving-resources/checklist.asp
Maps of San Francisco
- Bay City Guide Maps:http://www.baycityguide.com/maps/maps.html
- http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/ is the official site for visitors. This site offers a map that is downloadable, information on transportation for navigating about San Francisco and temporary hotel accommodations. This site includes descriptions of the SF neighborhoods, places to dine and many other resources for newcomers and visitors!
Many of the listings in this guide were provided by GGU School of Law students. If you find a good housing resource, please share it, and it will be included in the next edition. Call +1-415-442-6501 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by GGU LAW (ISS) to speak with an international student advisor. Our goal is to help make your housing search a positive, productive and successful one!
Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law assumes no responsibility for any contractual services or agreements entered into by users of this student & scholar HOUSING guide. Website, addresses, telephone numbers, agencies, services and transportation are included in the listings; however, users of this guide communicate, contract and do business with individuals, companies or firms strictly at their own risk.
GGU Law does not require students to have health insurance. However, you are strongly encouraged to have coverage throughout law school. Accidents and illnesses can happen, and having insurance can help you keep your focus on your studies and avoid large medical bills. To explore insurance options see the GGU Law Student Guide to Finding Health Insurance.
Admitted GGU law students may now complete online waiver using ISO insurance at the GGU Law Health Insurance WAIVER ONLINE:
Try to become familiar with the plan provisions and refer to it before obtaining health care coverage in the US. As with any health insurance benefit program, there are limitation and exclusions with which you should become familiar.
It is advisable to seek US health insurance that offers the following coverage at or above the following:
- The policy has a low annual deductible ($150-500 USD) per year.
- Understand whether your insurance offers "per incident: deductibles.
- Policy covers at least $100,000 USD per injury or sickness.
- Benefits are payable at least 70% within the provider network.
HEALTH INSURANCE (MEDICAL) RESOURCES
US HEALTH INSURANCE DICTIONARY - This Insurance Dictionary provides a general explanation of commonly used insurance terms. Please refer to the specific brochures (GGU Kaiser, ISOA, GGU Aetna) for the definitions applicable to the insurance plans.
Overview of the US Health Care System, discusses insurance requirements for the F and J nonimmigrant visa categories, describes health insurance options, introduces factors related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: http://www.nafsa.org/findresources/Default.aspx?id=35008
Student health insurance plans for international students in the US and for US students going abroad:
Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law assumes no responsibility for any contractual services or agreements entered into by users of this student & scholar HEALTH INSURANCE guide. Website, addresses, telephone numbers, agencies, services and transportation are included in the listings; however, users of this guide communicate, contract and do business with individuals, companies or firms strictly at their own risk.
General Scholarship & Financial Aid Guidelines
- Seek possible financial aid at the offices of sponsored research institutions, international student adviser(s) and financial aid counselor(s), as well as your department bulletin board.
- Contact as many scholarship sources as possible. The list of funds below specifies address and telephone number of most sources. Call or write them and ask that an information kit be mailed to you.
- Pay close attention to all rules and procedures of each source you intend to apply for.
- Most sources have deadlines. Contact them several months in advance of the published deadline. Expect a long waiting period between your application and the onset of funding.
- Work carefully and thoroughly on your curriculum vitae (CV). This is your personal "business card" in the effort to gain funding and assistance.
- Your own government may have financial aid available. Usually this support requires that you return home directly after your education is complete.
- Some US schools have direct exchange programs with their counterparts in foreign countries. Such exchange programs often include financial aid for the international student. To find out about these programs, ask your local university.
- There may also be private organizations in your home country that provide support for study in the US. Most major universities will have information available.
- Fulbright scholarships are awarded to approximately 4,700 students worldwide each year. For information about the Fulbright Program, contact the US Embassy or Consulate in your country or the IIE directly (see below).
- Avoid Scholarship Scams: Scholarships are a great way for international students to obtain financial aid that is, essentially free, as you would never need to pay a scholarship back. For this reason scholarships are very popular, and there are some companies/ individuals that will prey on students eagerness to obtain a scholarship to scam them out of money. The best way to guard yourself from a scholarship scam is to know what the main scams are and how they work.
Disclaimer: This scholarship and financial aid information is provided for the convenience and benefit of international applicants to the Golden Gate University School of Law. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. GGU and the law school have no connection with the organizations and institutions listed below. GGU is not responsible for, and cannot guarantee the accuracy of, the information provided, or availability of funds from any source. Applicants are directed to verify the information with, and apply directly to, appropriate institutions. In many cases, the application process may take many months, so plan accordingly.
