Joining University of Western States means becoming part of a community of students from all over the world.
Before You Arrive
To take your first step toward joining our university, please choose an option below:
International Student Advisors
The Designated School Official (DSO) will be your biggest resource at UWS when it comes to international student information. Click the photo to learn more about the university’s DSO and how to contact her.
We invite you to contact the DSO directly to find out more about becoming a part of University of Western States!
Candidates whose education has been completed outside of the United States or Canada must have their credentials evaluated by a NACES-affiliated international education evaluation service, such as WES, and a course-by-course analysis is required. Results should be sent directly to the UWS office of admissions.
TOEFL Score of 80 or Above
Prospective students for whom English is not their native language must provide proof of adequate English language skills. UWS expects a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). In places where TOEFL iBT testing is not possible, a paper-based version of the test is available. TOEFL scores may be reported directly to UWS using institutional code number 4979.
Learn more about the admissions process at UWS.
Financial Aid for International Students
Canadian Student Aid
Students are eligible to apply for aid from Canada while attending University of Western States. Interested students will need to contact specific provinces to identify the appropriate application to qualify for federal and/or provincial financial aid.
Canadian students apply for student aid each year by completing an application online through the student financial assistance website of your home province or territory. Application forms should be submitted by March 1 of each year for priority processing. In addition, some Canadian students elect to access a student line of credit from a Canadian bank. Some lending institutions may offer loan funding specifically for your program of study.
A number of UWS students have worked with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). A CIBC Professional Edge Student personal line of credit may help ease the financial burden. Vancouver CIBC advisors are able to work directly with students, or refer business to another CIBC Banking Centre based on the student’s preferred location. Find more information here.
Aid for Other Countries
Non-Canadian countries may also have financial aid available for study at UWS, which usually requires the recipient to return home after the education is complete. Contact the cultural section of your embassy or ministry of education for more information since there are some awards that require governmental nomination. Additional sources of financial aid for international students to study in the U.S. may be private organizations in your country such as, businesses, foundations and religious groups.
F-1 Visa Process
Student Visa/I-20 Document
International students, including Canadian students, must meet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines in order to enter the United States under F-1 student status.
International students who have been offered acceptance into a UWS on-campus program will receive the I-20 forms from the UWS office of admissions. The I-20 is an official document required for all international students in order to apply for an F-1 student visa and to enter into the United States. These forms need to be completed and returned to UWS via express, regular mail or courier along with evidence of financial support equivalent to the cost of one academic year at UWS. This final cost includes tuition, books, fees, housing and miscellaneous costs.
Proof of financial support may be demonstrated through a combination of any of the following:
- Original bank statement or a letter on bank letterhead.
- Original letter from a bank showing a line of credit.
- Original scholarship award letter.
- National government or provincial aid loan and grant award letters.
- Original bank account statement of a parent or sponsor.*
* Students who show the Proof of Funding through a parent or sponsor must include a completed parent or sponsor form with notarization along with their I-20 application.
Upon receipt of the completed I-20 forms, financial documentation and full acceptance to the program, UWS will issue an I-20 for the student and mail it to their home address.
After the I-20 document is issued, all foreign students applying for F-1 status are required to pay a SEVIS fee of $350 USD and print the receipt. This fee is paid directly to the U.S. government, not UWS. Proof of payment is required before going to the U.S. consulate for a visa interview and is also required when crossing the border into the United States. Please note that Canadian citizens do not need to visit a consulate for an interview or to obtain a student visa.
USCIS regulations allow F-1 students to enter the United States with an issued I-20 document and SEVIS payment receipt within 30 days of the first day of classes.
All international students in valid F-1 student status are granted certain privileges and are subject to certain federal requirements and restrictions on activities. It is the student’s responsibility to understand these regulations and to maintain student status.
For more information, please visit the Study in the States website.
UWS does not offer on-campus housing, however, the office of student services helps provide students with housing resources in Portland and surrounding areas near the university.
Our campus is located in a quiet residential neighborhood only 20 minutes from downtown Portland and near public transportation. We are a small campus in terms of students, but there are multiple on-campus facilities available, including a gym, cafeteria, coffee shop and health clinic.
Find more about community housing opportunities and Portland neighborhoods on our housing page.
Opening a Bank Account
Bank Customer Identification Programs (CIP)
U.S. financial institutions are required to verify the identity of every individual who opens a bank account. In compliance with federal regulations, all banks operating in the U.S. have established Customer Identification Programs (CIP) for anyone who seeks to open an account. The information that the banks must obtain from international students before opening an account are:
- Date of birth
- Street address – not P.O. Box
- An identification number**
**The identification number may be one or more of the following:
- Taxpayer identification number
- Passport number and country of issuance
- Alien identification card number
- Number and country of issuance of any other government-issued document evidencing nationality or residence and bearing a photograph or similar safeguard
It is important to remember that banks establish their own customer identification programs and may ask for additional documentation than what is described above.
