Frequently Asked Questions
Prospective students often have similar questions, so we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. Click the questions below to see the answers.
1. What is the INTERLINK schedule?
2. What kind of curriculum does INTERLINK have?
3. What qualifications do INTERLINK teachers have?
4. How long do students study at INTERLINK?
5. Who attends INTERLINK?
6. Do students who finish INTERLINK need TOEFL?
7. What is Conditional Admission?
8. What is the size of INTERLINK classes?
9. How are students assessed?
10. Does INTERLINK help with housing?
11. What happens if I get sick?
12. Can I get help with college applications and placement?
13. Can I take college/university courses?
14. When and how can I begin the program?
15. How do I get to INTERLINK?
16. When should I come to INTERLINK to register?
17. When and how do I pay the tuition and fees?
18. Are scholarships available for study at INTERLINK?
19. Is work available to allow me to pay for my studies at INTERLINK?
20. If I leave INTERLINK early, will my tuition be refunded?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Prospective students often have similar questions. Applicants considering studying at INTERLINK will find the following questions and answers helpful.
WHAT ARE THE INTERLINK PROGRAMS LIKE?
The INTERLINK programs are designed for carefully screened, serious, and disciplined students. All full-time students have 20-23 hours of instruction per week. Most students spend 3-5 additional hours per day studying and doing homework assignments. They also participate in co-curricular activities such as concerts, lectures, and field trips to local places of interest. In-depth orientation to academic and social life in the U.S. is an important feature of the INTERLINK programs.
WHAT CHARACTERIZES THE INTERLINK CURRICULUM?
The well-defined, five-level curriculum is specifically designed for university-bound students. It emphasizes the communicative use of English, academic skills, and cultural orientation.
WHO TEACHES THE STUDENTS AT INTERLINK?
INTERLINK courses are taught by professionally trained teachers, with MA degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, who have taught in the U.S. and in other countries. Many have studied other languages, so understand and empathize with the challenges and the cultural adjustments that students face.
WHO ATTENDS INTERLINK?
INTERLINK is not a program for beginners in English or for vacationaers. All students have studied English already for at least a short time. The majority of INTERLINK students are undergraduate or graduate students preparing to attend colleges and universities in the U. S. A few are professionals who enroll in the program to improve their language proficiency for personal and professional reasons. The program has strict attendance and punctuality rules, reflecting the seriousness of its students.
Students come from all major geographic regions of the world, including the Pacific Rim, Latin American, Africa, The Middle East, and Europe.
HOW LONG DO STUDENTS STUDY AT INTERLINK?
This depends on a student's prior knowledge of English. A student's duration of stay at INTERLINK may range from nine weeks to fourteen months. Students sometimes decide to stay longer than they originally planned. This is fine, and usually involves no added paperwork.
ARE CONDITIONAL ADMISSION AND TEST-TAKING PREPARATION AVAILABLE TO INTERLINK APPLICANTS?
Applicants with strong academic records may receive conditional admission without TOEFL to UNCG and a select number of other universities and college in our area.
INTERLINK does not offer test-taking preparation for TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT. Nearby Guilford College offers GMAT and GRE preparation at selected times at an additional charge.
WHAT IS CONDITIONAL ADMISSION?
Students whose transcripts and GPA meet academic requirements of UNCG for undergraduate admission may be admitted "conditionally" before they have the required English proficiency. As soon as they complete INTERLINK, they enter UNCG. Graduate students can also be conditionally admitted. They must submit more documents, and the process takes longer because a) the transcript must be sent to an independent evaluation services and b) a departmental committee then has to review all documents. Graduate students have to complete INTERLINK and also have to achieve a satisfactory score on GRE or GMAT before they begin graduate coursework.
HOW BIG ARE INTERLINK CLASSES?
We have intentionally chosen to be small so that individual attention can be given to each student. The maximum number of students in "core" courses is 12 (Writing) or 15 (Speaking); the average class size is 9-10.
INTERLINK classes meet for at least four hours per day, five days per week. Students usually do three to four hours of work on English outside of class.
HOW AM I EVALUATED?
Upon arrival, all students are tested in listening, speaking, reading and writing in order to determine their levels of proficiency. Each student is assigned to appropriate classes. During the term, students are evaluated primarily on the basis of their achievement of proficiency “benchmarks”. Attendance, preparation, homework, and participation are important in achievement of benchmarks, but students promotion is based on demonstration of skills, not attendance or participation. Teachers evaluate students in every class and meet with students during the term to discuss their progress. After each term, each student receives a progress report with grades and comments on her/his work, based on teachers’ assessments.