(NEW) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES
* Funding for US Study Onlineis an extensive database of scholarships, fellowships and grants organized and maintained by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Funding for US Study includes all types of funding programs, for all levels of post-secondary study, across the full range of academic areas.
* The International Scholarship Search is the premier financial aid, college scholarship and international scholarship resource for students wishing to study abroad. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information to assist college and university students in their pursuit to study abroad.
* If you are interested in participating in an LLM program in the United States, you will be pleased to know that there are a wide variety of LLM scholarships for international and American students at (LLMinfo.com)
* The International Financial Aid Center offers financial aid, college scholarships, grants and awards search for international students studying abroad (IEFA)
* SIMPLETUITION.com: Of the nearly 20 million people that attend college in the United States, about 60 percent borrow money to help pay the tab, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Since more than half of all students are borrowing money, you might think that most students understand the wide variety of options there are for financing a college education, and that students would know what to expect when repayment eventually comes around. However, a remarkable number of students remain confused about their options and the procedures they should follow to get the most out of their money. This article should help explain the financial aid landscape and a student’s financing options.
Students must be US citizens or permanent residents to be eligible to apply for US federal student loan programs. However, there are private financial institutions and organizations offering loans to non-US citizens/non-US residents. Review and consider the terms and qualifying criteria before applying. Golden Gate University School of Law has no affiliation nor do we endorse any of these loan programs.
- Access Group - Non-profit student loan partner. Two loan programs available to non-US Citizens: One for credit eligible borrowers, the other for those with a credit worthy borrower.
- Canadian Higher Education Loan Program (CanHelp) - Developed in 1998 to allow students from Canada to fund their education abroad in the US.
- Canada RBC Royal Bank - Financing options for college or university, a Royal Credit Line for Students features attractive interest rates.
- Chase Bank - If you are interested in a Chase Select Private Student Loan, and are a US citizen or permanent resident or an international student with a valid Social Security Number attending a US university applying with a qualified US cosigner call 1-866-306-0868. Chase Bank
- Citibank - Whether you're looking to finance an undergraduate or a graduate education, or even grades K-12, Citibank offers competitively priced loans that can help.
- Citibank Japan - Yen based student loans for Japanese students attending school in the US
- Germany. BVA Internet - Euro based student loans for German students attending school in the US: Germany BVA
- Global Student Loan Corporation - The Global Student Loan - comprehensive education loan for international and distance learning students that does not require a co-signer from another country.
- Ireland. Bank of Ireland - Competitive fixed rates on loans for five years: Bank of Ireland
- India. Canara Bank Loan for Students
Vidyasagar. Loan for payment of course fees, books, housing, and passage expenses (for study abroad).
- Latin America. Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund - A Student Loan Program of the Organization of American States (OAS). One of the eligibility requirements to receive an interest-free student loan is to be a citizen of a Latin American or Caribbean member country of the OAS. See OAS website for list of OAS member countries, loan conditions and loan application forms.
- New Zealand: Inland Revenue (Te Tari Taake). A Student Loan Program of the Government of New Zealand.
- Norway: Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund. Provides student loans and stipends for university education.
- The Student Loans Company (SLC) :The Student Loans Company (SLC) is a UK public sector organization established to provide financial services, in terms of loans and grants, to over one million students annually, in colleges and universities across the four education systems of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Legal Writing Competition Awards
- Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition Award: Presented by New York State Bar Association, International Law and Practice Section. Law students (JD, LLM, SJD candidates) are invited to submit an entry. $2000 prize awarded and publication of article.
- Elder Law Writing Competition: Open to all JD, LLM, SJD students. Topic: any topic regarding issues affecting seniors or people with disabilities. Awards: the first prize winner will receive $1500, and be honored at the annual conference of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA); second prize $1000; third prize $500.
- National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees Writing Competition: Open to all JD, LLM, SJD students. Topic: essay, article or comment on issue concerning Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. Awards: the winning essay will be published in the Quarterly Journal of NACCTT.
- The American Indian Law Review: Open to all JD, LLM, SJD students. Topic: any issue concerning American Indian Law. Topics recently published in the AILR will not be favored. Awards: first place $1000 and publication of paper in American Indian Law Review (AILR); second prize $500; third place $250.
