International Pathway FAQs

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The International Pathway combines English as a Second Language study, academic skills development, along with credit bearing courses in a customized program specifically designed to move international students through their first semester or first year of undergraduate or graduate coursework.


Yes. However, each undergraduate and graduate program have set requirements. The amount of ESL instruction you will obtain depends on your TOEFL score. We are here to help ensure that you will succeed within 1-3 semesters to gain full admission to your chosen UTSA undergraduate or graduate degree.

Learn more about English language tests: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


In addition to improving your English skills and accumulating credits towards your field of study, the International Pathway provides international students with the necessary resources to make the transition to the U.S. academic classroom as easy as possible. The program takes place in our main campus helping students to integrate fully into campus life and experience a full immersion program in a top-tier university. This also makes it easier to get to know your new classmates and form friendships with other students who are experiencing this new environment for the first time.

As an International Pathway student, you will receive support from the English Language Center, and you will have access to all the resources available at UTSA.


Take a look at the various pathways that we offer at UTSA and learn about TOEFL and IELTS requirements. Once you apply to a program, academic counselors will determine your placement in the pathway according to your level of English.


You will work on academic coursework while improving your English skills to fulfill your educational goals. UTSA's International Pathway consists of three components:

  • English language instruction, as preparation for undergraduate or graduate coursework
  • Credit-bearing courses applied towards the participating UTSA undergraduate and graduate degree tracks
  • From your very first day on campus, you will be part of the UTSA community. You will have access to university facilities and organizations. As an international pathway student, you will experience university-style teaching, so you are fully prepared to progress to your degree after successfully completing the program. Our dedicated faculty will support you every step of the way and encourage you to become an active member of the community.

You will need to meet Pathway exit requirements to gain full admission into your chosen field of study.


The International Pathway has admission requirements set according to degree of study. Click on the links below for more details.


You will be receiving a combination of English as a Second Language study, academic skills development, along with credit bearing courses in a customized program specifically designed to meet the needs of your academic studies. Click on your degree course map for more information about your courses.


A student’s Academic Achievement grade will be calculated in each English for Academic Purpose course according to their performance in class assessments. These assessments will vary for each core course. They will include in-class tests, homework, writing assignments, oral presentations among other assignments that are considered appropriate to measure language acquisition. Academic achievement will be considered separate from attendance policies.


On average, it takes most students four years to complete a bachelor’s degree. Graduate degree programs are designed to take two years to complete as a full-time graduate student.


UTSA will be granting the I-20 document if you meet admission requirements. This is the document that you need to petition your student visa (F-1 visa). The F-1 visa is issued by U.S. Consulates and Embassies abroad, and each Consulate/Embassy has differing requirements and procedures for the visa application. It is recommended that you apply for your visa in your country of citizenship or permanent residence. Visit your country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate website to learn where you will apply for your F-1 visa. Learn how to schedule an appointment, how many times you can apply for your visa, what specific documents are required, and what procedures must be followed.

Apply for your F-1 visa as soon as you receive your I-20 document. Make sure that you allow adequate time for security checks.


As an arriving passenger, you will be required to provide international documentation, such as a passport, and declare any items of value. The inspections program is responsible for ensuring that individuals entering the U.S. are eligible to do so under U.S. immigration law. You can find more information on U.S. Customs and Immigration online.

Upon arrival to the U.S., students will be asked by a U.S. Immigration Inspector to present the following:

  • Passport with valid F-1 entry visa
  • Appropriate financial documentation
  • UTSA admission letter and financial aid letter (if any)
  • Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20
Always carry these documents with you. Do not pack them in your checked luggage, as you must show your documents to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer before you are allowed to claim your luggage. The CBP officer may ask similar questions to those asked during the visa interview. You should also be prepared to have your photo and index fingerprints digitally taken as part of the entry process.

International students and their dependents are not permitted to enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days before the program start date listed on the Form I-20, even though the student may be issued an F-1 visa that is valid before the program start date. Students and their dependents who arrive prior to 30 days before the I-20 program start date may be denied entry to the U.S.


Your new life at UTSA will be a ‘home away from home’ for the next few years. Wondering what you should pack? We recommend you keep your baggage light and compact. You will be able to buy items in San Antonio at nearby Walmart, HEB or shopping mall, most likely at a cheaper cost. Before you pack, refer to the TSA website for guidelines on what carry-on baggage will be allowed. Below is a list to get you started.

Wardrobe basics:

  • Undergarments and socks
  • Sneakers
  • Casual shoes and sandals
  • Tank tops, undershirts, T-shirts
  • Short and long-sleeve shirts (mostly short)
  • Sweaters (one or two)
  • Sweatshirts or hoodies (one or two)
  • Lightweight jacket/coat
  • Work out clothing
  • Jeans, shorts, or other types of pants (2-3 pairs)
  • Swimsuit
  • Pajamas, Bathrobe
  • Flip flops
  • Belts and accessories

Toiletries and personal hygiene products:

  • Shampoo, face and body wash
  • Lotion/cream
  • Medicated ointments / skin creams used on a regular basis
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shaving cream and razor
  • Deodorant / Antiperspirant
  • Perfume or cologne
  • Beauty supplies such as makeup (women)

Quick tip: Pack in small quantities or travel size for immediate use only. You can always buy additional toiletries at a nearby supermarket when you need more.

Bed linens and towels:

  • Buy bed linens, pillows and blankets in San Antonio.
  • Pack one towel for showering upon arrival; buy additional towels when you are settled in.