Documents to bring to open an account:
- Unexpired passport
- I-94 card
- Any secondary form of identification
- Letter from your DSO
Your admissions advisor may provide you with a letter to the bank confirming your status at University of Western States and asking for their assistance in opening your account.
Taxpayer Identification Numbers
Banks are required to report any earnings you receive on interest earned on your account. For this reason, bank representatives will ask for a taxpayer identification number, such as the Social Security Number (SSN) issued to those who work or the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service to those individuals who are not eligible for a SSN. Although the banks prefer that you already have one of these numbers, you can still open a bank account if you do not have one.
If students are eligible for a SSN, it is recommended to apply for one as soon as possible. Additionally, international students are eligible for a SSN if they have a work-related, nonimmigrant status such as H-1B, TN, R-1, J-1, or are an F-1 student approved for curricular practical training, optional practical training or have secured on-campus employment. If students have applied for the SSN before opening a bank account, they should take a copy of the receipt notice. The receipt notice may serve as additional documentation that can help establish identity. As soon as a student receives a SSN, they should inform the bank.
If students are not eligible for a SSN, apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and once it is assigned, inform the bank of this number.
F-1 students who are not employed are not eligible for a SSN and must apply for an ITIN through the IRS instead.
ITIN application procedures require that students present evidence of ownership of an interest-bearing bank account. Students cannot obtain an ITIN until establishing a bank account.
After submitting the ITIN application, it will take the IRS approximately four to six weeks to assign a number. If the bank account does not pay any interest, then students must wait to file for the ITIN when filing the required tax forms in April. Visit the IRS website for more information.
All University of Western States students receive free chiropractic care and discounted health and counseling services including counseling, diagnostic imaging, labs and more.
Health coverage for Canadian students is typically secured through each province and UWS admissions advisors recommend talking with insurance carriers about a rider. For those seeking coverage outside of current plans, it is possible to purchase travel insurance through auto insurance plans.
All International Students
For those interested in acquiring insurance directly, many companies offer international student coverage such as Compass Benefits Group. Reputable companies are typically part of the International Association of Student Insurance Services (IASIS).
Also, Oregon has on-demand health care clinics that offer fixed rate services regardless of insurance coverage and some locations offer emergency room services.
University of Western States has partnered with Flywire in order to streamline the process of international payments. Flywire allows you to pay securely from any country and any bank, generally in your home currency.
By making a payment through Flywire you can:
- Track your payments from start to finish
- Save on bank fees and exchange rates
- Contact their multilingual customer support team with any questions, day or night.
Once You are a Student on Campus
Maintaining F-1 Status
All foreign nationals in valid F-1 nonimmigrant student status are granted certain privileges and are subject to certain federal requirements and restrictions on their activities. You are responsible for understanding and maintaining your student status. If you fail to comply with your immigration responsibilities, you may lose your student status and thus, not be eligible for the benefits normally granted to F-1 students. Specific consequences may include denial of re-entry to the U.S., denial of requests for practical training, denial of requests to change visa status, deportation or possible denial of all future visa applications.
You have the right to obtain information, forms, counseling and assistance from the Designated School Official (DSO) at University of Western States.
Responsibilities for international students are as follows:
- F-1 students must pursue a “full course of study.” Students are required to be enrolled full-time (full-time enrollment at UWS is a minimum of nine credits per quarter) and must attend classes, except during official breaks (e.g. breaks between quarters and summer quarter when optional).
- Students must also make normal progress toward completion of their program of study, in particular, by completing studies by the end date indicated on the I-20 document. Students must apply in advance for an extension of their I-20 if they will not graduate on time.
- Students should keep I-20s valid by ensuring that they are signed every 10-12 months and are correctly endorsed for work or Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT is an optional program allowing F-1 students to work up to twelve months in the U.S. after completing your degree.
- International students must ensure that their passport is valid at all times.
- F-1 students are admitted to the U.S. for “a specific educational or professional objective.”
- Initially, students are issued an I-20 for one program only. Any F-1 student who later decides to apply for an additional or concurrent program may need to update their I-20 to reflect the additional program of study.
- F-1 students have a 60-day grace period to leave the U.S. after completing their program of study unless they have applied for OPT or a change of visa status.
- Students who withdraw from the program with pre-approval from the DSO have 15 days to depart the United States. Students who drop out of the program without pre-authorization must leave the United States within 24 hours.
- The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services requires F-1 students to report a change of address within 10 days of moving. Failure to do so is a violation of status. Change of address forms are available at the admissions front desk.
- All international students must also abide by rules requiring disclosure of information and should not engage in criminal activities.
- F-1 students cannot work off campus unless they have obtained permission from the U.S. government. F-1 students are permitted to work on campus with DSO approval. F-2 dependents are not permitted to work under any circumstances and may only study part-time.