- The California Supreme Court Historical Society Writing Competition: Open to all JD, LLM and SJD students. Topic: Original, unpublished scholarly writing on any aspect of California legal history, ranging from the Supreme Court itself and its justices and decisions to local events of legal historical importance-including biography, significant cases, independent state interpretation, the California Constitution, and reorganization of the court system, as well as areas of law such as criminal law, civil rights, family law, tort liability, environmental law, and taxation-in any time period from 1846 to the present.
- The State Bar of California International Law Section Student Writing Competition: Open to all JD, LLM, SJD students. Topic: Any subject of interest to an international law practitioner. ll winning articles will be published in The California International Law Journal. Awards: $2,000, transportation and one night's lodging to attend a reception at the Cal Bar's International Law Education Institute; second prize $750; third prize $250.
- Trandafir International Business Writing Competition: Open to all JD, LLM and SJD students. Topic: submissions should address a contemporary international business or economic issue with legal nexus. Awards: first place $2000 and article published in an upcoming edition of Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems.
- Warren E. Burger Prize: Open to judges, lawyers, professors, students, scholars and other authors. Topic: one or more aspects of legal excellence, civility, ethics, or professionalism within the legal profession. Awards: The author of the winning submission will receive a cash prize of $5000 and the winning essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review. The Warren E. Burger Prize will be presented to the author at the AIC annual Celebration of Excellence at the United States Supreme Court.
- William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition: Open to all JD, LLM and SJD students. Topic: Any timely and important issue of American criminal constitutional procedure of interest to practitioners of criminal law. Sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA) Criminal Justice Section. Awards: The winner will receive $2000 cash prize and free airfare and accommodations to attend a section meeting at which the award will be presented.
Sources of Scholarships & Financial Available to International Students
The following scholarships are available for international students. Please be sure to read qualifications carefully:
- Asia. The Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA)
An international association of business and commercial lawyers with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. The IPBA is offering a Scholarship for Young Lawyers and a scholarship for Lawyers from Developing Countries. Application Forms for both categories must be returned to the IPBA Secretariat in Tokyo no later than October 31st. Details about the Scholarships including eligibility criteria and Application Forms can be found on the IPBA Website in the IPBA Scholarship section.
- American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Educational Foundation International Fellowships. Information on master's, doctorate, post-doc and professional fellowships. International Fellowships are awarded for full-time study or research to women who are not US citizens or permanent residents. Both graduate and postgraduate studying at accredited institutions are supported.
- American Bar Association International Legal Exchange Program (ILEX)
Through the ILEX Program, the American Bar Association (ABA) certifies international attorneys' eligibility for the J-1 Exchange Visa, in order for international attorneys to come to the US for a training program.
- American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR/ACCELS)
Administering many funds, especially for Eastern European students, in the fields of communication, journalism, education administration, library & information science and public policy.
- American Political Science Association (APSA)
The APSA offers this highly selective, nonpartisan program devoted to expanding knowledge and awareness of Congress. For nine months, select political scientists, journalists, doctors, federal executives and international scholars gain "hands on" understanding of the legislative process by serving on congressional staffs.
- American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF)
Scandinavians House, 58 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-879-9779. E-mail: email@example.com. Awards for graduate Scandinavian students to undertake study or research program in the US. Also awards in ALL fields for advanced study or research in Scandinavia.
- Asian Scholarship Foundation (ASF)
ASF grants are made available to scholars, researchers and professionals who are citizens of and residents in any of the following participating countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Republic of Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Austria. Osterreichische Datenbank (OAD)
The new mobility and research grants database contains grant options for students and researchers both for the incoming (to Austria) and the outgoing (from Austria to ...) group. The update of the data no longer takes place centrally by the OAD but the institutions awarding grants can update their own grants online. This database has been financed by funds of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (bm:bwk) and the EU.
- Belgium. The Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF)
Leading independent philanthropy in the support of exchanging university students, scientists and scholars between the United States and Belgium.
- Brazil. Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Information on scholarships for Brazilian students: CAPES
- Canada. Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)
CFUW Fellowships and Awards Program is an affirmative action program as provided for in the Constitution of Canada. Eligibility for these fellowships and awards is restricted to women.
- Colombia. COLFUTURO
Joint public/private sector initiative aimed at facilitating the access of Colombian professionals to further education abroad. Created as a non-profit organization on November 21, 1991, its mission is to contribute to the entrance of Colombia into a world undergoing globalization offering information about international education and supporting students to have a successful study experience overseas.
