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International Students

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Welcome International Students!

Students from around the world come to AMDA each year with a shared passion to excel and a common aspiration to become the leading artists of their generation. Our AMDA community is made up of diverse students and alumni who represent more than 70 countries. We welcome and embrace cultural diversity on both our Los Angeles and New York City campuses. Rest assured that your time at AMDA will be a transformative experience!

AMDA offers international student scholarships and grants. However, these cannot be offered until you have been accepted, so it is important to provide all required documents in a timely fashion.

Applying to AMDA is a multi-step process. Below you will find the general list of requirements. Be sure to follow ALL steps that are applicable to your program to ensure the submission of a successful application. Please note that the requirements may vary by program. Exact Admission Requirements can be found by selecting your program on the Programs page.

  1. Submit Your Application +

    To apply, you must be at least 16 years old and/or in the final two years of high school/secondary education*.

    AMDA also accepts applications from CommonApp and Royall VIP. If you have already applied through one of our partners, you do not need to apply again through our website.

    * If you are not yet 16, we would encourage you to consider attending the AMDA High School Summer Conservatory.

  2. SCHEDULE Your AMDA Audition +

    Admission and scholarship consideration to AMDA require an audition. AMDA offers a robust calendar of auditions including regional auditions, campus auditions, live-online auditions and video submissions. Scheduling your audition will prompt a phone call with one of our enrollment specialists to help you prepare for a successful audition.

    IMPORTANT: To better prepare for your AMDA audition, we strongly encourage ALL applicants to review the Audition Instructions and Tips page prior to scheduling an audition or submitting a video submission.

    *Auditions are NOT required for the BA Theatre Arts (General) program.

  3. Phone interview with Admissions +

    This interview is an opportunity for us to get to know you, and for you to tell us about your educational background, and your interest in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts at AMDA. We will be calling you, but if you would like to schedule an appointment for this interview, please email admissionsteam@amda.edu with the best day, time, and phone number to reach you.

  4. SUBMIT YOUR PERSONAL ESSAY(s) +

    AMDA would like to get to know you better. Please submit your essay(s) in response to the prompts below.

    Required for ALL programs: Describe a challenging experience in your life and what you learned from it. (500-word minimum)
    Additional Requirement for BA Programs: Share an essay that you have already written for a school assignment or a creative piece that you have written on your own. We would like to see your best work, so please share a piece that you are particularly proud of. (500-word minimum)

  5. Submit Letter(S) of Recommendation +

    Please request and submit letters of recommendation from teachers, school leaders, guidance counselors, coaches, or anyone familiar with your background and potential. Your recommendation letter must be written in English and signed and dated. To help with this process, please feel free to use AMDA's recommendation form by clicking the link below. Recommendation letters/forms may be submitted via email to docs@amda.edu or by mailing to the address on the form.

    Required for ALL Programs: Submit a minimum of 1 letter of recommendation.
    Additional Requirement for BA Programs: Submit a 2nd letter of recommendation.

  6. Submit Your Academic Records (Transcripts) +

    The minimum grade point average (GPA) required for AMDA's 2-year and 4-year programs is 2.0 out of 4.0 or its equivalent on other grading systems. The following requirements are effective as of November 30, 2018.

    1. Official transcripts and academic records or certified copies of your academic records MUST be mailed to AMDA at the address below in an unopened, sealed envelope, even if you have emailed us your unofficial transcripts.
    2. Unofficial transcripts are ONLY accepted to facilitate making an expedited decision on your application. Unofficial transcripts can be emailed to docs@amda.edu.
    3. International applicants who have already graduated from high school and/or who have taken any post-secondary college-level course work must send their Academic Records (transcripts and diplomas from all educational institutions attended) with proof of graduation.
    4. International applicants who have not yet graduated from high school must submit an in-progress academic record (transcript) up to and including the most recent term or year that they have completed, along with an official letter from their high school stating the applicant's intended graduation date, and including a notarized translation if the records are not in English.
    5. If your transcripts and academic records are not in English, you must submit an official, notarized, word-for-word, literal translation for all academic records (transcripts and diplomas). Translations can be done in your home country by a bona fide translator.
    6. Final, official academic records must be received by AMDA in a sealed envelope before the start of classes-along with any translations-as noted above. Documents can be received by registered mail or by courier, to ensure there is a tracking number, sent electronically via Parchment by the school, or hand-delivered at AMDA's class registration. Official certified copies of all academic records can be submitted in lieu of original records.

