We are excited to announce that the American Institute of Alternative Medicine has been approved to accept International Students for the Master Degree (MA) in Acupuncture through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and we are accepting applications for start dates as early as Fall 2018!

The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) is fortunate to have a very culturally diverse student body. Our multitude of backgrounds enriches who we are and creates a welcoming, strong, and supportive community.  People from North America, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere call AIAM home, and we hope you will soon, too.

All courses are taught in English. Applicants from non-English speaking countries may be required to demonstrate competency in the English skills needed for success by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam (see “English Proficiency” below). AIAM’s TOEFL code is 9250. 

The American Institute of Alternative Medicine is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students who meet our general admissions requirements and who comply with all federal guidelines under the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

In addition to the standard Acupuncture admissions and application process, International students need to submit the following:

  • Official Academic transcripts translated into English
  • A comprehensive course-by-course evaluation by an academic credential evaluation service that is a member of NACES
  • Demonstration of English proficiency (see English Proficiency, below)
  • In addition to the regular application fee of $100, a non-refundable application fee of $150 (total of $250) is required for processing of the International student application
  • An I-20 Request Form with a photocopy of your passport
  • Evidence of financial resources sufficient to complete the academic program

English Proficiency

  • If English is not your first language, you must take an exam and achieve the required scores in order to show English language proficiency. The most recognized test is the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language). The minimum requirement for our International Students is a score of 79 on the internet-based (iBT) TOEFL, including a minimum speaking exam score of 26 and a listening exam score of 22, or a score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL. Either must have been taken no more than two years prior to the date of application.
  • For test scores to be considered in the placement round which begins February 15th, you should take the TOEFL test before December 31 of the previous year.
  • For September 1st consideration, you should take the test by July 15. Late submission of the TOEFL score limits your chances of placement.
  • An official copy of your test results should be sent directly to the ISEP office from ETS (Educational Testing Service). If you are taking the computer-based test, choose “Arlington” and “ISEP” on your computer test. If you are taking the paper test, list the ISEP TOEFL number for AIAM (9250) on the TOEFL answer sheet.
  • For details about TOEFL, please visit toefl.org

TOEFL Exceptions

There are some cases where you may not be required to take the TOEFL and a waiver may be issued. Please speak to your AIAM Admissions Enrollment Coach if you feel you qualify for a waiver.

Waiving the requirement is done on a case by case basis and the AIAM SEVIS Representative or Admissions Office may require a TOEFL exam from any student at any time. The TOEFL exam may be considered for a waiver for the following reasons:

  • You have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher from an institution in the U.S., recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
  • You have attended a U.S. high school for four years or in one of the TOEFL exempt countries (listed below) and have an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 560 or higher (21 ACT English subscore)
  • Your SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score is 660 or higher (27 ACT English subscore), regardless of where you are attending or have attended secondary school

TOEFL-exempt Countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Commonwealth of the Caribbean select countries:
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Bermuda
    • British Virgin Islands (Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis)
    • Cayman Islands
    • Dominica
    • Grand Turks and Caicos Islands
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • Saint Lucia
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom

Source: List recommended by presenters at AACRAO international credential evaluation conference.

Foreign Transcripts

In addition to providing translated versions of official academic transcripts to AIAM, applicants must have all foreign academic transcripts evaluated by a NACES-member credential evaluation service. Here are four credential evaluation services for your consideration. We encourage you to look into each and see which works best for your circumstances.

  1. World Education Services (WES)
  2. International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
  3. A2Z Evaluations
  4. Global Credential Evaluators (GCE)

Besides your official evaluation, you will need two to four (2 – 4) copies of your official transcripts from your foreign university (as outlined below). For some countries/schools, the process of requesting official transcripts can be quite difficult, so we try to make sure students with an international academic background are made aware of this ahead of time and can prepare accordingly.

One (1) sent to the credential evaluation service for its evaluation (as chosen above in Foreign Transcripts)

One (1) sent directly to AIAM:  American Institute of Alternative Medicine, Attn: SEVIS Representative, 6685 Doubletree Ave., Columbus, OH 43229 USA

One (1) sent to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for your application to take the national NCCAOM Certification Examination which is accepted by 43 other U.S. states (post-graduation and only if you intend to take the NCCAOM exam)

There is always the possibility that you will need another transcript for a state medical board, or some other governing body where you will be employed after your degree is finished. Please plan for these ahead as transcripts can be difficult to obtain when you are outside your country of origin.

International Student Visas (F-1 Visa)

The F-1 Visa is a non-immigrant student visa that allows foreign students to pursue an education in the United States.

Foreign students are expected to comply with all regulations of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in addition to the regulations of AIAM.

A foreign applicant who wishes to accept an offer of admission to AIAM must commit to full-time enrollment by submitting a deposit of $2,000 (applied to first quarter tuition), payable in U.S. dollars, within 30 days of notification of acceptance.

An I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for an F-1 Student Visa will be issued to the foreign student after AIAM receives the commitment deposit and the Request for I-20 form.

International students must bring their I-20 to their interview, along with their certificate of finances and proof of payment of your SEVIS I-901 fee. Information on how to pay the SEVIS fee can be found here.

The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service require that all F-1 students maintain a full-time program of study.

The American Institute of Alternative Medicine requires 14 units per quarter, regular class attendance, and a satisfactory progress towards completion of the degree objective.

Students who wish to enroll must declare their intent to study at The American Institute of Alternative Medicine to the INS before leaving their home country and should not expect to change visa status after arrival in the United States The American Institute of Alternative Medicine cannot offer legal assistance to anyone attempting to change visa status.

If you have additional questions about Student Visas, please find more information on the U.S. Department of State website.

Next Steps:

After you receive your I-20 document, go to a U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy office in your home country and apply for an F1 Student Visa to enter the United States. The application process varies from country to country and can take from one day to many weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead.

If you have dependents, they will need F2 Visas in order to accompany you while you study at AIAM.

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