International Students - FAQ

What is the geography of the college area?

The geography of Siskiyou County is very unique and interesting. Perhaps the most outstanding feature is beautiful Mount Shasta, a snow-covered dormant volcano, which stands 14,162 feet high and dominates the entire landscape. There are also many other mountains surrounding the long valley where the small town of Weed is located. We have many beautiful lakes and streams that are close to the college. A number of small towns surround the mountain. The mountains around the valley are covered with pine and oak trees, and often have snow during the winter. Deer and other wildlife are common sights on country roads. Our area has been called a recreational wonderland!

Are international students qualified for financial assistance to attend College of the Siskiyous?

No. International students are not qualified for such assistance. Federal and state financial aid is provided to qualified persons who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, or eligible non-citizens from certain countries, such as Micronesia. International students are in the United States temporarily on an F-1 Student Visa, and cannot be considered permanent residents. A very limited number of fee reduction waivers are awarded each year for qualified students with distinct financial need attending COS. These are for one student per country as a diversity initiative, and the waiting list is growing! See the front page of International Programs for details.

How much does it cost for international students to attend College of the Siskiyous?

It is estimated that an international student enrolled in 15 units each semester for one academic year (our fall and spring semesters) will spend approximately $21,000 per year for his/her studies and living expenses. This includes an actual cost of $8070 for tuition and fees (figured at 15 units per semester) and an estimated cost of $8,725 for full (shared) room and board in our Lodges for two semesters. Books and supplies, personal and recreation items, required health insurance (2012-2013 year cost is $1560) and local transportation make up the other estimated costs. Such costs can vary widely, however, based upon the lifestyle and living arrangements of the students. These costs do not include transportation expenses to and from the student's country of residence, or summer school, and holidays.

How do I open a bank account?

There are four banks in Weed. Each of the banks has slightly different offerings, according to how much you wish to deposit, but it is important to bring your funds in US dollars to avoid a long turn-around time while they process your funds. If you bring your funds in your currency, or from a foreign bank, it can be as long as two weeks before you have access to your money.

You will need your passport, and I-20 to open an account. Because you will be required to pay your dorm and tuition fees just as school starts, it would be advisable to bring these fees in travelers' checks or US money orders. Also, you will need readily accessible funds in US dollars to purchase your textbooks and other school supplies. Text books can cost an additional two hundred dollars or more per semester for all of your classes. COS accepts major credit cards for all these expenses as well.

When should I arrive in Weed to attend College of the Siskiyous?

Since our residence halls open one week prior to the beginning of the semester, we strongly encourage students who have been accepted for the Lodges to arrive early in that week prior to the beginning of the semester. We encourage students who are seeking off-campus housing to arrive in Weed a minimum of two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester.

Is on-campus housing readily available for international students?

Yes, if you apply early. Our campus Lodges provide housing for 138 students. Generally, the Lodges are filled by mid-June for the fall semester for both men and women. Therefore, it is important that international students apply early for Lodge occupancy for the school year. The Lodges generally have room for new students during the spring semester, but still, apply early. The Lodges are not available in the summer for COS students, since the college has special summer programs which require use of the Lodges. They also close for the major vacations and holidays. This can be a good time to plan travel trips and enjoy the area.

What is the current cost for Lodge occupancy?

The 2012-2013 academic year fees are $8,725 per year, which includes a shared double room, and a seven-day meal plan. Meals must be purchased if one is living in the halls, and there are two meal plan options. The halls and dining room are right on campus, making this a good choice for busy students. Students must commit to an entire academic year in our residence halls.

Is off-campus housing easily available for international students?

Yes and no. The rental housing market in our area is somewhat limited, and we suggest that international students begin their search for off-campus housing a minimum of two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. Students can view off campus housing options at: http://mtshastanews.marketplace.totallylocal.com/.

What is the cost for off-campus housing?

Off-campus housing is considerably less expensive in Siskiyou County than it is in other areas of California. Although rental costs can vary widely, students often find single-person rental units in the range of $475 per month, and two-person rental units in the range of $700+ per month. These rental charges do not include food, and may not include furnishings. Utility charges, such as gas or electricity and telephone, may or may not be included in these costs. Heating costs can be very high in the winter.

Do international students need transportation to attend College of the Siskiyous?

No and yes! Students residing in our campus residence halls and off-campus housing units close to the college are within walking distance and do not need transportation to attend. Students living further distances generally do need transportation to attend. Limited bus transportation around Siskiyou County is available with the local transit system STAGE (Siskiyou Transit and General Express). Many students car pool to campus or purchase automobiles, for which adequate USA-based automobile insurance must be obtained.

How do I register for classes at College of the Siskiyous?

Contact Counseling & Support Services, (530) 938-5353 or counselingservices@siskiyous.edu, to schedule a SOAR (Siskiyous Orientation, Advising, and Registration) Session.

Are adequate health facilities available at College of the Siskiyous?

Although COS does not employ health professionals on campus daily, several physicians are available within one mile of the college. In addition, Mercy Medical Center in Mount Shasta City is located only eight miles from the campus. The hospital has a 24-hour emergency room for urgent medical situations. A physical education trainer is also available on campus to assist with campus injuries that may occur. There is also a Health Center available for all students every Thursday on campus in one of our Lodges. All international students are required to possess a medical health insurance policy in case of accident or illness. We require that international students purchase the International Student Health Insurance Plan through the Community College League of California. International Students will be required to purchase this insurance when they pay for registration. The cost for a full year of coverage would be $1,560.00 or in payments by semester (this rate is for the 2012-2013 year and is subject to change for the 2010-2011 year). An optional dental insurance plan can be purchased.

What special services are there for me?

On the academic side, free tutoring and free assistance labs for writing, mathematics and other coursework are available to all international students. All students are also strongly encouraged to enroll in GUID 1005, College Success Skills, their first college semester.

What type of clothing will I need?

We experience all four seasons; therefore, you should bring a variety of clothing. During the autumn, the weather gradually gets cooler and rainier, with the daily temperature ranging from about 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, snow may cover the ground and rainstorms are frequent. Students will need waterproof footwear, heavy coats, very warm pants, hats and gloves. In the spring and summer, the temperatures gradually increase and can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, so you will need clothing for warm weather as well.

The styles of clothes which students wear are rather casual here. Both men and women typically wear jeans, casual shirts, sweaters, or sweatshirts for daily wear. There may be some occasions where you will want to dress up; for example, when a local community group hosts a reception in honor of our international students, or when you attend events in our theater or go to an urban area. You may also want to bring clothes for skiing, hiking, exploring caves, and bicycle riding as well.

Where is shopping available?

Food and general necessities are, of course, available in Weed and other small towns in our rural area. But many people travel to nearby cities for larger-item shopping and entertainment. Ashland, Oregon, is about an hour's drive north, where the world-famous Shakespeare Festival is held. In Ashland or Medford, shopping malls, theaters, and other "big city" attractions are available.

To the south of us, it is about an hour's drive to the city of Redding, California. There are larger shopping malls available there, too. There are major air transportation services available in both of these cities. Most students fly into San Francisco, CA and often take a flight, or bus, or train, to Redding, CA, then come on to Weed by bus or car. The residence halls can provide exact directions.

For more information contact

Student Life Office
Phone: 530.938.5374
Fax: 530.938.5367
info@siskiyous.edu


Best wishes as you choose your future educational path; we hope you join us!