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International Gateway Program: FAQ


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What is the purpose/goal of the Undergraduate International Gateway Program?

The purpose of American University's International Gateway Program (IGP) is to prepare international undergraduate students for academic work at American University and to acquaint students with U.S. academic culture. The curriculum teaches critical academic reading, writing and oral communication skills needed for international students to be successful at American University. Students who successfully complete IGP will develop advanced academic skills for the higher education environment while satisfying university requirements and earning 12 credits towards a degree.  

What courses are offered through the Undergraduate International Gateway Program?

The International Gateway Program consists of four courses:

  • Principles and Approaches to Oral Academic Communication (0 credits)
  • Principles and Approaches to Written Academic Communication (3 credits)
  • The Culture of US Higher Education (3 credits)
  • Post-WWII American Film Studies (3 credits)
  • Undergraduate General Education Course (3 credits)

for more detailed course descriptions, please click here.

What is an elective course?

In addition to the four IGP courses above, each student must also select one elective from a list of suggested American University courses. Please click here to view the list of courses that students may choose their elective from.

What is the mathematics Placement Examination and why must I take it?  

American University requires that all incoming students take a mathematics placement test. The placement test is an online 45-minute exam with 32 questions. The exam, itself, is primarily algebra and students are welcome to use a calculator to assist them. Please note: Students are not able to be registered for classes without taking the placement test.

When you have been registered to take the examination, you will receive an e-mail notification and directions from the Director of Education Services in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. This examination must be completed as soon as possible.  

Students may take a mathematics course for their General Educational Class. IGP staff will advise students of the appropriate Mathematics class they may enroll in.

What is the class size? 

The four IGP courses enroll approximately 15 students per class. Each student receives extensive individualized instruction tailored to his or her needs and intended program of study. In addition to detailed feedback on both content and language for coursework, instructors work with students to adjust particular assignments to their needs.  

Do the IGP courses count toward a degree program? 

Yes, IGP courses count for 12 credits towards your degree.

How do I qualify for admission to the bachelor’s degree program at American University? 

Students who meet satisfactory academic progress in the program (earning a grade of "C" or better in each of the IGP courses) will be admitted and enrolled in their AU degree program the following semester. 

If accepted into IGP as a condition of admission, what should I do to enroll?

In order to confirm your enrollment in the International Gateway Program, you must read and sign the enrollment agreement and housing application form and send them back with your deposit.

What is the normal length of study for the Undergraduate International Gateway Program? 

The International Gateway program is a semester-long program. It runs as follows:
•  Fall – August to December
•  Spring – January to May

When do classes begin and end, and what other important dates do I need to know? 

For the important dates for the 2013-2014 academic year, please click here

What happens if I fail course? 

Students who do not earn a grade of "C" or better in each of the IGP courses, will be able to re-enroll in the IGP program for the spring semester and have their conditional admission to AU extended for an additional semester.  

As a student in the IGP Program am I eligible for a merit scholarship?

Students in IGP are not eligible for merit scholarships.

What visa will I need to enroll in the International Gateway Program if I live overseas and need a visa to enter the United States for studies?

Students who enroll in IGP will need an F-1 Student Visa in order to enter the United States to study. For more information regarding the visa process please refer to the International Student and Scholar Services website at http://www.american.edu/ocl/isss.

When will I be issued the I-20 form in order to apply for the F-1 Visa?

Once you sign and return your enrollment agreement and housing application form along with your deposit, American University will issue the I-20 immigration form and mail it to your home address so that you can schedule an appointment for a visa interview at a United States Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

How and when will I register for courses?

Once your enrollment agreement, housing application form and deposit are received, the International Gateway Program staff member, who will serve as your academic advisor will contact you to complete your course registration.

Am I guaranteed AU housing as an Undergraduate International Gateway Program student?

IGP students live in triple occupancy rooms on AU’s campus.

American University will provide housing to all IGP students for the fall and spring semesters who complete the enrollment process by the indicated deadline. Roommate preferences cannot be guaranteed. All university residence halls are nonsmoking, and most floors are coed.

Do I have to live on-campus?

Students who prefer to live off-campus with friends or relatives are permitted to do so. Students wishing to live off-campus will be responsible for making their own living arrangements.

What programs and services can I expect as a student in The International Gateway Program?

Students in IGP will have access to all the services and programs provided to students, including use of the University Library, Athletic facilities, student clubs and organizations, the Academic Support Center, and the Counseling Center.

In addition, students participate in the American University orientation programs prior to the start of classes to ensure that they are familiar with the services and programs at AU.

Who should I contact if I have questions regarding the Program?

For further information or assistance, please contact:
International Gateway Program
Ken Janjigian
Associate Director
(202) 895-4919

Student Insight


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