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10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
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312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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Columbia MD, 21046
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EI Student Services

students services

We are here to help.

The EI staff is committed to helping you succeed, both at HCC and with adjusting to your time in the U.S. Here are some resources to assist you.

  • Apply for a Scholarship

    Scholarships of $250 and $500 are awarded during the Spring and Fall terms and are applied to the next term’s tuition, excluding the Summer term. To be eligible for a scholarship, you must:

    • Currently be enrolled in the EI and plan to enroll in the EI in the next term
    • Have maintained attendance of 80% or higher
    • Hold passing grades (70% or higher) in all classes

    Follow these steps to apply for an EI scholarship:

    1. Complete the English Institute Scholarship Application Form.
    2. Write two essays in response to the two questions included on the application form.
    3. Ask two or more of your teachers to complete the English Institute Scholarship Teacher Recommendation Form. Your teachers should submit the form to the EI office by the deadline.
    4. Submit your English Institute Scholarship Application Form and essays to the EI office by the deadline.
  • Change Your Contact Information

    Did your name, address, phone number, email address, or emergency contact information change? Let us know!

    Complete Change of Information Form

    You can return it to us by mail, fax, or email. The form is also available in our office in HR 200.

    To return by mail:

    Howard Community College
    English Institute
    10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
    Columbia, MD 20144

    To return by fax: 443-518-4067

    To return by email: ei@howardcc.edu

  • Find Out How to Transfer to HCC’s Associate Degree Program
  • Notify Us of International Travel

    If you have F1 status and you are going to travel outside of the U.S., please bring your I-20 to the EI office before travelling so that a DSO can sign page 2. To re-enter the U.S. after travelling, you must have a passport that is valid for six months after your entry date, a valid (unexpired) F1 visa, and a valid (unexpired) I-20.
     

  • Pay for Your English Courses

    You can pay for your classes in one of the following ways:

    • At the Cashier’s Office, located on the second floor of the RCF building. You can pay with cash, U.S. check, money order, credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover), or by wire transfer.
    • Pay online or enroll in the payment plan using your myHCC account. You can pay with an American bank account or credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover). More information about how to enroll in the payment plan is available on the tuition page.
    • Mail a U.S. check or money order to the address on your registration form.
  • Request a Support Letter
  • Request a Certificate or Grade Report
  • Request an EI Transcript
    Complete the EI Transcript Request form. You can return it to us by mail, fax, or email. The form is also available in our office. Please note that official transcripts cannot be sent by email.
  • Apply for a Maryland Driver’s License

    If you have a driver’s license from your country, you may drive using that license for up to 60 days after you first arrive in the U.S. If you have an International Driving Permit, you may drive using that permit for up to one year after you first arrive in the U.S.

