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To begin the process you will need to fill out our online Student Visa Program Application form completely. Please be aware that there is a non-refundable $150USD application fee. Payment can be made by credit card during the online application process. Because the M-1 visa application and issuance process may take a number of weeks, and our semesters start on April 1 and October 1 of each year, the deadlines for applications are: February 15 for the semester beginning on April 1, and August 15 for the semester beginning October 1. Applicants will need to provide the Studio with copies of financial documents that prove their ability to support themselves financially while studying in the United States. The one-year tuition for Susan Batson Studio is $15,000USD, and estimated annual living expenses in New York are $30,000USD per year. Once you are accepted into the program, you will receive an acceptance letter via email that will also explain terms and options for payment. A Designated School Official (DSO) will generate your I-20 form on the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) web site and send you a signed copy of it. You will then need to apply for your student visa (see applicable instructions on: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student.html). (All prospective M-1 students in the program must pay an I-901 fee, including those students from visa-exempt countries whose eligibility to enter the U.S. is determined at U.S. ports of entry.) To apply for and obtain your visa, contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy (varies depending on country of origin) in your home country to make an appointment for an interview.
Please check to see if there is a visa reciprocity fee required by your country as well. Make sure you bring all the necessary documents to the visa interview, including the I-20 form, the printed DS-160 barcode page (it’s not necessary to print the full application), payment receipts for your visa application and the I-901 fee, your passport, evidence of financial responsibility for the intended one-year length of stay, etc. For further information about the M-1 student visa, read the instructions provided on the I-20 form and see the SEVIS and Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) web site: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/.
The M-1 student visa is valid for one year of study. However, M-1 visas may be extended for up to three years of study, as necessary and subject to U.S. government approval of applications for extension. When you first arrive at a U.S. port of entry, you will be required to present the following: a signed I-20, a valid student visa, a valid passport, financial documentation that is proof of your ability to pay tuition and living expenses during your stay, and the payment receipt for the I-901 fee. It is also advisable to copy and hand carry a set of your travel documents at this time. After arriving in the United States, please report to the Studio as soon as possible and definitely no later than your program start date (either April 1 or October 1). Your program start date will also be your Orientation Date with Studio Director Carl Ford.
During this program, you will also have trimonthly evaluations that will occur on July 1, October 1, and January 2 for students with April 1 start dates, or January 2, April 1, and July 1 for those with October 1 start dates.
Our semesters (or sessions) run from April 1 through September 30 and October 1 through March 31 of each year. For students in their first semester, there are 26 hours of mandatory classes that include: DYOM (Develop Your Own Method), Movement, two Ex-Er Actor classes, Improv, Acting On Camera, Scene Study, and Speech/Accent Reduction. If any student has more than five absences in one semester that are not due to a verifiable medical condition then he/she will be considered out of status and dropped from the program. The Susan Batson Studio is open all year and only closes on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Students will be given the option of taking holiday breaks but also may continue their studies during holiday periods if they wish. There is no summer program, and our class schedule remains the same throughout the year. All visa students may take summer or other vacations with prior approval. Such vacations can include travel out of the U.S., in which case visa students should have their I-20 forms signed in the “Travel Endorsement” section by a DSO before departure.
Please contact our Student Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the Student Visa Program Application.