- Costa Rica. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Information on scholarships for Costa Rican students. Dirección de Cooperación Internacional (DRI).
- Denmark. Denmark-America Foundation & Fulbright Commission (DAF)
Scholarships for Danes to conduct graduate studies and research in the US Administers Fulbright grants,
- Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC)
The Medals for Outstanding Research on Development carry cash prizes of US $75,000 plus travel expenses to GDN's Annual Global Development Conference in January. Two prize medals-one of US $10,000 plus travel and another of US $5,000 plus travel-will be granted for completed research papers in each of five themes, described below. The Medals will be awarded based upon the degree of innovation and the quality of content. The deadline for submitting the online registration form, abstract, completed paper and CVs of applicants (team members) for the Medals is September 17th. The competition rules and guidelines are described in detail.
- European Science Foundation (ESF)
The social sciences are key to the understanding of many of Europe's societal issues such as the balance between economic growth and impact on the environment. The ESF's Social Sciences Unit aims to advance social sciences on a European level by supporting innovative research ideas and approaches driving from the scientific community.
- Finland. The Finlandia Foundation National (FFN)
Scholarships are available for full-time undergraduate and graduate students of all academic disciplines enrolled in accredited post-secondary schools in the United States and Finland. Candidates must have achieved sophomore or higher status prior to receiving the award and must have maintained a 3.0 GPA. Some of the criteria the FFN Scholarship Committee uses in evaluating applications are: financial need, course of study, citizenship.
- France. Overseas Scholarships for French Students (EGIDE)
Programs for French students and researchers to train abroad.
- Ford Foundation: International Fellowship Program (IFP)
The IFP provides support for up to three years of formal graduate-level study. Fellows will be selected from countries in Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Russia where the foundation maintains active overseas programs.
- The Fulbright Program
Established in 1946, The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. Sponsored by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, The Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.
- Germany. Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DADD)
Association of the institutions of higher education in the Federal Republic of Germany - German Academic Exchange Service. Goal is to promote closer international relations among universities and other institutions of higher educations, especially through the exchange of individual students and scholars.
- Germany. The German-American Fulbright Commission
The Commission administers the Fulbright scholarship program.
- Germany. Stiftung des Duetschen Volkes (SDV)
Scholarships for German doctoral students.
- Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)
Four grants, $4,000-$5,000 each, open only to US citizens, permanent residents and Canadian citizens. Scholarship Committee.
- Greece. Alexandros S. Onassis Foundation (AOF)
Since 1978, the Foundation has established an annual programm of scholarships addressed to Greek graduates of Higher Education Institutions for doctoral and postgraduate studies outside Greece.
- Harvard-Yenching Institute
The Institute is legally and fiscally independent from Harvard University. Established in 1928 to advance higher education in the humanities and social sciences, with an emphasis on culture, in East and Southeast Asia.
- Hillel Foundation
The Hillel Foundation web site provides information about several grants, awards and fellowships for Jewish students.
- Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program (HHH)
Administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), in collaboration with a network of US universities, with primary support from the US Department of State. Brings "accomplished professionals" from designated countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia to the US at a midpoint in their careers for a year of study and related professional experiences: HHH
- India. Inlaks Scholarships Abroad
Open to all Indian citizens who hold a good degree from a recognized university and are resident in India at the time of application.
- India. JN Tata Endowment (Tata)
Scholarships for Indian nationals for higher studies abroad in all disciplines and subjects. Selected scholars may also qualify for gift awards.
- India. The Taraknath Das Foundation (TDF)
Modest student grants are presently limited to Indian graduate students studying in the United States, who have completed or are about to complete one year of graduate work, and are working towards a degree. The competition for these grants, usually three or four or five per year, is fierce and the awardees are excellent and deserving.
- Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
At least five scholarships of $1,000-$5000 each to be awarded to advanced degree candidates in management accounting/financial management related programs. Candidates should be in their senior year or presently enrolled in an advanced degree program when applying for the scholarships. Applicants have to be IMA student members.