    AMDA mailing and email address:
    AMDA – Records Department
    211 West 61st Street
    New York, NY 10023
    docs@amda.edu

    • If your academic transcripts follow a different grading system from the U.S. grading system, please read the following additional instructions +

      1. Contact an approved international credential evaluation agency and request a complete evaluation for all your academic records (transcripts and diplomas) from every educational institution that you listed in your application. AMDA accepts official evaluations done by any of the following NACES-approved credential evaluation agencies: myiee.org, spantran.com, gceus.com, ierf.com, wes.org or ece.org. Students are responsible for all fees associated with NACES-approved evaluation services.
      2. You will also need to follow any specific translation instructions the agency may require on their website.
      3. Completed evaluations MUST include proof of graduation, graduation date and a calculated U.S. GPA equivalent.
      4. Once the evaluation is completed, it must be sent in an unopened, sealed envelope to the address indicated above or emailed directly by the evaluation agency to docs@amda.edu.
    • If your academic transcripts follow the U.S. grading system, please read the following additional instructions +

      Transcripts from every educational institution that you listed in your application must be forwarded to AMDA. You can do this in either of these 2 ways:

      1. Contact your guidance counselor or your school's transcript office and have them send your transcript(s) to AMDA using the transcript request form.
      2. Request your transcripts free of charge via Parchment Service if your school is a participating member.
  7. Submit Proof of English Proficiency +

    English is the language of instruction for all AMDA programs. The better your command of English, the more likely you are to succeed. Therefore, all international students from non-English speaking countries are required to provide proof of an acceptable level of English proficiency. This can be done in one of several ways:

    1. You may provide proof of English language proficiency by passing any one of the following 11 AMDA -approved English language proficiency examinations +

      Testing must have been completed no more than two years prior to the date of your application to AMDA. Test results must be received by AMDA directly from the testing service. Below is a list of the approved examinations and minimum scores for "Direct Admission" into AMDA's 2-year AOS or Certificate programs and 4-year degree granting programs.

      Test Name Minimum Score
      Duolingo English Test 95
      Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      AMDA NY School Code: C064
      AMDA LA School Code: 8571
      70 iBT
      International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6
      Cambridge English Language Assessment B2
      Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) 50
      SAT: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 550
      ACT: English 20
    2. By successfully completing an ESL pathway program at one of our five partnering institutions or at another accredited ESL pathway program* +

      *Please note: All independent ESL pathway programs must be accredited by the Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA) or by the American Council of Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). This does not apply to ESL programs affiliated with regionally or nationally accredited institutions of higher education.
      • If you choose to enroll into an ESL pathway programs, you should apply to both the ESL school for "Direct Admission" and to AMDA for "Conditional Admission". Conditional Admission is also known as "Conditional Acceptance". Your initial I-20 for the F-1 visa will be issued by the ESL school.
      • To obtain Conditional Acceptance at AMDA, you must complete all other components of the admissions process, except for the proof of English language proficiency. Your personal essay and audition may be submitted whenever you believe you are adequately fluent in English to prepare them competently. This will most likely be in the final months of your English language training at the ESL school.
      • To obtain Direct Acceptance at AMDA, you must submit a certificate of completion or official transcript from the ESL pathway center confirming that you have successfully completed your English language training for academic purposes. This will also allow you to obtain a new AMDA I-20 and successfully transfer your SEVIS record to AMDA for F-1 visa and U.S. immigration purposes. Once you complete this part of the process, you will be able to begin taking classes at AMDA as a full-time international student.
      • AMDA's 2-year AOS or Certificate programs require the successful completion of an "Intermediate Advanced" level of ESL training for academic purposes. AMDA's 4-year degree granting programs require the successful completion of a "High Advanced" level of ESL training for academic purposes.
    3. You may also offer proof of English language proficiency by providing any one of the following +