DOES INTERLINK HELP WITH HOUSING?
INTERLINK provides information about housing, but students must make most arrangements (See Housing Options section). When on-campus housing is available, INTERLINK arranges it for the student. (High UNCG enrollment is making this almost impossible to obtain, except in summer.) On-campus students move into their residence halls on the first day. (Except for Fall I and Spring I terms, it may be possible to move in the weekend before the term begins. Meals for on-campus students begin on registration day.
Other other options include off-campus apartments (some furnished, some not) in which three or four students share a living room and kitchen but each student has a private bedroom; and homestays in private homes some distance from the campus.
WILL INTERLINK HELP ME IF I GET SICK?
Medical care or counseling is available to all students through college/university health facilities, and students are referred to private doctors or hospitals and professional counselors when there is a need. The INTERLINK directors and staff receive reports from teachers on students needing medical or personal attention and talk with students to see what kind of help is needed. All students are required to have medical insurance. The INTERLINK policy covers students beyond the end of the term in case they plan to travel between terms or before going home. The plan does not cover everything. Tests, vaccinations,and medications are not covered. The plan has a $100 deductible for each illness. Its purpose is to protect against a major illness or accident, not minor illness.
DOES INTERLINK HELP WITH UNIVERSITY PLACEMENT?
Yes. Students receive assistance in selecting and applying to appropriate colleges and universities. Our special relationship with UNCG makes it especially easy to be considered for admission there. Personal counseling from our faculty and staff help students find appropriate places to study after INTERLINK. INTERLINK has connections with UNCG, NC A&T State University, East Carolina University, Guilford College, Elon University, High Point University, Greensboro College, and Guilford Technical Community College, and conditional admission understandings with most of them.
CAN I TAKE UNIVERSITY COURSES?
Only students in Level Five may take 1-2 undergraduate classes for credit while they are completing the INTERLINK program. Students who take courses for credit pay directly to the university for those courses. Payment must be made before the courses begin. On a teacher's recommendation and with the director's approval, students in Levels Four and Five may audit one, or sometimes two, university classes (at no additional charge).
WHEN AND HOW CAN I BEGIN THE PROGRAM?
Qualified students may begin study at INTERLINK in January, March, May, August, or October. For application procedure, see the INTERLINK application form.
DO I NEED A STUDENT VISA?
Most students who plan to study full-time need a student visa. INTERLINK prepares an "I-20" document that is needed to apply for a student visa and sends that to the student, with instructions about paying the "SEVIS" fee and scheduling a visa application appointment at a U.S. embassy. You will need to fill out a visa application on-line before your appointment(link to application).
IMMIGRATION STATUS AFTER YOU ENTER THE U.S.
If you enter the U.S. with a student visa, you must study full-time with no break to keep your student status. It is possible to leave the U.S. at the end of a term, and return for a later term. After nine consecutive months of study in the U.S., it is possible to stop study for one term and remain in the U.S. legally. If you lose your student status, you may have to apply to get it back (a long and expensive process with no guarantees), or you may have to leave the U.S. and return with a new I-20 (and possibly a new visa).
HOW DO I GET TO INTERLINK?
All students who have been accepted by INTERLINK receive information about travel to the center, as well as emergency telephone numbers. Student are asked to send their arrival information to the center as soon as possible so that we can help arrange accommodations. INTERLINK assists arriving students by arranging airport pickup and, when appropriate, overnight stay at a hotel. If you come by plane, fly to Greensboro. Do not fly to Charlotte or Raleigh--we cannot pick you up there. The "Piedmont Triad International" airport ("GSO"), located about nine kilometers from the UNCG campus has service by Delta, USAirways. American, Continental, United, and Northwest Airlines. There is an Amtrak train station about two kilometers from the campus, and a bus terminal adjacent.
WHEN DO I COME TO INTERLINK TO REGISTER?
Students report to the center on the day indicated on their I-20 at 9:00 a.m. Bring your passport, I-20, I-94, and medical form (if you have not already sent it). All students take placement tests, fill out registration forms, pay fees, open bank accounts, and attend orientation sessions during the first two days of the term. Classes start on the third day of the term (usually Wednesday). During the firstthree days of classes, teachers watch student performance to see if placement was accuracte, so you should talk and write as much as possible in calss, to show your teachers your skills.
WHEN AND HOW ARE FEES PAID?
All fees are due on the day of registration. Checks, bank drafts, or traveler's checks drawn on a U.S. bank are recommended. Students may pay by credit card, but there is an added fee of $50. (Additional late fees ($100) apply after the second week.) Students should expect to spend about $250 for books and personal needs each term.