Quick tip: Everyday electrical appliances such as desk lamps and hair dryers can be purchased cheaply in San Antonio. But keep in mind that plug points and voltage may vary from what is used in your country, so assess your needs and purchase accordingly when in your residence.


  • Bring sufficient prescription medicine if you take it on a regular basis.
  • Over the counter medications such as aspirin, can be bought in San Antonio to save space, but it is okay to bring a small amount in case you need it for immediate use.
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if you wear them.

Quick tip: Have a list of all your medications prescribed and signed by a doctor to show legitimacy. Also, make sure what you are bringing with you is considered legal in your destination country. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or check the TSA website.

Important documents to bring (originals or copies, as applicable):

  • Detailed and up-to-date medical and dental records, if possible. Make sure your records reflect recent visits to your local health care professionals for general examinations, blood tests, dental and eye check-ups, x-rays, etc. These will help American doctors get a better idea of past diagnoses and accordingly offer treatments.
  • Immunization record, even if it was already turned in to your university. It is good to have a spare copy!
  • Official transcripts from secondary schools, colleges or universities.

Other essentials:

  • Airplane ticket and passport
  • Wallet with local currency or traveler's checks
  • Your mobile phone
  • Laptop or tablet plus chargers

Additional tips:

  • Campus dress code at UTSA is casual (t-shirt and jeans).
  • Do not pack clothing that you will be able to buy in San Antonio at a cheaper cost.
  • If you cannot fit items into your luggage, you can always ship it to your university residence.

UTSA Housing and Residence Life offers housing for UTSA students on the Main Campus. Residents benefit from conveniences such as fully furnished living spaces, 24-hour laundry centers, common areas, neighborhood centers and simple billing with utilities included.

Housing and Residence Life additionally facilitates unique Special Interest Housing (SIH) programs to promote the academic and personal development of students with common interests. These programs aim to provide a supportive environment for members to discuss shared issues.

Review the Housing and Residence Life residential options and floor plans then apply.

Campus Living Villages is a privately owned global student housing operator that owns and manages the University Oaks on-campus apartments at UTSA. Residents of University Oaks enjoy the choice of multiple room configurations ranging from double occupancy to apartment-style living, as well as amenities such as clubhouses and an activity center.

The UTSA Downtown Campus is growing quickly and includes plans for a mixed-use facility with a variety of living, dining and retail options. Currently, there are various options available for students desiring an urban living experience in convenient proximity to the Downtown Campus. Learn more about Downtown Campus housing opportunities.


Passengers arriving at the San Antonio International Airport have several options of ground transportation available to them. Taxis and Rideshares are popular options for students. Lyft and Uber are two of the most popular rideshare apps, though if you’d prefer to use a local rideshare, Leep is a San Antonio-based rideshare company.


The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System requires all students holding an F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 non-immigrant visa have health insurance coverage while enrolled at institutions of the University of Texas. This coverage may be with the system-sponsored insurance plan or comparable coverage from another provider. This includes continuing students who are not enrolled in summer classes. Learn more about health insurance requirements.


As a metropolitan city with a growing international presence, San Antonio has many fine restaurants and grocery stores in the area serving Halal food and international food products from other countries for your enjoyment.


For busy students on the go, UTSA makes eating healthy and fast easier with options across the Main and Downtown Campuses to suit a wide range of lifestyles and tastes. The Roadrunner Café, which is on the Main Campus, has 11 food stations to choose from, including made-to-order options for customization and variety.

Students living on campus may be required to purchase meal plans. Meal plans are economical, flexible, and make eating on campus easy. UTSA offers a variety of plans to fit your dining lifestyle and budget.
UTSA is also home to several restaurants, many of which are popular national brands such as Subway, Starbucks, Chik-Fil-A and Panda Express.

Visit UTSA Dining Options for all the details.


As the 7th largest city by population in the U.S., San Antonio is home to 1.5 million people. The population is widely diverse with many cultures melding together in one place. The largest segment is Hispanic, slightly over half of the residents in the greater San Antonio metropolitan area.


San Antonio is a city with abundant sunshine – an average of 220 days per year.

Spring can be one of the rainiest times of year; its temperate weather averages between the high 60s and 70s. There is much less humidity during the spring than in the summer, and it is a popular time of year to see the beautiful bluebonnets (state flower) and Texas Hill Country in full bloom.

The summer temperatures are hot and humid than at any other time of year, which makes it the perfect time to enjoy outdoor water activities. Highs are typically in the mid to high 90s.

Temperatures are cooler in fall than the summer months, so it can be a very pleasant time of year in the city, but it’s still much warmer than other areas in the U.S. During early fall you can see temperatures as high as 90 degrees, and towards the end, the average lows are around the mid-50s.

The winter season is considered jacket weather in the city. The area hardly ever sees snowfall, and temperatures stay in a comfortable range between the 40s and mid-60s.


San Antonio has a diversified economy which focuses primarily on military, health care, government–civil service, financial services, oil and gas, and tourism. The city also has a growing technology sector. It is home to more than 130,000 students studying at colleges and universities, with UTSA serving as the city’s largest university committed to developing a skilled workforce to fuel the local economy and educating the future global leaders of tomorrow.

San Antonio is known for its beautiful historic landmarks, Tex-Mex food, warm climate, low cost of living and friendly hospitality. The multi-cultural city makes it easier for international students to find a place to fit in while they study outside of their home country. Even though there is the hustle and bustle, and amenities that big cities have to offer, the atmosphere in San Antonio is much more casual and relaxed. Don’t worry, soon you will be calling San Antonio, your second home!

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