      • A high school diploma from a four-year U.S. high school with a letter from the institution verifying that you graduated without ESL support. Please note, GED Diplomas are not accepted.
      • Completion of a transferable non-ESL English composition course- with a grade of "C" or better-from a regionally or nationally accredited U.S institution of higher education (a 2-year college or a 4-year college or university).
      • An official transcript from an international/non-U.S. high school, college or university which you attended for a minimum of three years. The institution must be accredited by its home country's Ministry of Education (MoE) or Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE). The transcript must also be accompanied by a letter from the institution verifying that the language of instruction was English.
      • An associate, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from the U.S. or overseas campus of an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
      • A high school diploma or post secondary degree from one of the following countries:
        • Anguilla
        • Antigua & Barbuda
        • Ascension
        • Australia
        • Bahamas
        • Barbados
        • Belize
        • Bermuda
        • Bhutan
        • Botswana
        • British Virgin Islands
        • Canada (Except Quebec)
        • Cayman Islands
        • Dominica
        • England (UK)
        • Eritrea
        • Fiji
        • Gambia
        • Ghana
        • Gibraltar
        • Grenada
        • Guyana
        • Ireland (Northern) (UK)
        • Ireland (Republic of)
        • Jamaica
        • Kenya
        • Kiribati
        • Lesotho
        • Liberia
        • Malawi
        • Marshall Islands
        • Mauritius
        • Montserrat
        • Namibia
        • Nauru
        • New Zealand
        • Nigeria
        • Papua New Guinea
        • Puerto Rico (US Commonwealth)
        • Rwanda
        • Saint Helena
        • Saint Kitts & Nevis
        • Saint Lucia
        • Saint Maarten
        • Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
        • Scotland (UK)
        • Sierra Leone
        • Singapore
        • Solomon Islands
        • Swaziland
        • Tanzania
        • Tonga
        • Trinidad & Tobago
        • Turks and Caicos Islands
        • Tuvalu
        • Uganda
        • US Virgin Islands
        • Wales (UK)
        • Zimbabwe
  8. SUPPLEMENTAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BA PROGRAMS +


    Submit Two Minute Personal Video (Recommended)

    We would be delighted to hear more about you! This should be a two minute video to tell us more about yourself. We have listed four topic suggestions as examples below. Feel free to use one or more of these, or select a topic of your choice. We highly recommend taking this opportunity to tell us more about yourself!

    1. What has been one of the best experiences in your life and what made it so special and valuable?
    2. Please describe your interest in theatre.
    3. In addition to theatre, please tell us about one of your other passions.
    4. Please tell us about a meaningful experience you have had participating in your community (school, neighborhood, local organization, etc.)

    Provide SAT/ACT Scores (Optional)

    Although not required for admission to AMDA, we welcome your SAT/ACT scores if you would like to share them with us. Scores may be mailed to:

    AMDA Records
    211 West 61st Street
    New York, NY 10023

In order to apply for the F-1 student visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country, you will need a valid Form I-20 issued by AMDA. In order to eventually receive an AMDA I-20, you must complete the I-20 application form and provide all required information and supporting documents requested. A critical part of the application is providing original and certified translations of documents (if not in English) proving that you or your parents/sponsors have the monetary funds to support your education at AMDA, including living expenses. Funding for the first year must be in cash or other liquid funds. Funding sources for all additional years of study must be identified and proven.

  • Do NOT submit the I-20 application unless you have done all of the following:
    • Received an Acceptance letter from AMDA
    • Indicated that you will be attending AMDA
    • Paid the program and housing deposit
    • Accepted the AMDA payment plan
    • Provided supporting documents and prove financial ability

The more complete and the sooner this information is received by AMDA, the quicker the I-20 can be issued.

Depending on your country of citizenship, the F-1 visa application process at the U.S. embassy/consulate may take some time. The moment you receive your I-20 from AMDA, you should immediately apply for a multiple-entry F-1 student visa. Please see additional information from the U.S. Department of State. Please watch a video on the F-1 student visa process, produced by EducationUSA, to be better prepared. Note that Canadian citizens do not need an F-1 visa to enter the U.S. but they still need to obtain an AMDA I-20 and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

The F-1 visa, stamped on your passport, is your invitation to visit the U.S. The visa, together with the Form I-20 must be presented to the Customs & Border Protection Officer at the port of entry. To maintain your student status and keep your I-20 valid, you must be enrolled in full time study at AMDA for the duration of your program. Other requirements will be explained to you by your International Student Advisor upon arrival at AMDA. Even if you already have a visa, you may enter the U.S. not earlier than 30 days before Orientation week. After graduation, you may stay up to 60 days to prepare for departure, unless you have been approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or you have been admitted to another SEVP-authorized school.

For a list of possible questions you might be asked during your F-1 student visa interview, please visit International Student. You need to be prepared to answer these questions in English in a brief, concise and coherent manner.

Admissions

  • What classifies a student as international? +

    "International students" are those students who require an F-1 nonimmigrant visa classification to study in the U.S. You cannot study on the B-1/B-2 Tourist Visa. Legal permanent residents of the United States, residents of U.S. territories, and naturalized citizens are not considered international students.

  • Does AMDA Recognize the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program? +

    Yes. International Baccalaureate (IB) courses may be evaluated for potential transfer credit by submitting an official academic record (transcripts) to AMDA. Only IB courses with HIGH LEVEL (HL) designation and assessment score of 5 and above may be considered for transfer. Approved transfer credit may be used to satisfy only the General Education requirements. Courses listed under the category of Standard Level (SL) will not be considered for evaluation.

