English Language Requirements for International Students in US
College TOEFL Requirements for International Students
As an international student studying at a US college or university, you will probably be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to prove your fluency with English, unless English is your native language. Justifiably or not, many American schools place great emphasis upon the TOEFL score to satisfy their English language requirement for enrollment of international students.
Many US colleges and universities may require a paper-based TOEFL score of a least 550 (or a computer-based score of at least 213) in order for you to prove your English language skills and enroll at the school. Higher TOEFL scores are required for some college majors.
Even if you speak English well, you should not avoid taking the TOEFL test. A good score (higher than 600-650) can improve your chances of getting into the US college or university of your choice.
You can probably take the TOEFL in your home country. For more information about the TOEFL test and the Test of Written English (TWE), head to the TOEFL website. This site explains how TOEFL works in great detail, and it offers practice questions as well.
ESL and Foreign Language Schools to Improve English Skills
It is likely that the US college or university to which you are applying offers ESL, English as a Second Language, courses for international students to improve their English skills and meet the English language requirement. For example, the University of Southern California (USC) has developed an ESL program called the American Language Institute for its international students. You will find many similar programs at schools throughout the United States.
Of course, there are probably many foreign language schools in your home country. You will want to investigate these schools thoroughly before agreeing to study anywhere. Some schools understand that a US student visa is a valuable commodity, and you will want to make sure they are not taking financial advantage of students who are in desperate need of proving their English proficiency. Look for a high standard of professionalism and make sure you are going to get what you pay for.