University of Southern Maine


The University of Southern Maine is northern New England’s outstanding public, regional, comprehensive university, dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education. From our campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston-Auburn, USM offers baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, providing students with rich learning opportunities in the arts, humanities, politics, health sciences, business, mass communications, science, engineering, and technology. Our students will be the artists, business people, engineers, health care workers, public servants, teachers and others whose talents will fuel our economy—and shape tomorrow’s world.

Why choose University of Southern Maine?
Campus Services

The University of Southern Maine Office of International Programs promotes international education and understanding on campus in a variety of ways. In addition to coordinating support services for international and study away students, faculty exchange participants, and international visitors, the office serves as a resource to the University and as a liaison to the broader community. The experienced and knowledgeable staff members routinely seek opportunities to encourage international affiliations and experiences for USM students, faculty, and students.

International Student Services

International students enrolled at USM contribute to the growing cosmopolitan environment of Southern Maine. The staff members in the Office of International Programs help them make the most of their time while enrolled at USM. Services to international students include:

  • Pre-admission and financial advisement
  • Pre-arrival information and planning
  • New student orientation programs and materials
  • Ongoing advising and support services
  • Provide electronic updates on immigration issues impacting international students
  • Ongoing liaison for university and community resources

Study Away Opportunities

Students are encouraged to include a period of study away in their degree. Through participation in exchange networks with Canadian or one or our many partner international universities, students can enrich their academic programs and life experiences. The Office of International Programs assists students in the following ways:

  • International scholarship development and management
  • Management of direct exchange relationships and faculty-led programs
  • Site selection and application assistance
  • Promotion and advising for study away programs
  • Pre-departure advising and orientation
  • Re-entry facilitation and consultation
  • Resource room on study, work and travel opportunities
  • Ongoing assistance for study away students with details such as billing, pre-registration, etc.
  • Facilitate evaluation of study abroad credits

Faculty and Staff Support Services

Members of the USM faculty and staff increasingly include international material and perspectives in their instruction, research, and service. The Office of International Programs participates in efforts to expand personal and institutional expertise in global issues through the following means:

  • Promotion of international exchange opportunities including the Fulbright Program
  • Collaboration on  fund-raising for projects which foster international learning
  • Managing logistics, registration, risk management etc. for faculty-led programs to allow faculty to focus on the program curriculum

Each year the University welcomes international visiting faculty and staff for short or long-term visits. The Office of International Programs serves them in the following ways:

  • Management of  the USIA Exchange Visitor Program
  • Providing orientation and adjustment consultation
  • Coordinating visits of international guests

Exchange Relationship Management

USM has active exchange relationships with numerous higher education institutions around the world. These valued linkages provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to develop ongoing collaborative partnerships with friends around the world. The Office of International Programs provides the following services:

  • Central coordination of international activities and concerns
  • Collaboration with  academic units in the development of new linkages
  • Oversight and management of existing partnerships

Community Liaison Activities

Global awareness is enhanced on campus through cooperation with the community-based educational and cultural groups which promote cross-cultural understanding. These organizations make Southern Maine a culturally rich community in which to live and learn. The Office of International Programs works to share expertise and friendship across organizational lines.

Application Deadlines

Since preparations for entering a college in the United States are complex, international students should begin their application process one year before intended enrollment.

The University of Southern Maine does have application deadlines for international applicants in order to allow sufficient time for processing the necessary immigration documents and to allow the student time to obtain a student visa.

Fall/September Admission: The application deadline is July 1st *

Spring/January Admission: The application deadline is November 15th *

* Graduate students who wish to be considered for graduate assistantships should submit their fall applications by February 1st.

* Undergraduate students who wish to be considred for international merit scholarships must submit their application no later than the 31st of March. 

Later admission deadlines might be possible for students who are already in the US and who already have an F-1 student visa.

How to apply

Individuals interested in attending the Intensive English Program must have completed secondary school and be able to provide proof of sufficient funds to support their study.

In order to apply, it is necessary to send the following materials:

  • Declaration of Finances Form with certified financial documents showing sufficient funds to cover the program of study at the USM ESOL Program.
    Please Note: The Application Form and Declaration of Finances Form are provided in PDF format and are designed to be printed and submitted by mail. To read these files, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you do not have this free software on your computer and would like to download it now, visit the Adobe AcrobatWeb site.
  • a sponsor’s original, notarized affidavit of support (if applicable)
  • nonrefundable application fee of $40 (US) and tuition deposit of $150 (US) made payable to the University of Southern Maine (total of $190 US)

Please Note:

  • Admission to the IELP does not guarantee admission to USM for academic study. Any applications for a degree program must be done through the Office of Admissions.
  • Students are required to have or purchase medical insurance.
  • Students born after 1956 must show proof of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria.
  • Upon receipt of completed application, Declaration of Finances, and a check made payable to the University of Southern Maine for $190 (US), the Office of International Programs will issue an INS I-20 Certificate of Eligibility which needs to be presented to a US Visa Office to obtain an F1 student visa.
  • Signed applications can be faxed. Certification of Finances can be faxed to speed up the procedure, but an original copy must be mailed. Postal money orders cannot be accepted.

