Orientation and Placement Testing

All international students must attend the 3-day International Student Orientation scheduled two weeks before the start of the semester.  The Orientation will include a campus tour and information sessions that will help you learn about Cañada College programs and services, F-1 immigration regulations, American classroom expectations and meet other new international students and International Student Ambassadors.

All new students, both international and domestic, must take the ESL or English and Math assessment test before registering for classes at Cañada College. The test results will be used to place students in an appropriate level of ESL or English and Math classes.  Once you have completed the assessment tests, orientation, and counseling, you will be eligible to register for classes.  Find more information and samples of the placement tests here.

Academic Counseling

Academic counselors will help you select classes that best fit your educational level and develop a Student Educational Plan (SEP) that meet your educational goals. Remember, we are here to help you adjust to your new environment and culture so you can be successful in reaching your goals.

International students should meet with an academic counselor at least once per semester.  It is recommended that students meet with a counselor mid-semester to discuss mid-term progress and classes to take next semester.  To schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor, visit the International Student Center or Welcome Center in Building 9, 1st Floor or call (650) 306-3452.

International students are not recommended to take online classes, since only one online class or three units of online class counts towards the minimum requirement of 12 units to be considered full-time.  However, if you would like to register for an online class, please review videos of Online Readiness Tutorials that may prepare you to successfully complete online classes.

We look forward to working closely with you to achieve your goals and hope you will agree that Cañada College is a friendly place, one in which you will grow personally and academically.


The International Student Center (ISC) provides the following workshops that help international students navigate a new environment and learn new skills and knowledge at the beginning of every semester.

  • Transfer Workshop: Learn more about the U.S. educational system and basic information about how to transfer.  Also learn about the different transfer resources available such as the Transfer Center, DegreeWorks, and ASSIST.
  • Academic Success in the U.S. Workshop: Nearly every class requires you to participate in class  Not sure what that means?  Not sure how to participate in class?  Attend the Class Participation Workshop to learn and practice the appropriate ways to participate and earn your full grade in class participation.
  • Employment Workshop: Do you know that you are eligible to work in the U.S. as an F-1 student?  Come learn about job opportunities on campus, how to work off-campus, how to search for a job, how to write a resume, and learn about American business etiquette.  This Workshop is presented by ISC, the Career Center and Cooperative Education.
  • Health & Wellness Workshop: Being a student is challenging and having to adjust to a new educational system, living environment, language, and culture makes it even more challenging.  Learn about ways to avoid stress and services available on campus to help you adjust to your new life in the U.S., including personal counseling and how to use your health insurance.
  • Tax Workshop: Did you know that international students should submit tax forms to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) even if you have never worked in the U.S.?  Come learn about your tax reporting requirements as an F-1 student.

These are just the workshops provided by the International Student Center.  We also recommend that you take advantage of workshops provided by other programs and services on campus including the A2B Program, BTO Peer Mentoring Program, Career Center, Learning Center, STEM Center, and Transfer Center.

Student Life

Being a student is not just about getting good grades.  The Center for Student Life and Leadership's mission is to create a learning environment outside of the classroom.  International students are highly encouraged to participate in ASCC Student Government, in student-run clubs, and participate or volunteer in the monthly Spirit Days and other campus events organized by ASCC.

If you're not sure about serving in ASCC, you can join the Programming Board to help ASCC organize events and activities on campus to see if you're ready to become a student leader.

To find a list of student-run clubs or information on how to start a club, click here.

Participating in events and activities on campus and becoming a student leader not only helps you make new friends but it also builds life and leadership skills that top universities are looking for in transfer students.

Health Center

The Student Health Center is available for all students and provides healthcare services, referrals to specialists, and free over-the-counter medicine.  Medical tests, such as pregnancy tests, physical exams, blood work, and immunizations are available for free or at low cost. 

College life is a time of change and growth and can be very stressful for students.  The Health Center also houses a Personal Counseling Center that provides free and confidential mental health services that can help students better understand and manage the changes occurring during college life.

The Health Center is located in Building 5, Room 303 and is open for walk-ins and appointments.  You may call 650-306-3309 to schedule an appointment to see a nurse or doctor and schedule a meeting with Psychological Services.

Foreign Transcript Evaluation

If you would like to receive transfer credit for classes you have taken in your country, you must send your foreign transcripts to any of the foreign credential evaluation service listed below, request that the transcript evaluation be sent to Cañada College, Admissions & Records Office, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Redwood City, CA 94061, and submit an online transcript evaluation request at

World Educational Services (WES)

Academic Credential Evaluation Institute (ACEI)

International Education Research Foundation (IERF)

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