  • Where can I take a language assessment test? +

    Please visit Cambridge Assessment English, ELASH 2 (for Latin America and the Caribbean), IELTS, or TOEFL for information about testing sites around the world.

Accepted Students

  • What questions should I expect to be asked during my F-1 student visa interview? +

    For a list of possible questions you might be asked during your F-1 student visa interview, please visit International Student. You need to be prepared to answer these questions in English in a brief, concise and coherent manner.

  • Does AMDA offer an orientation program for new international students at the start of each term? +

    Yes. For details, please visit our orientation page.

Cost of Attendance

  • Am I eligible for AMDA scholarships? +

    Yes. As an international student, you are eligible for an AMDA scholarship. When you audition, you will be evaluated for potential talent-based scholarship. Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $15,000 per year. AMDA does not offer any full-tuition scholarships. You will receive a scholarship determination upon acceptance to AMDA and after a review of your admissions file.

  • Is other financial assistance available from AMDA? +

    Yes. Upon acceptance to AMDA, you can apply for a need-based AMDA International Grant. Amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000 per year. In order to assess whether you qualify for an AMDA grant, please complete the International Grant Application for the year and term of your intended start date and return it to the AMDA Financial Aid Office. International students cannot receive U.S. government-based financial aid. You are not eligible for any scholarships, grants, or loans that are subsidized by the U.S. government.

  • Are there other financial resources available? +

    Research what scholarships outside of AMDA are available to you. Contact your Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, or your country's equivalent of a National Arts Council to see if AMDA is approved to receive funds on your behalf for your studies. In some countries, banks provide low interest education loans for students planning to study in the U.S. Here are other resources for potential scholarships:

    • FASTWEB, The Institute of International Education, Rotary International, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
    • There are special search engines that help students find and/or apply for scholarships. Be very careful before providing any confidential information on the internet. Research the organization or company that is promoting the grant for legitimacy before proceeding.
    • A loan from a U.S. bank is an option to cover your remaining balance. However, such loans require a cosigner willing to assist you. A cosigner may be a relative, friend, or personal contact, who is a U.S. citizen. Such loans are credit-based and not guaranteed. More information can be viewed on the Scholarships + Financial Aid page.
  • Can I work while I am a student? +

    AMDA has a limited number of on-campus work-study positions. International students may apply for these positions without additional approval from the USCIS. During orientation, you will be given information about on-campus work-study. International students are not allowed to work off-campus. Failure to comply with this requirement can jeopardize your F-1 student status and can lead to immediate deportation. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you have adequate financial resources while studying in the U.S.

  • What is optional practical training (OPT)? +

    Optional Practical Training is a benefit attached to the F-1 visa. If granted approval by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), F-1 students may remain in the U.S. for an additional year after graduation in order to receive practical training to complement classroom education. Employment must be related to the student's program of study. Prior financial planning for the one-year OPT period is recommended: approximately $15,000 to $18,000 to cover living expenses.

Student Life

  • Is there assistance for international students in adjusting to a new environment? +

    Each campus has a dedicated International Student Advisor (ISA)/Designated School Official (DSO). During international student orientation, the ISA/DSO will explain immigration regulations and your reporting responsibilities as an F-1 student. Your ISA maintains office hours to address your questions and concerns, as well as assist in the day-to-day lifestyle changes you may face as a student in a new culture. Your advisor can explain processes and etiquette in the U.S. educational system and direct you to other campus representatives that can appropriately advise and/or assist you.

  • Where will I live? +

    AMDA offers Student Housing at both campuses. AMDA Housing provides convivial community living, conveniently located within walking distance of all AMDA facilities. You will receive instructions for making your housing arrangements upon confirmation of your enrollment to AMDA. To indicate interest, a $200 housing deposit is required, which can be paid with your $500 program deposit.

More Questions

  • I still have more questions, who can I get in touch with? +

    You can submit your question online using the contact us form or you can send an email to AdmissionsTeam@amda.edu or you can call +1 323-490-1284 (if dialing from outside the U.S. ) or 800-281-8156 (if dialing from inside the U.S.)

  • Can I see more AMDA videos and follow AMDA on Social Media? +

    Yes. Please go to:
    Videos
    Instagram
    Twitter
    Facebook

AMDA welcomes students from all around the world. Our diverse student body represents over 50 countries. All students attending AMDA are required to be proficient in English; AMDA does not provide English language training or English as a second language courses.

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