- International Science Foundation (ISF) Grants
The International Foundation for Science (IFS) invites young researchers with talent from developing countries to submit research projects. Dealing with biological, chemical or physical processes or on economic and social aspects, these projects must contribute to a better conservation, production and sustainable use of biological resources. IFS
- Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
The Inter-American Development Bank is an international financial institution created in 1959 to help accelerate the economic and social development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank, whose headquarters is in Washington, DC, is today the principal source of external public financing for many countries of the Latin American region. The Bank is owned by its 47 member countries. This year, the IADB is committed to promoting diversity, striving to hire the best candidates from its member countries and foster an environment that best taps their ideas and efforts to enhance the mission of the institution in the region. Fellowship Program awards provide round-trip international transportation to the field research site and a $2,000 monthly stipend covering a maximum period of 12 months. IADB-supported research will be initiated between June 1 of the award year and the following May 31. If the field research takes longer than 12 months, candidates must obtain funds from other sources.
- International Federation of University Women (IFUW)
IFUW and its national affiliates help to build the future by offering fellowships and grants to enable women and girls to achieve their educational goals.
- International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)
IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media and foster pluralistic civil society development. Fellowships for graduate study at the master's level in the following fields: business, economics, law, public administration, education administration, journalism & mass communication and library & information system.
- Israel. The US-Israel Education Foundation
The Commission administers the Fulbright scholarship program.
- Japan. The Japan-US Educational Commission
The Commission administers the Fulbright scholarship program.
- Japan. The College Women's Association of Japan (CWAJ)
International group of women dedicated to encouraging educational and cultural exchange between Japanese-speaking people and English-speaking people of all nationalities.
- Kazakhstan. Bolashak Scholarship
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan's International scholarship scheme is managed by the Centre for International Programs, on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science, Kazakhstan. The Bolashak program is designed to train future leaders in economics, public policy, science, engineering, medicine and other key fields. Upon completion of their programs, scholarship recipients return to Kazakhstan to work in different Kazakhstan companies, governmental structures and international organizations for a period of five years: Bolashak
- Korea Research Foundation (KRF)
Academic support organization. Scholarship for the students in sciences and engineering represents an effort to redress the recent trend of avoiding these disciplines on the post graduate level.
- MacArthur Foundation
Fellows in International Peace & Security. Dissertation and Postdoctoral Fellowship. For graduates and doctors of physical and biological sciences, the social/behavioral sciences, and the humanities.
- Mexico. Consejo Nacional de Cienca y Tecnologia (CONACYT)
Scholarships for Mexican nationals.
- The Mongolia Society
The Mongolia Society was founded in late 1961 as a private, non-profit, non-political organization interested in promoting and furthering the study of Mongolia, its history, language, and culture. The aims of the Society are exclusively scholarly, educational, and charitable.
- National Organization for Women (NOW)
The Legal Defense and Education Fund is an effort to bring about equality for all women and girls in the workplace, the family, and the courts through legal, education, advocacy, and public information programs.
- National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
The NIJ's Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides dissertation research support to outstanding doctoral students undertaking independent research on issues in the criminal justice field.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
The Science for Peace and Security Programme offers grants to scientists in NATO, Partner and Mediterranean Dialogue countries to collaborate on priority research areas.
- Norway. The Norway American Association (NAA)
Stipends ranging from $2000-20000 to Norwegian students for graduate study in the US.
- Organization of American States (OAS)
Fellowships (and loan programs) are awarded to carry out graduate studies in a field promoting the economic, social, scientific and cultural development of the member states. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of an OAS county (mostly South American countries).
- PEO International Peace Scholarship Fund
Grants for women from other countries for graduate study in the United States and Canada.
- Roma Education Fund (REF)
The goal of the Roma Education Fund is to contribute to closing the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma, through policies and programs to support quality education for Roma including desegregation of educational systems.
- Resources for the Future (RFF)
A variety of professional internships and academic fellowships and internships about environmental issues.
- The Royal Society
The Society's main objective for its innovation work is exploring and promoting the contribution to economic development played by the science base, and the ways that new ideas are translated into new products, services or better production or delivery arrangements. The main focus is on UK and European policy developments and comparisons with other countries and groupings outside Europe.
- Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF)
Scholars from any country and any discipline may apply for fellowships to support temporary stays at institutions worldwide. The Institute of International Education SRF Selection Committee reviews applications and awards fellowships to scholars under threat. Awards are made to host institutions to support a specific scholar and are matched in-full or in-kind by host institutions. Scholars work in safety at the host institution - teaching, lecturing, researching and publishing. During the fellowship, conditions in a scholar's home country may improve, permitting safe return; if safe return is not possible, the scholar may use the fellowship period to identify a longer-term opportunity.
