How to apply if you are a


International Students

Sweet Briar College welcomes international women who are seeking a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and wish to do so at one of the top-ranked colleges for women in the United States.


  • Any student who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. is required to apply as an international applicant.
  • All international applicants will be considered for appropriate merit scholarships as long as the application has been received by the application deadline.
  • Application Deadlines: February 1 — all credentials are due; March 15 — decision letters are mailed; May 1 (National Candidate Reply Date) — $500 enrollment deposit is due

Required Credentials

  • Completed application form
  • Essay
  • $40 non-refundable application fee (check should be made payable in U.S. dollars to Sweet Briar College)
  • International Student Financial Aid Application form
  • Official results of the TOEFL exam or official results of the SAT, if offered in your country. Photocopies of any test score will not be accepted and your application will not be considered unless your test results are official. The ETS exam code for Sweet Briar College is 5634.
  • Official copies of all secondary school records with course listings and grades, translated when necessary
  • A recommendation from the headmaster, principal or college counselor at your school, stating expected date of graduation
  • A recommendation from a teacher who has taught you in the last two years
  • International transfers Students please also submit an official transcript as well as a catalog with translations showing descriptions of courses taken in college or university and a recommendation from an academic dean, professor or advisor of the present college or university.

Studying at Sweet Briar may mean you are away from your homeland, family and friends for the first time. Traveling to a new country, making new friends and becoming part of the College community are important and exciting aspects of your education. Like other new students, you will find that getting comfortable in a new environment requires time and effort. However, many people will be on hand to help, including your faculty advisor, the staff at Co-Curricular Life, the Dean's Office staff, and other students. Life in the residence halls, a wide range of student activities and the Student Government Association will provide numerous opportunities to get involved in campus life.

We are situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia. On its 3,250-acre campus, rolling meadows, woodlands and two small lakes provide a beautiful natural setting for ecological studies, sports and other outdoor activities. The College is located about 165 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.; 100 miles west of Richmond, Va., the state capital, and 50 miles south of Charlottesville, Va. These cities offer many cultural attractions, including museums, galleries and theaters. They are accessible by air, rail, bus or automobile. The nearest city, Lynchburg, Va., is only 15 miles away. In addition to Sweet Briar, there are 10 colleges and universities within a one hour drive, including the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee University, Virginia Military Institute and Hampden-Sydney College. Events sponsored by area colleges and universities offer opportunities for you to meet other international students.

Getting Around
Because Sweet Briar is in a rural area, there is taxi service and some limited van service. However, many Sweet Briar students have their own automobiles and are usually very helpful in taking others with them when they go shopping or run errands off campus.

Flights and Arrivals
Most international flights arrive in:

The closest airport to campus is in Lynchburg. We recommend arranging a connecting flight from one of the big cities listed above to the Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH), where a taxi or shuttle bus can drive you to Sweet Briar. If you need shuttle service from Lynchburg to Sweet Briar, please fax your travel information to (434) 381-6489, Attn: Dr. Tiffany Cummings. However, it also is possible to take the Amtrak train or Greyhound bus to Lynchburg from a larger city. It costs a little bit less, but it takes a lot longer. We would recommend the plane especially for your first trip here!

Our climate makes it necessary to have warmer clothing — wool sweaters, heavy coat, boots, wool skirts and pants, etc. — during the winter months, beginning about Dec. 1 and ending about March 1. During this period, temperatures average about 32°-50° F (0°-12° C). September through November and March through May, when the temperatures average about 60°-80° F (15°-27° C), lighter weight clothing, such as short-sleeve blouses, cotton skirts and pants, light sweaters, etc., are appropriate. The temperature during the summer months (and sometimes September and May) is usually higher, 80°-95° F (27°-35° C). Most students wear sweaters or T-shirts with skirts, pants or shorts when attending class. Blue jeans are common attire. Pack a few dresses for formal occasions, parties and holiday events, and it would be wonderful if you could bring at least one outfit of traditional clothing from your home country. Sweet Briar has several events throughout the year when you will have the opportunity to teach others about the culture(s) of your home country. You also might want to bring a bathing suit so you can enjoy our indoor swimming pool at the gymnasium.