Application Deadlines:

  • Spring: October 11
  • Summer: May 1
  • Fall: May 15
University Fees
  1. By the end of the first week of classes, new international students will be required to pay their semester tuition and fees, as well as any on campus housing and meals if they are living in the residence halls.
  2. If you prefer to spread the payments out over the semester, you can sign up for a USM payment plan. A payment plan divides the entire amount of the bill into three, four or five smaller payments throughout the semester. There is a US $30 administration charge to enroll in the payment plan, but no additional interest is charged. Students will receive e-mail notification of upcoming payment deadlines but no paper bill is sent.
  3. Students should plan to have the funds available to cover their first semester’s expenses. The amount is roughly half of the total indicated on your I-20 document. Students can pay with a check in US dollars, via wire transfer or with a credit card. Several credit cards are accepted, but not Visa. (Current cards that can be used include MasterCard, Discover, American Express, BC Card, China Union, Dina Card & JCB) Students who pay using credit cards will be charge a 2.75% convenience fee.
  4. Tuition and fee estimates are based on 9 credits at the graduate level and 12 credits at the undergraduate level per semester. ESOL Intensive students pay a flat rate program fee. Please note that tuition and fees are subject to modification by the UMaine System Board of Trustees at any time. Increases in tuition of approximately 5 percent per year are to be expected.
  5. The amount listed on your I-20 is for two academic semesters and does not cover summer session costs if you wish to enroll in summer courses. (Summer courses are not mandatory).
  6. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 grants certain rights, privileges, and protections related to student’ education record maintained by the University. Students’ educational records will not be released to third parties outside of the University, except with the written consent of the student. A waiver can be printed from our Resources for Agents website which allow the student to waive this right. FERPA also restricts parents from obtaining information about their son or daughter without a release form.
Services for International Students

Prior to Arrival:

  • The International Office will provide assistance with the documentation of funding process and provide guidance on immigration issues.
  • The International Programs office will work with students to answer questions about USM (housing, courses, tuition, etc.) and the local community.
  • The International Office will assist students with booking temporary accommodations if they need to hunt for an apartment upon their arrival in Maine.
  • The International Office will begin working with the student to help them pre-register for courses prior to their arrival.

Upon Arrival at USM:

  • A representative from the Office of International Programs will pick up students living on-campus and take them to the residential hall. Students will need to plan their arrival date/time to coordinate with one of our pre-planned shuttle services. (Unfortunately our shuttle service is only available to students living in the USM Residence Halls). Information about the shuttle service will be included in the student’s admission packet.
  • Within 48 hours our office will e-mail you to notify you of your student’s safe arrival.
  • The International Programs staff will assist students with any housing needs, academic questions or concerns, and adjustment issues.

Mandatory Orientation for International Students:

Orientation is mandatory for all incoming international students. Information about the date, time and location will be included in the student’s admission packet.

Our fall orientation is a 2-day event, while our spring orientation is a 1-day event. The following activities are included in the orientation:

  • Meeting & socializing with other international students
  • Introduction to the International Programs staff
  • Briefing on immigration requirements and regulations
  • Overview of campus services and facilities including student services, student health, student counseling, campus safety and more.
  • Discussion of cultural adjustment and the US academic system
  • Individual meetings to assist students in completing their course registration
  • Demonstration of how to use the USM online student system to pay bills, register for classes and more
  • Activation of their USM e-mail accounts
  • Obtaining USM Student ID
  • Off campus activities to help introduce them to the surrounding community including a picnic at Fort Williams lighthouse and/or a half-day excursion to Portland’ Old Port area filled with shops, restaurants and tourist activities.
  • A coordinated shopping event to a local grocery/department store

The University will also have many other orientation activities taking place during the first week of classes for ALL USM students. This information will be provided to students during the orientation session.

Ongoing Services Provided by the Office of International Programs

  • Three staff members with immigration experience are available at all times to help students with immigration questions, concerns, getting paperwork signed for travel and relevant applications for OPT, changes in status, etc.
  • Three staff members are available to assist students with questions about the University and the local community. Often we can assist students with resolving their issues, but if not, we can help them locate the appropriate office or service that can help.
  • The International Programs office provides limited programming throughout the year to provide opportunities for friendship and cultural sharing.
  • The International Programs Office offers a series of Lunch & Learn workshops each semester to help address issues such as academic success, culture shock and more.
  • The International Programs office also acts as a liaison between the student and your office after their arrival in Maine.


The University of Southern Maine, northern New England’s outstanding public, regional, comprehensive university, is dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education. Through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, USM faculty members educate future leaders in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering and technology, health and social services, education, business, law, and public service. Distinguished for their teaching, research, scholarly publication, and creative activity, the faculty are committed to fostering a spirit of critical inquiry and civic participation. USM embraces academic freedom for students, faculty, and staff, and advocates diversity in all aspects of its campus life and academic work. It supports sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and community involvement. As a center for discovery, scholarship, and creativity, USM provides resources for the state, the nation, and the world.


  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • College of Management and Human Service
  • College of Science, Technology, and Health
  • Lewiston-Auburn College
  • University of Maine School of Law


  • The Gorham Campus
  • The Portland Campus
  • Lewiston-Auburn Campus

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