    1. Complete the English Institute Support Letter Request form. Your letter(s) will be mailed to your Maryland address within three business days. You will receive an email or phone call to confirm when they have been mailed.
    2. After you receive your letter(s) from the EI, go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to receive a document demonstrating non-work authorized status. If you have a valid, unexpired social security card, you DO NOT need to complete this step. You can find the SSA that is closest to you at http://bit.ly/ssa-locator. Take these documents with you to the SSA:
      1. Completed Application for a Social Security Card. This form is available at http://bit.ly/ssn-app.
      2. Passport with visa
      3. I-94. You can find your I-94 at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.
      4. Form I-20
      5. Support letter that you received from the EI
      6. If you have applied for or been approved for a change of status, you should also take your I-797
    3. If you have a foreign-issued driver’s license and it is not in English, you need to get a translation. A list of translation providers is available at http://bit.ly/mva-translator. You can also contact your country’s embassy for translation services at http://bit.ly/embassy-in-usa.
    4. Complete a three-hour alcohol and drug education program. You can find a list of providers at http://bit.ly/a-d-e-p. Online programs are available. Check to see if the provider will issue a certificate with a control number. If they will not, then you should contact another provider. When you complete the program, you will receive a certificate to take to the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA).
    5. Study the Maryland Driver’s Manual and practice for the knowledge test. If you have an unexpired driver’s license from Republic of Korea, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Taiwan, or Japan, you DO NOT need to complete the knowledge test. The Maryland Driver’s Manual is available at http://bit.ly/md-d-m. It is available in English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and Korean. The knowledge test is 25 questions and you will have 20 minutes to complete the test. You can practice the knowledge test at http://bit.ly/md-k-t.
    6. Prepare for the driver’s skills test. Information about the driver’s skills test is available at http://bit.ly/d-s-t-p.
    7. Complete the SAVE Verification Request Form, which is available at http://bit.ly/save-form. If you have applied for a change of status and your change of status is pending, type “pending new status with I-797” in the comment box and include the receipt number. After you submit the form, a person from the MVA will contact you within five business days to tell you the next steps. If you have a problem with the form or you do not receive a response after five business days, send an email to sdecal@marylandmva.com.
    8. Make and attend your appointment at the MVA. At the appointment, you will complete a vision screening, the knowledge test (if required), the drivers skills test, and pay a fee. Take these documents with you:
      1. Passport with visa
      2. I-94. You can find your I-94 at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.
      3. Form I-20
      4. Support letter that you received from the EI
      5. Document demonstrating non-work authorized status that you received from the SSA (or your valid, unexpired social security card if you have one)
      6. Certificate that you received at the alcohol and drug education program
      7. International Driver’s License or translation of foreign-issued driver’s license
      8. Two documents to prove Maryland residency. For example:
        • A bank statement with your name and Maryland address
        • A bill with your name and Maryland address, such as a cable, cell phone, credit card, or internet bill
        • Apartment lease with your name and Maryland address
        • First class mail from a federal, state, or local government agency (with envelope)
        • If you do not have any of the above documents and you live with another person, ask that person to attend your appointment at the MVA and he or she can complete the MVA Form DL-202
        • If you have applied for or been approved for a change of status, you should also take your I-797.
  • Apply for a Maryland Learner’s Permit
    1. Complete the English Institute Support Letter Request form. Your letter(s) will be mailed to your Maryland address within three business days. You will receive an email or phone call to confirm when they have been mailed.
    2. After you receive your letter(s) from the EI, go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to receive a document demonstrating non-work authorized status. If you have a valid, unexpired social security card, you DO NOT need to complete this step. You can find the SSA that is closest to you at http://bit.ly/ssa-locator. Take these documents with you to the SSA:
      1. Completed Application for a Social Security Card. This form is available at http://bit.ly/ssn-app.
      2. Passport with visa
      3. I-94. You can find your I-94 at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.
      4. Form I-20
      5. Support letter that you received from the EI
      6. If you have applied for or been approved for a change of status, you should also take your I-797
    3. Study the Maryland Driver’s Manual and practice for the knowledge test. The Maryland Driver’s Manual is available at http://bit.ly/md-d-m. It is available in English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and Korean. The knowledge test is 25 questions and you will have 20 minutes to complete the test. You can practice the knowledge test at http://bit.ly/md-k-t.
    4. Complete the SAVE Verification Request Form, which is available at http://bit.ly/save-form. If you have applied for a change of status and your change of status is pending, type “pending new status with I-797” in the comment box and include the receipt number. After you submit the form, a person from the MVA will contact you within five business days to tell you the next steps. If you have a problem with the form or you do not receive a response after five business days, send an email to sdecal@marylandmva.com.
    5. Make and attend your appointment at the MVA. At the appointment, you will complete a vision screening and the knowledge test and pay a fee. Take these documents with you:
      1. Passport with visa
      2. I-94. You can find your I-94 at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.
      3. Form I-20
      4. Support letter that you received from the EI
      5. Document demonstrating non-work authorized status that you received from the SSA (or your valid, unexpired social security card if you have one)
      6. Two documents to prove Maryland residency. For example:
        1. A bank statement with your name and Maryland address
        2. A bill with your name and Maryland address, such as a cable, cell phone, credit card, or internet bill
        3. Apartment lease with your name and Maryland address
        4. First class mail from a federal, state, or local government agency (with envelope)
        5. If you do not have any of the above documents and you live with another person, ask that person to attend your appointment at the MVA and he or she can complete the MCA Form DL-202
      7. If you have applied for or been approved for a change of status, you should also take your I-797

    After you receive your Maryland learner’s permit, follow these steps in order to get a Maryland provisional license:

    1. Complete 60 hours of supervised driving (or 14 hours if you are age 25 or older) with a qualified supervising driver and complete the Practice Skills Log. The Practice Skills Log is available at http://bit.ly/practice-skills-log. A qualified supervising driver is a person who is 21 years old or older and has had a driver’s license for at least three years. The person must sit in the front passenger seat while you are driving. Please note that while you have a learner’s permit, you are NOT allowed to drive without a supervising driver.
      Complete a Maryland MVA-approved driver education program with at least 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of driving instruction. A list of certified driver education schools is available at http://bit.ly/c-d-e-s.
    2. Prepare for the drivers skills test. Information about the driver’s skills test is available at http://bit.ly/d-s-t-p.
    3. After you have had your learner’s permit for at least nine months (or 45 days if you are age 25 or older) and you have completed steps 1-3, you can schedule an appointment to take the driver’s skills test to receive a provisional license. You can schedule your appointment at http://bit.ly/d-s-t. A supervising driver should go with you to your appointment. Take these documents:
      1. Documents listed in step 5 above
      2. Completed Practice Skills Log with certification page
      3. Learner’s permit
      4. Completed Certification of Insurance and Authorization to Operate Vehicle. This form is available at http://bit.ly/c-i-a-o-v.
      5. The supervising driver/owner of the car you will use for the test should bring:
        1. Proof of insurance
        2. Vehicle registration card

    After you receive your provisional license, you can drive without supervision. Be careful to follow all driving laws! If you do not follow driving laws, you may have to pay fines, go to court, or even lose your license!