- International students should submit a U.S. tax form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ every year by April 15, unless no income has been earned.*
*Form 8843 must be submitted regardless of income earned. Please see the Internal Revenue Service website for Non-Resident tax instructions and forms.
- International students should obtain health and accident insurance for the duration of their stay. Please make sure that your policy includes coverage for transportation back to your home country in cases of serious injury or illness.
- A United States social security number (SSN) is not required of foreign nationals by U.S. banking institutions or utility service companies, but please ask for a waiver of this requirement when opening an account. An SSN can only be obtained after securing permission to work in the U.S. through the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and upon offer of employment.
- Canadian students do not need an Oregon driver’s license to drive in the U.S. However, students must have car insurance through their residency in the U.S. The following items should be kept in the vehicle at all times: vehicle registration information, proof of current insurance (including company name and policy number), a valid driver’s license and a current copy of an authorized I-20 document.
International students under F-1 visa status are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week.
On-campus positions that are open to international students include student tutor, admissions assistant, continuing education assistant, operations assistant and media services assistant.
Upon being offered an on-campus position, students will need to apply for a SSN. Please connect with a university DSO to start the process.
All international students must file IRS form 8843
U.S. tax forms are required to be filed prior to April 15 each year for the prior calendar year. If students begin studies at UWS in January, yet enter the U.S. on F-1 status in December of the prior year, they must fill out form 8843 to ‘exclude days of presence’ so to not be considered U.S. residents for tax purposes. For a printable version of IRS form 8843, please visit the IRS website. Directions for completing the form are located on the last page; typically students will only need to fill out sections #1 and #3.
If you have earned income in the U.S. in the last year, you must file a U.S. federal tax return.
The majority of American states also impose a state income tax. The tax imposed by the state is completely separate from the tax imposed by the U.S. federal government. International students who have lived in the United States for five years or less will file tax returns with both the U.S. and state of residence as a nonresident. The proper forms for a nonresident have the letters NR at the end of the form number (ex. IRS form 1040NR). The deadline for submission is April 15 each year. Instructions and forms can be found on the Internal Revenue Service website and State of Oregon.
For Canadian taxes you’ll want to include form TL11A Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate – University Outside Canada.
To complete this form, you’ll need to visit the registrar and the business office. Students that fill out the form while off campus may fax it to the registrar and the business office at:
Registrar Fax Number: 503-251-5731
Business Office Fax Number: 503-251-5723
For more information, visit the Canadian Revenue Agency website.
Doctor of Chiropractic Program Specific Information
Since 1904, UWS has provided exceptional academic and clinical preparation for chiropractic students seeking to practice locally or abroad. The Doctor of Chiropractic program is entirely on-campus and includes 25 percent international students from countries such as, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Japan, Mongolia and Brazil.
- The chiropractic profession is recognized worldwide.
- Approximately one-fourth of UWS chiropractic students come from outside the United States, primarily from Canada.
- Our diverse student body includes individuals from India, Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Iran.
- UWS students score among the highest on both the U.S. and Canadian chiropractic board exams that are required for licensure.
- Students may complete a pre-approved 12th quarter clinical internship anywhere in the U.S. or abroad.
- Outside the U.S. and Canada, chiropractic is regulated by legislation in many countries, including Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Cyprus, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
- Our chiropractic alumni have clinics all around the world, and through our alumni mentor network, we can get you connected as early as your first day on campus.
UWS International Aid
International DC Student Grant
University of Western States offers a $1,000 USD per term grant to all international students enrolling full time in the Doctor of Chiropractic program. To remain eligible, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA while enrolled in the Doctor of Chiropractic program. The grant is valid for the duration of the program.
DC Canadian Exchange Rate Scholarship
International students from Canada enrolled in the doctor of chiropractic (DC) program are also eligible for the DC Canadian Exchange Rate Scholarship. The international grant and DC Canadian Exchange Rate Scholarship combined will provide a maximum of a 20 percent tuition reduction to eligible students maintaining a 2.5 cumulative GPA. The DC Canadian Exchange Rate Scholarship is subject to modification based on quarterly reviews of the United States and Canadian exchange rate.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) provides students an opportunity to work in the United States for up to 12 months after graduation. It is not required for international students to apply for OPT, but recommended to work with a DSO if individuals are considering the possibility of staying in the states to work.
If students are interested in applying for OPT, please see a university DSO. Application processing times are approximately two-three months long.
National Board Performance (NBCE) and Licensure
Because many international students do not plan to practice in the U.S., they typically elect NOT to take all four NBCE exams because the exams are not required for licensure in their home country. View UWS NBCE board scores here.
The Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board (CCEB) conducts competency exams for individuals seeking licensure to practice chiropractic in Canada. Visit the CCEB website for more information.
Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards
International Chiropractic Associations