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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!


On-campus check-in is mandatory for all new IAP students. You will need to complete on-campus check-in with IAP and go through orientation first, before you can register for classes.
On-Campus Check-in location: 
1705 College Street, William Close Building, lobby, Columbia, SC 29201
Summer 2024:  
Academic English (AE) students: On-campus check-in is between 9am-4pm on May 14, 2024.
Everyone else:  On-campus check-in is between 9am-4pm on May 21, 2024.
Fall 2024:
All students: On-campus check-in is between 9am-4pm on August 13, 2024.

Exciting News for Future Gamecocks!  Join our USC Pre-arrival webinars tailored for undergraduates and graduates! Don't miss essential pre-arrival steps and tips to kickstart your journey at USC!

- April 18 & 30, 2024, 8:00 AM EST
- Register Here

- April 25, 2024, 8:00 AM EST
- Register Here

Prepare for your USC adventure! Register now!

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: 

1. Submit your Housing Form as soon as possible. Please choose the correct link below:

Please be aware that housing allocation within the USC International Accelerator Program (IAP) operates on a first-pay, first-served basis. To secure your preferred housing type, we recommend submitting your payment promptly. Delayed payments may limit housing options or result in alternative arrangements.

2. If you are staying in IAP housing, please complete the IAP Roommate Matching Form to help us identify your potential roommate!

3. You will receive a housing confirmation email (with your detailed address and unit number) 3-5 business days before orientation.

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 Spring 2024 students will be sent to students’ USC email on Monday, April 22, 2024. This test must be completed before Monday, May 13, 2024.
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.
This is very important for these majors in particular: Economics, pre-Business (if you intend to apply to a Business major), Engineering, Math, or other Bachelor of Science degrees.
To prepare for the math test, you will need to complete three tasks: 
  1. The MAP Tutorial, 
  2. The MAP Practice Test
  3. The Honor Code Assessment. 
Please follow these steps to complete the tasks before 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 one week 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 a link to request a ride within 24 hours of their arrival 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. Enter your immunization records in the "Medical Clearances" portion of MyHealthSpace

  • Log in using your Network ID and password, click on "Immunizations Record" and attach supporting documentation signed by a medical provider.  
    • 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.
  • Enter your immunization dates and vaccine types in the "Medical Clearances" portion for each vaccine received. You will not be able to register for classes until USC has your required immunizations on file. The required immunizations include: 

1) MMR Vaccine (two doses)

  • You'll need two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), or positive blood titer reports. Please record these on MyHealthSpace in "Medical Clearances".

2) Meningococcal Vaccine (Menevo or Menactra)

  • You'll need the meningococcal vaccine to prevent meningitis if you are younger than 21. You must have received at least one meningococcal vaccine after your 16th birthday to fulfill this requirement. Please record these on MyHealthSpace in "Medical Clearances".

3) TB Risk Screening Question

  • Complete the questionnaire found on MyHealthSpace in "Medical Clearances". 
3. If you are worried that you will not be able to complete the immunization requirements before you arrive on-campus, don't worry! University Health Services will allow you to take care of your immunizations once you arrive at UofSC.
You can only be exempt from fulfilling immunization requirements if:
  • You have a permanent medical contraindication.
  • You have conflicting religious beliefs.
You will need to provide proof of your exemption status.
  1. Current passport, Visa, I-20
  2. Letter of Acceptance from USC
  3. Academic transcripts, sealed in an envelope
  4. Original diploma (certificate showing proof of degree)
  5. Health and Immunization Form and International Student Form
  1. Current passport, Visa, I-20
  2. Letter of Acceptance from USC
  3. Academic transcripts, sealed in an envelope
  4. Original diploma (certificate showing proof of degree)
    • You can bring the original document with you, or have your institution sent directly to USC Grad School at
  5. Score reports below must be sent directly from testing company to USC Grad School:
    • TOEFL/IELTS/proof of English proficiency
    • GRE (if required by program)
    • ETS institution code 5818 (GRE & TOEFL)
  6. Health and Immunization Form and International Student Form


 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.

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.

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.

International Student Loans

Embarking on your educational journey in the United States shouldn't come with the roadblock of finding a co-signer for financial aid. Shorelight recognizes this hurdle and has proactively partnered with premier financing organizations such as Fly Finance, MPower Financing, and Prodigy Finance. This strategic collaboration eliminates the traditional barriers international students face, such as the need for a co-signer, collateral, or an established US credit history, streamlining your path to securing educational funding.

Find the right loan organization for you on

Explore Options 


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 

Set up your US Phone

We’ve partnered with campusSIMS to help connect you with mobile phone service. Get your US phone number in your home country and have service that’s ready to use as soon as you land. Click here to get your free SIM card.

CampusSIMS helps international students get connected with mobile phone service in the US. Through campusSIMS’ exclusive partner Mint Mobile, students can sign up and get their US phone number while in their home country, and have mobile phone service ready to use as soon as they land.

Students can get low-cost, reliable mobile phone service starting at as low as $15 per month that includes:

  • A free SIM card
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • High speed data
  • Nationwide coverage on the fastest, most advanced network

For more information, visit .

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:
    1. Go to and log in with your Network 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

This program 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

Sign up


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






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