  • Enroll in Health Insurance

    HCC requires that F1 international students have health insurance coverage in the U.S. Health insurance will protect you financially in case of serious illness or accident during your stay in the U.S. The U.S. does not have a universal health care system, and a visit to a regular physician for a common illness can cost you hundreds of dollars. A visit to the emergency room at the hospital can cost you thousands of dollars.

    You should budget at least $80 per month for health insurance. Most policies require that you make a one-time payment for the full coverage period. This means that you might spend $300 for health insurance prior to each semester. Before registering for your classes each semester, you must give your EI advisor a copy of your health insurance card, showing coverage for the entire semester. HCC does not require enrollment in a specific insurance plan--you should choose a policy that best meets your needs.

    CISI, which is part of the First Health Network, offers a group plan to F1 students at HCC. This plan provides comprehensive coverage for international students, including a low deductible of $50 per injury/illness. It is accepted at Patient First, which is an urgent care/primary care service across the street from the college. The cost is $86.50 per month. (Note that it is not pro-rated, so you will pay for the full month even if you enroll for part of a month.)

    Visit the sites below for enrollment and additional information:

    To locate a doctor, click this link, then click "U.S. Provider Search" under the Services tab.


    Additional health insurance options include:

    Before deciding which insurance policy to purchase, consider these important points:

    • What does the policy include and exclude? Does it cover pre-existing conditions? Maternity care? Prescription drugs? Read the policy details carefully.
    • What is the policy's deductible amount? This is the amount you are required to pay before the insurance company will begin paying. Deductibles may range from $0 to $200 or more. Some policies will have a lower deductible if you visit your school's "Student Health Service." HCC does NOT have a health center.

    • What is the policy's maximum coverage amount?

    • What is the policy's coinsurance amount? This is the percentage of total expenses (after the deductible) you will have to pay.

    • Most international student insurance policies will not cover vision or dental (except in the case of emergency repair to natural teeth damaged during a Covered Accident.)

    Watch this video about the U.S. healthcare system.

  • File Your Taxes

    All students with F1 status who were present in the U.S. in the last year must file the Form 8843. Spouses and dependents must also file this form.

    View Tax Information.

  • Find Transportation to School
    • Drive.
      Refer to HCC’s Parking & Transportation page for important information about driving on campus. Make sure that you have a license to drive (refer to Apply for a Maryland Driver’s License or Learner’s Permit above) and that the car you are driving is insured.
    • Ride with another HCC student.
      You can create a Carpoolworld account to find a person who lives near you and is also travelling to HCC who you can ride with. Get More Details
    • Ride the bus.
      The Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) of Central Maryland provides bus transportation to HCC. You can purchase a monthly pass for only $10 if you are enrolled in the current semester. Bus passes are available for purchase at the Cashier’s Office, located on the second floor of the RCF building. Visit transitrta.com to find a bus near you.
    • Take a taxi.
      The following companies provide taxi service to HCC:
  • Find an On-Campus Job

    Part-time (20 or less hours per week), on-campus employment is permitted for students who have F1 status (40 hours per week is permitted during authorized breaks). There are two ways to apply for a job at HCC:

    • Work-Study jobs are jobs for HCC students and normally they are paid for with federal (U.S. government) funding. However, the EI has set aside some money for EI students to work in these jobs.
      • First, contact Kathie Martin to confirm that funding is available. Kathie can be reached by email (kmartin@howardcc.edu), phone (443-518-4381), or in person in HR 200.
      • If funding is available, the next step is to review the list of work-study jobs. Contact the person listed for any job that you would like to apply for that is available.
    • Go to howardcc.edu and click “Jobs” at the top. Next, click the blue “View Job Opportunities” button. Next, click “Search Job Opportunities.” Finally, click the “List All Jobs” button. You will see a listing of jobs. When you click on a job, you will see a description and an “Apply Now” button. Be sure that the job you are applying for is “PT” (part-time).

    If you are hired for a job, you will complete hiring paperwork and you will need to apply for a Social Security number. Here are instructions about how to apply for a Social Security number after you have been hired. 

 
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