Since the College van runs to a local shopping center regularly, you may wish to purchase additional clothing, bedding or personal items after you arrive. You also can purchase additional clothing at the Sweet Briar Book Shop, which also carries basic drugstore items as well as books, gifts and stationery. Necessities, such as blankets, pillows, and linens, can be purchased locally or supplied by a linen service available to students for a fee by Amherst Dry Cleaners. The College has its own laundry facilities with washers and dryers for your use. Generally, shipping trunks and boxes by parcel post or a private firm is expensive. You may want to investigate the cost of sending some things by airmail. Trunks or boxes shipped to Sweet Briar with your name on them will be delivered to your room. Most airlines allow only two suitcases or 44 pounds of luggage. You should inquire with your carrier prior to departure. Whatever you do, pack as lightly as possible.

There are several banks in Amherst that will help you set up checking or savings accounts. It is a good idea to keep all large sums of money in a bank and to use checks to pay for major purchases. It is advisable to bring bank drafts in your name in order to open an account as well as some U.S. currency. In order to earn interest on a checking account, you must maintain a minimum balance. Upon opening a checking account, you also may cash a check (exchange a check for actual money) on campus at the Business Office Cashier in Prothro Hall.

Medical Insurance
All international students must have medical coverage. Upon being accepted to the College, you will be sent information about a minimal accident and sickness medical plan that is provided at a low cost to students through Sweet Briar. We require that you obtain this annual insurance as there is no reciprocity between the United States and foreign countries for free medical care.

Contents Insurance
The College does not provide insurance for students' personal belongings. Sweet Briar is a relatively safe environment with very little theft or risk of damage. However, insurance can be obtained after your arrival from Wilson Insurance Agency (434-946-7296) or Allstate Insurance (434-946-5550).

Immigration Visas and Official Papers
As an international student, you are responsible for making certain that your visa, I-20 forms, passport, and any other documents pertinent to your permission to live, study, and work in the U.S. are in order and up to date. The Director of International Studies can help to answer some of your questions about these papers.

Identification Cards
An identification card is an important item in the United States. You will probably be asked for one whenever you try to pay for something by check. During orientation, you will have your photograph taken for a Sweet Briar Identification (ID) Card. This will usually be acceptable to merchants who ask to "see an ID." Your Sweet Briar ID proves that you are a student here and will give you access to Sweet Briar events and facilities. It is wise to carry your ID card with you at all times.

International Driver's License
All students who hold a driver's license in their home countries should bring an "international driver's license" with them to the U.S. This is a document that provides an official translation of your license. You cannot drive with your home country license in the United States and you cannot get an international license in the U.S. If you do not know where to obtain this license in your country, your travel agent will be able to help you locate the agency that sells them.

Employment On Campus
International students are eligible for all campus jobs available to Sweet Briar students. These include, but are not limited to, working for an academic or administrative department, working in the riding stables, library work, and working in the campus school. A work permit is not necessary for jobs for which you receive a check from Sweet Briar College. International students may not work for private individuals or for off-campus institutions without a special work permit granted from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Any unauthorized work will jeopardize the student's visa status. Many international students stay on-campus during the summers and we offer excellent summer campus jobs, which include special research projects. At most larger schools, these research jobs are usually staffed by graduate students.

In order to work on-campus, foreign students must apply for a social security identification number. The College will arrange transportation for you to go to the Social Security Office as soon as you arrive. Once assigned, this number also is used as an ID number. If your passport will be less than a year old when you will arrive in the U.S., you also will need to bring a copy of your birth certificate in order to get a social security number.

Summer and Vacation Plans
During Sweet Briar's Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring vacations, the College is closed. Housing can be arranged. However, a number of our international students use this time to travel or visit friends or relatives. Others make arrangements to stay on or near the campus. During the summer, many international students stay at Sweet Briar to work or do research. The Office of International Studies works with each student to make sure that she has plans for any periods of time when the College is closed.