Winter-Start Options for International Students

Have you considered entering college in the States in the second semester?  This may be just the right option for you.

Most (but not all) colleges and universities in the U.S. operate on a semester system. This means that the first semester (the fall semester) typically begins at the end of August or the start of September. The second semester (the spring semester) begins in mid- or late-January. Monmouth College’s academic calendar is a semester-based calendar.

Many school calendars around the world include a spring term that begins in February and runs through June, or even into July. If you are a high school student considering college study in the United States, you are likely to have a very short vacation between the end of high school and the start of college when you enter an American college or university at the start of our fall semester.

Some colleges, like Monmouth, accept entering first-year students for the second semester (the spring semester). These students are called ‘winter-start’ students because their college career begins in January.

This winter-start option gives international students more transition time after the end of high school to prepare for four years of study in the United States. With this option, a student may work to save some money for college expenses through the autumn months, read widely and deeply in preparation for university-level courses, brush up on English-language skills, and enjoy friends and family before departure.

You may apply to Monmouth College now (through September and October) to begin undergraduate study in January of this academic year. It is not too late!

If you apply and are accepted to Monmouth for the spring semester, you should know that the start date for our spring semester term is Tuesday, January 15, 2013, and you will be expected to arrive on campus during or just before the preceding weekend -  on or slightly before Saturday, Jan. 12th.

You will experience New-Student Orientation over the weekend before classes begin and you will ‘enter the stream’ of classes as a part of a small cohort of winter-start students.  Because the winter-start entering class is smaller than the fall-start class, you will have lots of personalized attention and assistance. As you pack for your first semester in the States, you should prepare for a beautifully snowy Illinois and for cold temperatures. We will be in our winter season.

Spring semester (your first semester) includes important academic, national, and religious holidays, including Spring Break (a week in which you may wish to travel to explore the country, engage in a volunteer service trip, or spend time with new friends), Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Easter, Honors Convocation/Founders’ Day and Commencement.

Best of all, your first experience of life at Monmouth College will be of an increasingly warm and beautiful season, as spring and then summer arrive, the trees leaf out (in late March and April), flowers emerge (in April), and days become longer. Monmouth is located in a beautifully lush, green, temperate part of the United States, and the spring season is a pleasure.

Monmouth College has housing available for international students during the summer. On-campus employment and/or collaborative research with faculty over the weeks of summer are also options you can explore with appropriate college officials and faculty mentors after you arrive on campus.

If you are considering study in the United States for your undergraduate (Bachelors) degree and are interested in starting in this academic year – it is not too late. You will need to be organized and efficient as you complete your application and send in the necessary materials (high school course grades/transcript, language-proficiency certification – TOEFL, IELTS or ELS, recommendations and essay) this fall, as soon as possible.

Stay in touch with us; let us know you are interested in starting your university-level studies in January, and let us help you through the application process.