- Social Science Research Council (SSRC)
Fellowship and grant programs provide support and professional recognition to innovators within fields, and especially to younger researchers whose work and ideas will have longer-term impact on society and scholarship. The Social Science Research Council is an independent, nonprofit international organization founded in 1923. It nurtures new generations of social scientists, fosters innovative research, and mobilizes necessary knowledge on important public issues.
- Sweden. Sweden-America Foundation (SAF)
Fellowships for Masters and Doctorate studies to Swedish students for study in the US and Canada.
- Sweden. Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
Independent arena for exchange of knowledge. By initiating and stimulating contacts between experts from different disciplines and countries the Academy promotes cross fertilization between industry, academia, public administration and various interest groups.
- Thailand. Royal Thai Government Scholarships Open
to Thai students, under the age of 35, studying international law. Must commit service to the Thai Revenue Department, Ministry of Finance.
- United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
The Grant and Fellowship Program expands the work of the Institute by investing in individuals, universities, nonprofit organizations and civil society organizations around the world. The program supports innovative projects, involving academic and applied research, the identification of promising models and effective practices, and the development of practitioner resources, tools, and training programs related to conflict management, international peace and security and peace-building. USIP fellowships support the work of outstanding scholars, policy makers, journalists, and other practitioners. In addition, the program supports doctoral studies writing dissertations related to the Institutes's mission.
- Wellcome Trust (Wellcome)
The Wellcome Trust funds a wide range of activities for health-related research conducted outside the UK.
- Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Since 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has supported outstanding individuals and institutions to help reshape American education. The Woodrow Wilson Fellows include 13 Nobel Laureates, 35 MacArthur Fellows, 11 Pulitzer Prize winners, two Fields Medalists-and thousands of everyday heroes, in and beyond the classroom.
- World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program
Open to students from World Bank Countries under the age of 40.
Scholarship & Financial Aid resources online
This list is based upon the most current data available. Be advised that these awards may have increased, decreased, or eliminated without notice. Application deadlines may change as well. There are free and subscription searches on the Internet. Before using a scholarship search service that charges a fee, please review the following consumer-oriented websites: FinAid and FTC.
- College Board
Free scholarship search will find potential opportunities from our database of more than 2,300 sources of college funding, totalling nearly $3 BILLION (USD) in available aid.
- International Education Financial Aid (IEFA)
The scholarship search is the premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for international students wishing to study in a foreign country. See website for listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs.
- International Student Exchange and Study Abroad Resource Center (ISESARC)
Programs are available for graduate and undergraduate students anywhere in the world. Including International students and US study abroad students.
- International Scholarship Search Center (ISSC)
It is the premier financial aid and scholarship resource for international students wishing to study abroad. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information to assist college and university students in their pursuit to study abroad.
- Scholarship Search
A very powerful scholarship search engine.
A good website about sources and tips on obtaining financial aid.
Scholarship & Financial Aid Publications
- IIE, Funding for US Study - A Guide for Foreign Nationals
This publication lists more than 600 sources of funding for international students (mostly for graduate and postdoctoral programs). It is published by the Institute for International Education.
- College Board, International Student Handbook for Undergraduate and Graduate Students
This book provides information about college - specific financial aid for international students, among other topics.
- Phyllis Edelson, Foundation Grants to Individuals
This book is published by the Foundation Center, and includes some scholarships and fellowships available to international students. You can order the book from Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003. Call toll-free 800-424-9836. (Monday - Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.) Order this book online at the Foundation Center.
- W. Wickremasinghe, Scholarships and Grants for Study or Research in the USA, 3rd edition
American Collegiate Service, Houston, TX, 1996
You can order the book from American Collegiate Service, P.O. Box 442008, Houston, TX 77244. This book contains a compilation of financial aid opportunities available from colleges, US foundations, and international organizations. The book is available at Amazon and other online bookstores.
Golden Gate University School of Law
Graduate Law Programs
536 Mission Street, Suite 3300
San Francisco, California, 94105-2968 USA
Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member in good standing of the Association of American Law School (AALS). GGU is a member of The Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers (ETL) Consortium of 28 leading American Bar Association (ABA) Law Schools (Including Cornell, CUNY, Georgetown, NYU, and USC) committed to innovative legal education in the spirit of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.