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International Accelerator Program

  • Student meeting with a professor

Before you Arrive

Congratulations and welcome to USC IAP! Soon you’ll be on the exciting University of South Carolina campus. Before you arrive, complete the steps below to avoid common issues and delays for international students. If you have any questions, contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

Complete Your Pre-Arrival Checklist

 You should apply for your visa as soon as possible. It requires an interview with the U.S. embassy and can sometimes take several weeks to schedule.

Please visit to learn more about scheduling your visa appointment. The website also has information on what to expect and the documentation you will need to take with you for your interview. Here are other links that might be helpful to you: visa photo requirements, visa application and I-901 Fee and study in the states.

Check out two videos below that will help you on how to apply and prepare for your visa interview.

Download this useful Immigration Guide to help you learn more about the process for getting your F-1 visa.

On-campus check-in is mandatory for all new IAP students. You will need to check-in with IAP and go through orientation first before you can register for classes.
Check-in location: 1705 College Street, William Close Building, lobby, Columbia, SC 29201
Summer 2023:
  • Academic English Students: On-campus check-in is between 9am-4pm on May 16, 2023.
  • EAP, AAP, ID Students: On-campus check-in is between 9am-4pm on May 23, 2023.
Sign-up for Summer 2023 Pre-Arrival Webinar (Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023, at 7:30 AM Eastern Time). If the time doesn’t work for you, make sure to still sign-up to receive the link to the recording of the webinar.

Making your payment in full two weeks before you arrive will help avoid delays with enrollment.

  • Flywire by Peer Transfer: Please visit UofSC’s flywire portal to complete the transfer process. Please note that you cannot use a U.S. credit card or U.S. bank account.
  • Please be aware that if you do not pay your balance as indicated on your statement of fees by the payment deadline, the following may occur:
    • Late payment fees may be charged.
    • You may have your scholarship and/or waivers rescinded. In such cases, you will be responsible for the full cost of your program.
    • You may encounter delays or other issues enrolling and registering for classes.

1. Sign up for the multi-factor authentication using the instructions

2. Watch this video and learn how to sign up for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

3. Learn how to log into your USC email: 

After setting up MFA, fill out this form to submit your account information to the IAP team. 

All incoming UofSC undergraduate freshmen are required to take a math placement test prior to arrival. Failure to take the math placement test prior to arrival may result in students not being able to register for courses.

Please follow the steps below carefully to access your USC Math Assessment Prerequisites:

    1. On a computer or a laptop, go to, log in with your VIP ID and password.
    2. Click “Courses” on the left.
    3. Find a course named “Mathematics Assessment of Prerequisites” or “MAP”. Click on that course.
    4. Look at the menu on the left, make sure to follow the steps and complete your Math Assessment (picture below).
    5. If you have trouble logging in or trouble singing into your Blackboard, please contact IAP Student Service

Math test

 All incoming International Accelerator students, except AE and AE-MAP students, are required to complete an English Placement Test prior to the orientation start date, in order to ensure that you are placed in the correct program. Failure to complete the test in time will result in students not being able to register for classes during orientation.
Online English Proficiency Test (iTEP) instructions for Summer 2023 will be sent to students’ USC email on April 19, 2023. Once the test is sent out, students have 10 days to complete the test. 
Please contact USC Student Services ( if you run into any issues. This practice test will help you to get familiar with the test.
Academic English (AE) and Academic English MAP (AE-MAP) students will not receive the ITEP test through email, and will only receive their English placement test after arriving on campus during orientation.

All students must bring the following official documents to campus:

Official academic transcripts, sealed in an envelope

Original diploma

If any documentation isn't in English, then an English translation of official credentials is required

 For graduate students only: 

1. The following score reports must be sent directly from the testing company to UofSC Grad School:

  • TOEFL/IELTS/proof of English proficiency
  • GRE (if required by program)
  • ETS institution code 5818 (GRE and TOEFL)

2. Academic transcripts and certificate showing proof degree sent directly from all universities attended to UofSC Grad School. World Education Services (WES) may send ICAP-certified documents.

If you would like to submit transcripts by mail, please send the documents to:

The Graduate School
University of South Carolina
1705 College Street, Suite 552, Columbia, South Carolina 29208

We also accept electronic transcripts (Clearinghouse, EScript, Parchment)

While sending your electronic transcript, choose the option specifically for University of South Carolina Graduate School:

International Students

You should not mail your personal, original transcripts. Request that your university send certified copies or bring your original transcripts when you arrive on campus. 

Once you purchase your plane tickets, please submit your flight information so we know when to pick you up from the airport. You need to submit your flight information even if you do not need a pickup service from USC, so we know when to expect you on campus.

    1. All pick-up requests need to be submitted at least two weeks before the pickup date.
    2. If you arrive earlier than your move-in date, you will be responsible for booking your own hotel until you can move in to your dormitory. The airport pickup service will be able to take you to the hotel you book.
    3. Airport pickup service is a one-time service, so if you are taken to a hotel you booked, you will need to find transportation to come to campus for dormitory check-in. We recommend asking the hotel staff to help you book an Uber.
    4. Students will receive a confirmation email with contact information of their driver within 24-48 hours of their pickup request date.
    5. If there is any issue, students can reach out to the IAP emergency number 803-881-9362. 

