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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!


All new IAP students must complete the mandatory on-campus check-in and attend orientation before registering for classes.

Check-In Location:

  • 1705 College Street, William Close Building, Lobby, Columbia, SC 29201

Fall 2024:

  • Check-in is on August 13, 2024, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Summer 2025:

  • Check-in is on January 7, 2025, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Please ensure you arrive on campus during these hours to complete your check-in process. 

Join our USC Pre-arrival webinars designed for undergraduates and graduates! Don't miss important pre-arrival steps and tips to kickstart your journey at USC!
Undergraduates (Register Here):
  • Before You Start - Fall 2024: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
  • Before You Start - Fall 2024: Tuesday, August 6, 2024
Graduates (Register Here):
  • Before You Start - Fall 2024: Tuesday, June 25, 2024
  • Before You Start - Fall 2024: Thursday, July 25, 2024
All webinars will be held at 8:00 AM EST. We look forward to seeing you soon!chickenparty popper

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, 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 Fall 2024 students will be sent to students’ USC email on Wednesday, July 17, 2024. This test must be completed before Sunday, August 4, 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.

All incoming undergraduate International Accelerator students, except AE students, are required to complete the Math Assessment of Prerequisites in order to ensure that you are placed in the correct math level. Failure to complete the test on time could result in a delay in completing degree requirements within a four-year period. 

The Math Assessment of Prerequisites is now available for you in Blackboard. Before you can take the real test, there are four tasks you will need to complete. Please follow these instructions to complete these tasks and prepare for the real test. 

After completing the pre-test tasks, you can take the real test. You will find the real test in “Step 3: Take the MAP.” You must complete the real test no later than August 4, 2024

If you have any questions about the test or are having trouble completing it, please contact Ray Knight ( for assistance. 

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. 

Required Immunizations for USC Registration 
The University of South Carolina requires the following immunizations for all new students:
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Two Doses
  • The first dose must be administered on or after your first birthday, and the second dose at least 28 days after the initial dose.  
  • Please note: A positive titer for MMR is acceptable, however, if negative for any of the three you will be required to have two doses of MMR separated by 28 days. 
Meningococcal Vaccine
  • Students under age 21 years of age will need the Meningococcal ACYW (Meningitis) vaccine (Menactra or Menveo). Students receiving the vaccine prior to age 16 will need a Meningococcal ACYW (Meningitis) booster (Menactra or Menveo). 
  • Note: Meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero or Trumenba) is recommended, however; **Meningococcal B does NOT fulfill the meningococcal requirement.  
Immunization Upload Process

Please note the following steps:

  • All students must submit their immunization records to register for classes at USC.
  • Follow the Immunization Upload Process to upload your immunization records.
  • Download, print, and complete the International Student Form prior to your arrival, and bring it with you to campus during check-in. 
  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

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.

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

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

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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.


Center for Academic Success

A website with access to virtual tutors, career advisors, and online resources to help you throughout your university studies

Do you need to improve your academic skills or study habits? Do you need help preparing for an exam or presentation? Are you confused about CPT/OPT or don’t even know what career field is best for you? Shorelight’s Center for Academic Success has friendly online academic skills and subject area tutors along with expert career advisors to help you with these questions and many more!

Maybe you would also enjoy completing a short eLearning workshop at your own pace? Those are available, too, on topics ranging from Academic Integrity to How to Make American Friends—and everything in between! If you’re short on time, try one of the live or recorded webinars.

Give your learning journey the support you need by signing up for a free account today! Here’s how:

1. Click here or scan the QR code to find our Home page.

2. Click the orange “Sign up now” button to request access.

3. On the sign up form, type your given name and family name as you are registered at your university.

4. Type any email address (personal or university, etc.). You will need to access your email to verify your address.

5. Create a password with at least one special character and 6-50 characters total.

6. Type your password again. Write it down or save it in your browser.

7. Type the full name of your university, not just the abbreviation. Your status must be checked.

8. Check the box to accept the Terms & Conditions (feel free to read those first).

9. Optional: Sign up for our newsletter by checking the last box.

10. Click the large orange button that says, “Start your learning journey.”

11. You’ll be asked to verify your email address next. In your inbox, you’ll see two emails from us. Open them and click the link to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t see the two emails.

12. You’ll receive an email within two business days to let you know that your account is approved (or if not, how to fix the problem).

13. Return to the Home page linked above (or in the email) to log in when your account access has been approved.

If you encounter any technical trouble, just use the Live Chat button at the bottom of our Home page.



 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.

To help avoid delays with enrollment, make your tuition and fees payment in full two weeks before you arrive.

When you begin, have your acceptance letter in front of you, as you will need to refer to the information in the letter.

Submit payment for your tuition and fees via Flywire:

Flywire by Peer Transfer: To submit international and domestic ACH payments via USC’s Flywire portal

- Flywire payment options include international wires, international credit cards, and other country specific payment options.
- Flywire guarantees the best exchange rates, offers 24/7 multilingual customer service, and provides payment tracking and an instant payment receipt.
- Flywire will be accepting U.S. bank accounts.

Make Payment through Flywire 
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

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






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