  1. Download, print, and complete the mandatory Health and Immunization Form and International Student Form prior to your arrival, as required by law, and bring it with you to campus.
  2. When you arrive on campus, you must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of your entry in the U.S.
    • For example, if I left India on January 1, but I entered the US on January 10, I need to provide a negative COVID test result between the dates of January 7-10.
  3. Before you leave your country, upload your proof of COVID vaccination onto MyHealthSpace.
  • Log in using your Network ID and password.
  • If you don't know your network ID, log into and click 'Account Update Settings'. Once you log in, you'll be able to see your network ID.
  • Once logged onto MyHealthSpace, click on 'Medical Clearances', then click 'COVID Test/Vaccine Upload’.
  • The vaccine you received must be a WHO-approved vaccine.
  • If the type of vaccine you received is not on the website, simply upload a picture of your proof of COVID vaccination by clicking 'Upload' and leave the rest blank.
  • You will receive additional COVID testing during on-campus orientation.

There are many things to consider when preparing for university, let alone moving to a new country! To make your transition to the US easier, we’ve put together a list of everyday necessities.

Set up a US Bank Account

In collaboration with Shorelight, Ellis helps international students apply for a US bank account and international Visa debit card. With a US bank account already set up, you won’t have to worry about paying foreign transaction fees, carrying cash with you or delaying the purchase of important items. Plus, it only takes 5 mins to sign up!

Ellis Debit Cards Offer:

  • No monthly fees
  • No SSN required
  • Withdraw money with no fees at 60,000+ in-network Allpoint ATMs
  • Compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Bank-grade encryption account protection, all transactions verified through Visa’s fraud algorithm
  • FDIC-insured accounts up to $250,000

Sign up here and get everything you need, all in one place.


Get a US SIM Card – Before you Leave Home

Sign up for a US phone plan before leaving your home country. This means that you will be able to use your cell phone the minute you land in the USA – no wi-fi or high daily rates required. Plus, it only takes 5 mins to sign up!

Ellis SIM Cards Offer:

  • Ultra-fast 5G
  • Pause anytime you want
  • Only pay for data you use
  • Low monthly prices with different sign-up options

Sign up here and get everything you need, all in one place.


Get Student Loans

Mpower Financing and Prodigy Finance, in collaboration with Shorelight, provide flexible student loan plans for international students pursuing degrees at eligible US colleges and universities without the requirements of a cosigner, collateral, or US credit history. They also offer fixed-rate loans up to $100,000 with 1.5% in interest rate discounts.


Easy Flight Bookings and Travel Discounts

StudentUniverse in collaboration with Shorelight, provides exclusive student-only discounts on flights around the world. StudentUniverse has exclusive deals with airlines to get the lowest-possible airfare for international students. If your travel plans change, don’t worry – all purchases have 24-hour risk-free cancellation.

StudentUniverse can be used to book not only your flight to campus, but also provides the best deals for Spring break and other travel. Use it to explore new cities like San Francisco or NYC, or book through them to go hiking in Yosemite National Park, or even when you fly home to visit family.

Book your exclusive deals with StudentUniverse 

Career Premium

Career Premium helps international students apply for remote internships and gain real-life work experience to boost their resumes.

  • Certificates and training: Attend online professional bootcamps before your virtual internship starts. Gain hands-on experience once you officially begin by contributing to projects alongside industry experts. If you are interested in certifications, Career Premium now offers unlimited access to training courses that lead to certification in Amazon Web Services, Java, Microsoft Azure, and Python, among many other in-demand skills.
  • Coaching and mentorship: Receive direct guidance from career coaches and industry experts on career exploration, skill training, and professional development.
  • Applying: Work on real-life projects for leading employers and build your portfolio. We work with more than 12,000 multinational companies that have unique projects for you to leverage your new skills, experience, and professional network to land your dream job.

“The tutors are resourceful, and they really helped me while I was applying for internships. I certainly believe I will find a job after graduation.”—Shelley, hired at Tesla

Learn more about Career Premium

Please note that this step does not apply to Academic English (AE) students and Academic English MAP (AE-MAP) students. Please check your offer letter if you are not sure which program accepted you.

Once you finish setting up your MFA in Step 5:
    1. Go to and log in with your VIP ID and password.
    2. Click “Courses” on the left.
    3. Look for “Your_program_name Orientation”. For example, if you are an EAP student, you should look for Extended Accelerator Program Orientation”.
    4. Once you click into your orientation, click on “Welcome to IAP” and follow the steps to complete all the Pre-Arrival Steps.
The Blackboard orientation module includes lots of information to help prepare you for your program, such as your academic orientation. You can also learn more about your campus life, housing, meal plan and more. If you have any questions about how to log in or anything else, you can reach out to our Student Services Team at

Visit for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 on campus.

Individuals with F-1 student visa status are required to show proof of COVID vaccination in order to enter the US. Vaccinations must align with the US’s approved list of COVID-19 vaccines. Only two exceptions apply:

  1. Student is from a country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability (see list here ).
  2. Student is under 18 at the time of travel.

Effective December 06, 2021 – all international travelers (regardless of vaccination status) must show results of a negative coronavirus test taken one day prior to their flight’s departure from a foreign country traveling to the United States.

If neither vaccine exceptions apply to you and you remain unvaccinated, you may not be able to enter the US on the date of your scheduled travel.

For those passengers traveling under one of the above exceptions they must complete and present the Combined Covered Attestation Form to the airline at the time of departure. Passengers must be prepared to answer questions regarding Section 4 of the form and should have a clear understanding of their school’s COVID policies.

Please reach out to if you have any questions about the above Pre-Arrival steps.

Helpful Resources



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